Of course we love to write great content around the staffing industry on a daily basis here at Staffing Talk. But we are also interested in reading and listening and learning. As a result, we always have our ears to the ground - and the chat rooms - checking out the noise around the staffing industry. And some of you are making plenty of it about Manpower!

Okay, to be fair about this, let's establish something right up front. ManpowerGroup is a huge, no, make that HUGE company. A $22 billion company, with nearly 3,900 offices in over 80 countries and territories.

According to their press releases, ManpowerGroup connects "over 600,000 people to work each day, training over 10 million people and interviewing over 12 million people."

When you are talking about those kinds of sheer numbers...employees, former employees, would be employees, temps, clients, vendors and on and on, you will have lots of disgruntled people. Lots. We get that.

But that doesn't mean, however, that we should dismiss out of hand, some well-formed thoughtful comments about a company just because that company is big.

Let's turn our attention to the Yahoo! Message Boards: "Manpower Group A Sinking Ship."

Here it goes.

"The leadership is an absolute embarrassment other than Jeff (editor's note: presumably Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ManpowerGroup). Jonas Prising is supposedly the "Sales Messiah" but he couldn't sell an eskimo pie to an eskimo. Jorge Perez? What does this guy do? All he does is fly into town, give us a 30 minute talk, have dinner with us, and then he flies to the next town. Meanwhile, various VPs (especially the former franchise owners like Botox Babe in SJ and Gomer Pyle in NC) run rampant and do whatever they want while Senor Jorge turns his head and lets it all happen under his watch. Have you seen the VP of Sales who runs the national account team? She has purple hair!

We can't win any new large accounts so what do we do? We break up the company and create individual staffing companies that don't and cannot work together. A national account salesperson in our staffing division can't sell IT or Financial or MSP yet they are supposedly national account salespeople. WTF? Talk about creating barriers!!!

We can't win any new large accounts so what do we do? We break up the company and create individual staffing companies that don't and cannot work together.

Then because we can't seem to get our operating costs down, we come up with this new age concept called "TALENTISM" and "THE HUMAN AGE" to somehow brainwash the sales organization into thinking we can command higher margins and sell more deals. Hello??? It's not working! We need to get rid of all the dead weight salaries and reduce our operating costs.

Does upper management think we are idiots??? Staffing is Staffing is Staffing. It's like buying paper clips for Gods sakes. The competitors who can mange their operating costs are going to be the winners. Addecco is kicking our ass because they are able to offer lower pricing because they can manage their expenses better. It's a total and complete joke!

Staffing is Staffing is Staffing. It's like buying paper clips for Gods sakes. The competitors who can manage their operating costs are going to be the winners. Addecco is kicking our ass because they are able to offer lower pricing because they can manage their expenses better. It's a total and complete joke!

The purple haired lady (Dame Edna) with the english accent is supposedly a VP of Sales in charge of national accounts? Heck, I know more about sales than she does. One of my co-workers at corporate told me the national accounts sales team didn't even get their commission plan until June. R U Kidding Me! What relevant, organized and supposedly sales driven company hands out a sales commission plan halfway into the year? Unbelievable!

Turnover is rampant. VPs fire RVPs because they feel threatend by them and don't want to lose their own jobs so they find ways to fire them. It's happening at other Manpower companies like Right Management, Experis and Tapfin. Negativity and low morale is out of control.

WHERE'S THE LEADERSHIP???

I can't take it anymore. Somebody throw me a life jacket because if I don't find another job soon, I'm going to drown......

Woa, Nellie. Tell us how you really feel!

In some subsequent comments some people piled on and made some more disparaging remarks about some of the folks cited in the post above.

My attention was certainly piqued, so I started doing some searches such as "Manpower reviews" or variations and found this Yahoo! poster had plenty of company at Glassdoor and Indeed.com and lots of other sites.

This person at Glassdoor said they were glad to see Manpower "finally investing in training that was so lacking," but the compliments kind of end there.

"Rolling out so many changes in such a short time frame and with high expectations. Trying to play catch up without realizing the impact on the field offices. Admire them for finally realizing how behind they were but rolling out so many things at once with field office shaking their heads... who's on first, whose on second....etc. To much to fast for some and to keep up with daily business. Compensation needs to be reviewed and updated. High expecations, low compensation."

This next paragraph was under the heading Advice to Senior Management.

"Update our technology, equipment in the field offices. We're on the front lines, clients visit the field offices not corporate and we should present ourselves as the first class organization we lead them to believe we are. Our telephone systems are so old it's an embarrassment, some of the common software to make several aspects of our jobs easier and more professional is not available to us, such as Adobe Pro. Ergonomics... is unheard of. Also, look at compensation packages, your way behind on that also."

And this is from another Glassdoor poster.

"Culture of fear. Top down management, where co-workers work against one another to promote themselves or only talk the talk in order to secure their jobs. Employees that mislead candidates and associates regarding jobs just to get the fill. Internal negative feeling from employees that are held in because they fear retaliation from the company. There is no time to actually recruit most of your time is answering phones from potential candidates or upset associates because they were lied to about assignments and the potential for those assignments to become permanent. Most of the recruiters / staffing specialists use deceptive tactics to get fills (placements at companies). While there I don't think they ever did do a employment verification and companies working with them should also be alerted to this fact."

And their Advice to Senior Management.

Change your culture of fear. Better protect your talent ensuring fair evaluation from management. Don't just talk the talk. Come in through the process and see what is going on. Come in and evaluate on all levels. Too many yes men and women in the company that have learned to take advantage of saying the right things to the right people.

The new Human Age movement sounds great, but when even Manpower isn't hiring the temps that are doing the work but hiring VP after VP to sit in meetings, something's not right.

The new Human Age movement sounds great, but when even Manpower isn't hiring the temps that are doing the work but hiring VP after VP to sit in meetings, something's not right.

There's a lot of negativity among employees because management doesn't do anything about people who slack off, instead making the people who don't pick up the extra work. You want to get promoted, don't worry about having skills, just know the right people. Some managers prefer to keep people they can outshine versus people who know what they're doing."

I read through pages and pages of comments/reviews at Indeed.com, and won't cite any more here. You get the idea.

For Manpower's part, they actually have a section on their website called out as "Social Responsibility." Here is the first line in that section: ManpowerGroup has a reputation for operating at the highest level of integrity.

Manpower has also been named one of  America's Most Admired staffing companies by Fortune Magazine for the ninth consecutive year in 2011, and named to Forbes' 2007 Platinum List of America's 400 Best Managed Companies for the fifth time.

So there seems to be a divergence there between what we read at the top of this post, and what we read at the bottom. Which is it?

We'd love to hear your comments about the "real Manpower."

Tags: Training, News, Technology, ManpowerGroup, Temps, Compensation, Human Age movement, Sales organization, Staffing division