Glossary of used terms and acronyms
Agency work
Agency Work is a triangular employment relationship, defined in ILO Convention 181 as: "Services consisting of employing workers with a view to making them available to a third party, who may be a natural or legal person ("user enterprise") which assigns their tasks and supervises the execution of these tasks“. It can be named as Dispatched Labour in Asia, Labor Hire in Africa or Temporary Staffing in the USA.

Career management

Main service segments are individual outplacement services, executive outplacement services, group outplacement services and other employment transition services. In these segments, outplacement services companies provide a range of employment and career services. These include resume writing, interview skills, job search strategies, coaching and career guidance. Employers generally pay all of the costs associated with these services.

Daily average number of agency workers (FTE)

Total number of hours worked by all agency workers in a country over a period of one year divided by the average number of hours worked over a period of one year by a worker with a full-time job with an open-ended contract.

Direct Recruitment

Services for matching offers of and applications for employment, without the private employment agency becoming a party to the employment relationships which may arise therefrom (Source: ILO Convention 181), including executive search & selection.

Managed Service Provider (MSP)

A company that takes on primary responsibility for managing an organization's contingent workforce program. Typical responsibilities of an MSP include overall program management, reporting and tracking, supplier selection and management, order distribution and often consolidated billing.

Penetration rate

Daily average number of agency workers [in full-time equivalents] divided by the working population [as defined by the ILO as follows: “The employed comprise all persons of working age who during a specified brief period, such as one week or one day, were in the following categories: a) paid employment (whether at work or with a job but not at work); or b) self-employment (whether at work or with an enterprise but not at work).“

Private employment services / Employment industry

Agency work is usually one of several other HR services provided by recruitment and employment agencies, along with direct recruitment, career management, RPO & MSP. The broad range of these services are called private employment services. The employment agency provides a professional service to a user company by taking over (a part of) the recruitment and HR process. In this sense, private employment services are comparable to other professional and business services such as auditing & accounting, communications & marketing, facilities management etc.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

A service by a third-party specialist provider, to assume the role of the client’s recruiting department by owning and managing part or all of its recruitment process and related recruitment supply chain partner relationships, provide the necessary skills, activities, tools, technologies, and process methodologies.

Members of the World Employment Confederation
(National Federations)

Austria (AT)
Belgium (BE)
Bulgaria (BG)
Croatia (HR)
Czech Republic (CZ)
Denmark (DK)
Estonia (EE)
Finland (FI)
France (FR)
Germany (DE)
Greece (GR)
Hungary (HU)
Ireland (IE)
Italy (IT)
Latvia (LV)
Lithuania (LT)
Luxembourg (LU)
Netherlands (NL)
Norway (NO)
Poland (PL)
Portugal (PT)
Romania (RO)
Russia (RU)
Slovakia (SK)
Slovenia (SI)
Spain (ES)
Sweden (SE)
Switzerland (CH)
Turkey (TR)

North America

Canada (CA)
Mexico (MX)

North East Asia

China (CN)
Japan (JP)
South Korea (KR)

Latin America

Argentina (AR)
Brazil (BR)
Chile (CL)
Colombia (CO)
Peru (PE)

APAC Southern

Australia (AU)
India (IN)
Indonesia (ID)
New Zealand (NZ)
Philippines (PH)
Singapore (SG)
Vietnam (VN)


Morocco (MA)
South Africa (ZA)

Members of the World Employment Confederation
(Corporate Members)

Adecco Gi Kelly
Manpower Randstad Recruit