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Netherlands – USG People fears office closures

08 November 2012

Dutch staffing firm USG People, the eighth-largest in the world, fears the rising numbers of jobseekers using the internet to find employment could put a risk to the company’s presence on the high street.

In an interview with the radio station BNR, CEO Rob Zandbergen said the number of current branches could halve in the coming years. He said the firm used to have 1,800 offices but this figure is already down to around 1,000.

Jobseekers have made increased use of the internet to find jobs and this is the reason why the number of branches is likely to fall by 500 “in the next few years,” Mr Zandbergen said.

Official data by the Dutch statistics office this week showed that in 2011, nearly three-quarters of unemployed people read job ads with 57% actually applying via this channel. The importance of using newspapers as a source for jobs is also decreasing, the statistics indicate.

But Mr Zandbergen said that there will always be a need for human interaction and part of the hiring process will still involve jobseekers meeting HR consultants face-to-face.

Last month, the firm reported weak market conditions in the third quarter of the year with sales and profits slipping across its European operations.

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