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7.9% growth in W. European HR 2003 to 2008.

Helped by increased spending on HR outsourcing and by a healthy recovery in the HR consulting markets, the Western European HR services market has witnessed a welcome return in confidence that has extended into the first half of 2004.

The European human resource business process outsourcing (HR BPO) market in particular continues to attract new service providers with IT services and business process expertise. Contracts awarded to IBM by Procter & Gamble, to EDS by Infineon, and to ACS by General Motors Europe have resulted in significant numbers of European employees receiving HR services and support from third-party providers.

The performance of service providers in 2003 suggests that confidence is returning to the market, with evidence of a growing project and contract pipeline.

IDC has made the following key forecasts for the period 2003 to 2008::

* Europe represents the second largest market for HR services after the U.S., with spending on BR services at more than $22.3 billion in 2003.

* The European market will grow to more than $32.6 billion by 2008, at a CAGR of 7.9%.

* HR BPO represents the fastest growing segment of the BR services market, with growth projected at a CAGR of 17.90% over the forecast period 2003-2008. Comment:

In established HR markets such as payroll and HR consulting, competition among service providers continues to exert a downward pressure on service fees. However, this market dynamic has been balanced by growing customer awareness of the need for investment in the HR function. Corporate governance, pension reform, compliance, productivity, process efficiency, and HR costs have all helped stimulate this demand. Buyer confidence has also been boosted by increased competition in the European HR services market, which has forced service providers to become evermore sophisticated in their ability to demonstrate the value add they can deliver above and beyond the in-house function, and to present buyers with greater choice. 'Forecast and Competitive Analysis of the European HR Management Services Market, 2003-2008'. www.idc.com
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Title Annotation:IT News
Publication:Database and Network Journal
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 1, 2004
Words:330
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