Adecco, based in Switzerland, is the largest staffing agency in the world. Globally, it provides both temporary and full-time staffing services to businesses in more than 60 countries and employs more than 31,000 individuals. Last year, it generated about $27 billion and more than $5 billion came from the United States. But that does not mean they are not willing to change, and announced a plan to move its U.S. headquarters to Jacksonville earlier this month.
By moving 185 employees from Melville, NY to Jacksonville, Adecco will save about $2 million. That comes out to roughly $10,000 per employee, according to documents associated with the move and government officials.
“This is not just a new headquarters,” said Jacksonville City Council President Bill Gulliford.
“More important, it is a big deal because of the magnitude of their international presence… A global national headquarters suggests you get more points than just a movement of a domestic corporate headquarters,” he said.
Adecco has not chosen Jacksonville from a hat, so to speak, as the company already has 354 employees there. The 185 new workers from NY have average salaries of $64,000 and include both corporate and professional jobs.
Interestingly enough, Gulliford also expressed a bit of sympathy for Melville, which never seemed to get a chance to keep Adecco there.
“I felt a little sorry for a brief moment reading the comments of the people at the chamber on Long Island, ‘they didn’t ever give us a chance,’ which makes it very intriguing because that says, ‘we were going to leave regardless,'” Gulliford said.
Currently, the city and state are working on formal legislation for incentives that should help make the move easier for Adecco. David DeCamp, spokesperson for Mayor Alvin Brown, said that the incentives depend on the creation of 185 new full-time jobs in corporate leadership, professional, and support. The company is also expected to make a $3.4 million capital investment in the city.
Though Adecco is moving 185 employees, more than 200 will be “impacted.” They did not respond to email queries about what would happen to the jobs that weren’t relocated. However, about 250 jobs will remain in Long Island.
The staffing agency might be hesitant to move more than 200 people south because of the difficult logistics of doing so. Most companies provide benefits and assistance with the moving process including reimbursement for hiring moving trucks (70% of businesses) and reimbursement for packing items (72%). It is hard to predict exactly, but the costs and challenges associated with helping workers move might have influenced Adecco to cap the number at 185.
Adecco Group North America CEO Robert “Bob” Crouch has his home and an office in Jacksonville, which might have prompted the move. Early indicators are that both he and the city are excited about the company’s future there.