Monster M&A Appetite for Recruitment Industry

The reported record levels of profit generated in the global recruitment sector in the last few years has worked as a catalyst for high levels of M&A activity. The great news for recruitment is that this appetite looks set to continue as we approach the final quarter of 2016.

Unsurprisingly, recent deals that have made the headlines have come from the major players in the market. August saw Randstad reveal its plans to buy global job site Monster Worldwide in a deal worth $429 million. The deal will see the group expand its portfolio of HR services as well as its ability to offer digital and technology services to candidates. It follows Randstad’s purchase of RiseSmart, a digital platform that helps departing employees find new jobs, in a deal worth $100 million, and Monster’s own acquisition of mobile job discovery app, Jobr in June.

Randstad’s biggest rival Adecco has also been busy on the M&A front, following its acquisition of UK-based Penna Consulting plc in a deal in the region of £105.3 million. The move was to boost Adecco’s presence in the thriving UK market, which is currently the third largest in the world after France and North America.

Not to be left out, the last of the ‘big three’ recruitment powerhouses, US-based Manpower Group has been active in the M&A market too. In a similar move to Adecco, Manpower Group had its sights firmly set on Germany through its acquisition of temporary business 7S Group in September 2015. The $100 million deal has already gone a long way to bolster Manpower’s position as the third largest staffing firm in the German market.

Aside from the industry’s key players, Japan’s Recruit Holdings has been on something of an M&A spending spree since raising a staggering $1.94 billion on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2014 and it is now embarking on a quest to become the world’s biggest temporary jobs provider by 2020. Its largest deal so far is the €1.61 billion purchase of USG People of the Netherlands earlier this year in a move that they hope will allow them to expand into the lucrative European market.

Indeed, current M&A activity in recruitment is dominated by corporates that are looking to expand their reach geographically or enter into new markets, so much so that such deals made up around 80 per cent of deal flow in the last five years. The next 12 months are set to be an interesting period for the sector with these corporates getting to grips with their new acquisitions as well as looking for more opportunities in a market where buyer and seller appetite remains strong.

With experience in a number of key sectors and representation throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, Benchmark International can connect you with the right opportunity. To find out more, visit

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