The Latest Industry Intelligence

Our latest HRintelligence eNewsletter is now available. It’s chock full of industry intelligence, commentary and analysis for HR service providers and we’ve included some of the highlights below.

Top Advertisers for July

Top advertisers, listed alphabetically below, are determined by measuring advertising placements across the major monthly HR trade publications, not including buyer guide or product directory listings.

Aetna, Aon Consulting, Fidelity Investments, MetLife, Visa

Each month, HRintelligence identifies another new ad campaign launched by a company that is beginning to target HR decision makers. A newcomer that launched a major ad campaign in many of the top HR trades promoting their new healthcare card is Visa. According to Visa, the card makes it easier for employers and employees to manage flexible spending accounts (FSA's) and Healthcare Spending Accounts (HSA's) by eliminating the need to pay for services with cash or checks and then filing for reimbursement. We applaud Visa for recognizing that the human resource department represents a huge marketing opportunity for their new healthcare card. In fact, increasing numbers of suppliers are beginning to recognize that the human resource department can be a powerful gatekeeper to virtually all other departments in an organization, from department heads to the executive management team to the boardroom.

Top Editorial Placements for July

To determine the organizations receiving the most media coverage, we look at the number of non-paid editorial placements across the major monthly HR trade publications.

Accenture, Hewitt Associates, IBM, Microsoft, Mercer, Watson Wyatt

The Microsoft coverage dealt almost entirely with staffing challenges (from VISA issues to stock options to recruiting and retaining high tech workers) and Accenture and IBM coverage dealt mainly with outsourcing. You cannot pick up an HR trade without seeing editorial coverage of the strategic importance of recruiting and retaining key talent or outsourcing. Outsourcing stories seem to take one of two tracks. The first, and most widely reported in popular media, is the politics of outsourcing, whether it's good or bad and how it takes jobs from US workers. The second type of outsourcing coverage moves beyond the political bantering to discuss the strategic importance of outsourcing and how employers utilize outsourcing as a competitive tool. If you are interested in the outsourcing debate, check out our Blog posting HR Products and Services: Sold in USA. Built, Serviced and Supported Elsewhere?

The Current Health of the Human Capital Marketplace

We are sticking with our "Great" rating this month (August) because (a) there was not enough compelling news to move the indicator up or down, and (b) we just do not feel comfortable moving the indicator in the historically slow-growth month of August. But in talking to many HR suppliers, the consensus message seems to be "yeah, the economy seems to be improving and we're doing okay, but we're still cautiously optimistic..." The fact is most human resource suppliers are treading water. Revenue is growing slightly, profits are holding steady, but suppliers still await a substantial increase in corporate HR spending. It wouldn’t take much to upgrade or downgrade our "Great" rating, but we expect the current market growth to continue at its current anemic pace for at least another quarter or two. However, the following firms announced strong earnings and growth: