DEBUG: PAGE=domain, TITLE=NelsonHall Blog,ID=1469,TEMPLATE=blog
toggle expanded view
  • NelsonHall Blog

    We publish lots of information and analyst insights on our blogs. Here you can find the aggregated posts across all NelsonHall program blogs and much more.

  • Events & Webinars

    Keep up to date regarding some of the many upcoming events that NelsonHall participates in and also runs.

    Take the opportunity to join/attend in order to meet and discover live what makes NelsonHall a leading analyst firm in the industry.


Subscribe to blogs & alerts:

manage email alerts using the form below, in order to be notified via email whenever we publish new content:

Search research content:

Access our analyst expertise:

Only NelsonHall clients who are logged in have access to our analysts and advisors for their expert advice and opinion.

To find out more about how NelsonHall's analysts and sourcing advisors can assist you with your strategy and engagements, please contact our sales department here.

HRO: A Year in Review & 2017 Preview

Following several years of growth, the HR outsourcing market continues to ride the crest of the wave, and is gearing up for a prosperous 2017 following investments across all service lines. We will shortly be publishing an in-depth blog on HRO predictions for 2017, but first I take a quick look at what happened in 2016 to lay the foundations for things to come, specifically in payroll services, benefits administration, RPO, learning services, and cloud-based HR.

Payroll Services: HCM Integration & Multi-Country Expansion

Highlights in the payroll market in 2016 included an emphasis on integrating payroll systems with HCM software, which is especially important when it comes to multi-country payroll, an area targeted for huge growth over the next three years. In anticipation of multi-country demand, vendors have continued to expand their payroll capabilities, with ADP’s payroll services now extending to ~111 countries, and NGA HR launching a payroll offering across 33 LATAM countries.

Other 2016 milestones reached in payroll services include Paychex exceeding 1m worksite employees serviced across its payroll and PEO offerings, and OneSource Virtual (OSV) exceeding 500 clients, while maintaining a client satisfaction rating of 98%.

Benefits Administration: Private Exchange Momentum

Private exchanges continued to gain momentum over the last year. Fidelity investments expanded its PIX, focused on SMBs, beyond Massachusetts and New York to Colorado and California, and Morneau Shepell launched a retiree PIX in Canada, adding 3M Canada as its first client. Vendor priorities have been focused on integrating voluntary benefits into the exchanges as well as within traditional H&W administration offerings.

Private exchanges are growing at 6% CAAGR through 2020, and Willis Towers Watson, with ~20% market share, is gearing up to capitalize on the growth in 2017 after recently expanding its delivery center in Arizona, to which it will continue to add headcount over the next year.  

With respect to DC administration, Fidelity enjoyed another successful year, adding $65bn in new DC plan sales across ~1.3k employer clients in H1 alone. In addition, as of mid-year, Fidelity already had another $14bn in commitments for 2017.

Benefits administration acquisitions really heated up in H2, with Mercer making some key purchases, including Pillar Administration in Australia (which now makes it the largest superannuation provider in the country) and Thomsons Online Benefits, adding its global cloud-based benefits technology platform, Darwin.

RPO: M&A Hotspot

There were ~25 HRO acquisitions in 2016, ~40% of which were focused on RPO. Many of the acquisitions focused on expanding or strengthening geographic capabilities, especially for Randstad who acquired Penna in the U.K., Obiettivo in Italy, Careo Group in Japan, and BMC in the Netherlands.  

And, while the U.S. and the U.K. markets are the most active for RPO, emerging markets in APAC and LATAM have high growth potential over the next few years.  

Learning Services: Shift to Performance Targeting

The most significant change in the learning services market is the shift away from a transactional approach that pushes a catalog of service offerings towards an approach that leads with targeting performance objectives. On the backend, automation and analytics are key components of the performance-centric approach.  

Trending themes by learning function include the following:

  • Content: content curation services
  • Delivery: digital modalities
  • Administration: RPA
  • Technology: cloud-based Learning Management Systems.

Cloud-based HR Services: Focus on Rapid Deployment

The cloud-based HR services market, including cloud consulting, implementation, AMS support, and HR BPaaS, took 2016 by storm. Key priorities were focused on launching guided implementation tools for rapid deployments, for example:

  • NGA HR launched NGA FastTrack to rapidly deploy SAP SuccessFactors
  • Ceridian launched Dayforce Activate, which shortens the implementation lifecycle to provide clients with a faster ROI
  • Neeyamo launched Rapid Deployment for SAP SuccessFactors, which allows go-live to be achieved in 21 days
  • Aon Hewitt launched a rapid deployment offering for mid-market organizations (1.5k-7k employees) who are migrating to Workday from a payroll service bureau provider, activating Workday core HR, U.S. absence, U.S. benefits, and U.S. payroll, including payroll settlement, check print, garnishment admin, and tax filing services in ~5 months.

Other initiatives were focused on ramping up delivery capabilities, with Zalaris opening a COE for SAP SuccessFactors in the Nordics, OSV opening a center in Ireland to provide support around Workday, and Neeyamo launching a SuccessFactors Employee Central service center.

All cloud-based platform providers, including SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, Oracle, ADP, Ceridian, and Ultimate have robust pipelines and roadmaps for continued innovation, making this one of the key areas to follow in 2017.

No comments yet.

Post a comment to this article: