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CEO Interview: Jeff Joeress of Manpower

Talent Wants to Be Global Jeff JoerresChairman and CEO, Manpower Next year still will be a big year of managing …

Talent Wants to Be Global

Jeff Joerres
Chairman and CEO, Manpower

Next year still will be a big year of managing the tension. There are forces coming at us—high unemployment, emerging markets, declining gross margins, and our own talent with high expectations. We must have an aggressive growth strategy while managing the starts and stops of the marketplace.

How we’re going to execute our strategy is much more difficult than it used to be, because we don’t have the money we used to have and the time we used to have. We’re working on developing much better leaders further down into the organization so that we have the ability to dial up or dial down very rapidly in different markets.

The workforce and talent have become global, but policies are still national. So we get conflict between what looks like protectionism and a global marketplace. There must be a forum somehow to make more contemporary labor legislation and laws to reflect the reality of a global talent pool. We have high unemployment in the U.S., but companies are asking for more and more H-1B visas. It’s the specificity of talent that is the problem.

We will still lack some visibility that we would like to have as 2011 starts. Unemployment is key: We must lower unemployment to drive demand, and we think unemployment will remain stubbornly higher than what people will want into mid-2011. We need to slowly work this down.

In the U.S., we’re in for long-term unemployment at numbers we weren’t comfortable with in the past. It will be difficult to break seven percent unemployment.

Manpower, based in Milwaukee, is a $17 billion workforcesolutions company and employs more people than any other company in the world.

About Dale Buss

Dale Buss
Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other top-flight business publications. He lives in Michigan.