Temp Agency Review: Adecco


According to the Adecco Web site, the company was formed with the merger of Adia and Ecco in 1996: "Two of the world's top three personnel services firms, with complementary geographical profiles, merge to form a strong global leader with annualized revenues of over € 5.4 billion. Operations are combined to form a global network of 2,500 branches. The new Company has an exceptional range and quality of services. The core staffing business places around 250,000 people in work each day." A few years later, the company acquired Olsten Staffing, becoming the largest placement and recruiting firm in the United States.

Adecco reports that in 2008, the company employed 31,000-plus full-time equivalent employees, employed over 500,000 temps on billing each day, and worked with more than 145,000 clients. Thirty-three percent of the company's business is in France, 13 percent in North America, 8 percent in Germany. Also, 55 percent of Adecco's business is industrial, 22 percent office, 6 percent IT.


Adecco maintains local offices in major and mid-market metros, as well as on-site at major employers. Adecco tends to utilize its size to generate preferred vendor status with many major employers, especially for its industrial and office temp work.

Adecco offers limited career services to candidates, testing, skills training, and benefits including medical, 401(k), paid holidays, and service bonuses. The company offers special programs for older workers, military spouses, and post-Olympic athletes.

An Adecco data entry temp described working for the company as: "Variety of 'entry level' jobs, great for jacks-of-all-trades. Great for students, fill-in jobs, seasonal employment, summer work, etc. Good connections to local job community; often many opportunities" (name withheld, from Glassdoor.com).

A branch manager for Adecco added: "Adecco is a large organization that has a number of career tracks depending on your interest. One of the other great things is that you could potentially relocate to various places around the U.S. (and world for that matter) and still stay employed with the organization" (name withheld, Glassdoor.com).

An administrative assistant temp related: "This is my third assignment with Adecco, as I am in N.C. now. When I made my initial call to Adecco, they were very interested and excited to help me find work. Also, while working in N.J. several years ago with Adecco they were very interested in me finding the best employer to suit my experiences and character and worked hard to offer those types of assignments. In fact, there were two offices who were almost fighting over me working for them. One thing I can say about Adecco is that they will try hard to find an assignment for you" (name withheld, Glassdoor.com).

Service lines:

  • Industrial – assembly, production, machine operation and mechanical trades, warehousing, packaging, shipping and receiving, bindery and fulfillment

  • Office – administrative/clerical, assistance, customer service, human resources, import/export, project management, purchasing, secretarial/PA

  • Medical and Science – recruitment and staffing for nursing, paramedical, pharmacy, technical support staff, quality assurance

  • Information Technology – recruitment and staffing for broad range of IT needs, staffing global temporary teams

  • Engineering and Technical – recruitment and staffing for industry verticals including aeronautics, automotive and rail, nuclear, and oil and gas

  • Finance and Legal – recruitment and staffing for a broad range of finance and legal professional level skills.

  • Sales, Marketing & Events – recruitment and staffing for pre-test calling, marketing follow up, temporary marketing, sales recruiting, sales outsourcing, sales follow up, outbound call center, promotion teams, kickoff events, inbound call centers, marketing recruitment, promotion event planning, telemarketing research, marketing professionals, mystery shoppers

  • Human Capital Consulting – restructuring: downsizing, post-merger integration, outsourcing. Talent: recruitment, training, assessment, career management, coaching

Types of placement:

Adecco's General Division (Industrial and Office) is focused on staffing rather than permanent recruitment. While some temporary assignments may turn into contract-to-hire opportunities, the firm's strength is temporary staffing. Addeco's Professional Division (Human Capital, Sales/Marketing/Events, Medical/Science, IT, Engineering/Technical, and Finance/Legal) focuses more heavily on permanent recruitment, but also contracts temporary work.

Adecco declined to disclose client names.


Headquartered in Glattbrugg, Opfikon, Switzerland, Adecco has over 6,000 offices in over 60 countries. Adecco has offices in most large and mid-sized U.S. markets. Its U.S. offices can be found on the company's website.


Adecco is the largest temp firm in the business, with its main focus on industrial and office temporary work. The company's professional division has more resources devoted to permanent recruiting. Its size gives some advantages to large multinational firms, making its workload more stable, even if not the highest paying in the temp business.

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