When our country went into a complete lockdown on 17 March last year, it was all hands on deck to adapt organisations and processes to a totally changed environment. This was also true for Randstad. It only took our people a few days to completely switch to remote working. Our consultants had to ensure that the thousands of people who they normally sent out every day got back to work. Our coaches had to guide their people remotely. And they succeeded. Last year, they quickly guided 20,000 people back into the labour market.
What makes staff so easily take it up a notch for their employer in really challenging times? We put the question to our CHRO, Walter Reynaert.
The enormous resilience of our people and the fact that our digital systems were ready for such a switch meant that, at the end of last year, we were back on course at the same level as at the beginning of 2020.
Today, more than ever, people are looking for meaning. So, employers must offer their employees 'purpose'. But does purpose really have the power to attract, mobilise, and engage people?
'I'm well aware that we're overwhelmed with the word purpose. Sadly, it's used much too often, which undermines its meaning. And it's also true that for any company's production chain or services, you can probably find a connection that makes a meaningful contribution to people or society. Of course, that can't just be window dressing,' explains Walter Reynaert.
'Our employees are staunchly entrenched in the lives of the people who they help to find work. They make a very practical difference every day that's almost tangible. Having a job makes the difference between feeling useful or not. It's also the difference between being able to pay the rent or not. And the difference between sleeping and lying awake. It's all about the difference between being unhappy in a job that doesn't suit you and being able to develop yourself to the full. Our people's work makes that difference every day. Even last year in a very unstable environment.'
'I know that our people are very committed to us as an employer and we work very hard at that. But the adrenaline and incredible drive that bolsters their resilience arises first and foremost from what they can do for their candidates and their employers.'
from onboarding to reboarding
From onboarding to exit interview when staff decide to leave and even reboarding if they want to come back… Randstad is committed to the well-being of its employees. The company believes that people can only 'throw themselves' intensely into their jobs when they feel good about themselves, can be themselves, and are very well looked after. But what does that mean in practical terms?
'The realisation that our people can only achieve their full potential when we provide them with a very good framework translates, among other things, into a warm company culture permeated with lifelong learning, a very progressive telework policy that safeguards the work-life balance, a high degree of autonomy in the job and a wide range of internal growth opportunities. When you start at Randstad, you start out on a training path that never actually ends. This is because we know that growth and perspective are important to our people. So,
we offer many opportunities for growth, both horizontally and vertically. We want to fill eight out of ten management vacancies internally. We certainly see this investment in training as a toolkit that we give people with the very conscious intention of making them stronger. We know that people who leave the company become our best ambassadors. Many also return after gaining work experience outside the company. Which is another reason why commitment to training remains so important.'
'Internal mobility is one of our spearheads today. It's a great strength, but didn't just happen. For many years now, we very consciously commit to inclusion and diversity. Letting people be themselves and giving them opportunities to develop are an important foundation of our company culture,' explains Walter Reynaert.
Moreover, we believe that it's very important to have job satisfaction and fun between colleagues. We are also strongly committed to this. This is how our people become more than just colleagues and form close bonds with each other.
Randstad currently has around a hundred open job vacancies. Are they new vacancies?
'In fact, we are looking for lots of new people. On the one hand to ensure growth and on the other to replace people. In particular, both the labour and temp markets recovered really well after the corona pandemic knocked everyone for six in the second quarter of 2020. We're proud that we were able to guarantee the employment of our people. And, that's certainly also thanks to governmental support measures. We're very pleased to announce today that we're again looking for lots of people to join our teams.'
Experience at Randstad looks great on your CV. Interested in our job vacancies?