STAFFING solutions company Kelly Group aims to grow its candidate base by making use of online social networking tools, such as Facebook, as it seeks to grow in a skills-scarce market.
The company said on Tuesday that it was also moving aggressively into the information and communications technology (ICT) sector after its acquisition of Torque IT. Kelly has also established an ICT division, Kelly ICT, which will source candidates from training company Torque IT.
Among its growth initiatives was a plan to take “advantage of the growing popularity of social networking platforms as another potential candidate acquisition channel”, Kelly said in its latest annual report.
Kelly had identified the ICT sector as a growth area and its acquisition of Torque IT would “support its growth objectives in this sector, among other things by providing it with potential candidates”, Kelly said.
The company also aimed to grow through expansion into new sectors. Its acquisition, last October, of Torque IT and its recently created ICT division was one growth opportunity, chairman Moss Ngoasheng said. “The projected shortfall of ICT practitioners is estimated to be at 70000, or more than 25% of the current total ICT workforce,” he said.
Torque IT was bought for a maximum of R37,85m, depending on its cash flows, which would be paid over three years through a combination of shares and cash.
It provides technical training services to blue-chip companies and the public sector on software such as Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, Novell, Sun through its wholly owned subsidiary, Torque Technical Training.
Its other business, Torque Career Campus, was one of the first providers to be to be accredited by the Information Systems Electronics and Telecommunication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority. It offers customised training services to school-leavers who want to move into the ICT sector.
Torque IT is 55% black-owned, which Kelly said would further enhance its “high” black economic empowerment rating. It also hoped to benefit from possible synergies between its ICT division and its other businesses.
Kelly is the parent company of a group of businesses that provide employment services, IT skills development and outsourcing solutions. Its activities include permanent recruitment, temporary staffing, consulting services, business process outsourcing and contact centre solutions.
Last year, for the year to September, the group grew revenue 12% to R2,2bn. Operating profit rose 28% to R147m.
Ngoasheng sees further scope for growth in a “resilient” staffing market, driven mostly by a skills shortage. As a result of continuing demand, Kelly had developed “new services and products tailored specifically for the scarce skills market, resulting in additional revenue streams for the group”, he said in the report.
The temporary employment staffing market was worth about R23bn and the permanent market about R5bn. There was also scope for Kelly to take advantage of consolidation opportunities as the market was splintered, with more than 3500 companies.