CWS 3.0: June 12, 2013

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European Staffing Firms Eye the US

While at CWS Summit in Berlin last month, there were many discussions about working globally. Most of those conversations involved various strategies companies can use to engage workers from one country to the next while keeping compliant with each country’s labor and tax legislation. The main topic of interest, however, continues staying current with each country’s changing legislation as it relates to contingent/temporary labor. This is true with both the buyer and provider communities.

When we normally talk about going global, it’s in terms of U.S.-based companies and their suppliers looking to expand their programs into Europe and beyond. Ten years ago or more, U.S. staffing companies were expanding to Europe and parts of Asia to support a customers’ expansion of their contingent worker programs in those areas. This still seems to be the top reason U.S. providers consider growth even today.

At the same time, there seems to be growing interest from European companies looking to expand their offerings into the U.S. Recently, I met with several U.K.-based providers of staffing and staffing-related services and companies that were interested in expanding their services to the U.S. Unlike U.S.-based suppliers, they didn’t seem to have a particular customer or engagement that was causing them to spread their wings. Instead, they saw opportunity and significant growth potential in certain U.S. markets that made it worth their while. It reminded me of the days of yore where folks came to America the land of opportunity, to make their fortunes.

Back home, the U.S. market seems to be recovering from the recession that many European countries are still enduring. I wonder how long this recovery will take. Optimism aside, I will keep a pulse on the companies that are expanding to the U.S. to see how the story unfolds. Staffing providers in the U.K. are energetic about their plans for growth. The energy is contagious; I look forward to the future, the new companies and ideas for managing the contingent workforce that make their way across the borders. Globally, we can attack the war on talent.

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