Manpower changes its name as it sees economic shift

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Employment services company Manpower Inc changed its name to ManpowerGroup on Wednesday and is rebranding its professional staffing segment as “Experis,” based on a belief that the post-recession global economy has changed in fundamental ways.

Milwaukee-based Manpower said in this current era, which it calls “The Human Age.” growth for employers will depend on access to the right workers rather than to capital — creating a greater need for temporary staffing and workforce services providers like Manpower.

The company has worked on the rebranding for two years, Chief Executive Jeff Joerres said. Manpower wants to communicate to investors that, although it remains a cyclical business, it wants to be seen as “an innovative workforce solutions company” that is moving into a higher-margin phase of its history.

“If you’re not careful, it looks like a graphic design exercise and it was far from that,” Joerres said. “For us to be able to deliver a suite of services, we had to bring our legacy with us but create something different. Experis is going from five, six brands to one brand, so it’s clearer to clients.”

Manpower is the world’s third-biggest staffing company by revenue, behind Adecco SA of Switzerland and Randstad Holding NV of the Netherlands. It did not specify how much it is spending to market its new brand, whose launch included advertising in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.

“While management mentioned on its (February) call that it would be introducing this initiative over 2011, no specifics were provided, including the potential impact on marketing expenses during the year,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Jeff Silber wrote in a research note.

Separately, CEO Joerres said Manpower’s business was up in Japan outside the area affected by this month’s earthquake, tsunami and an ongoing nuclear crisis.

“Other Japanese are producing more product,” Joerres said. “If we can get control of the nuclear tragedy, I think within this calendar year you’ll see a bounceback that creates higher GDP growth.”

Manpower shares were up 0.8 percent in midday trading at $61.42. Other staffing shares were also higher after a report from ADP on private-sector job creation gave further evidence of a U.S. labor market recovery.

(Reporting by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Steve Orlofsky)

Manpower changes its name as it sees economic shift