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Randstad aims for the right fit every time

"We do everything that is reasonable and practical to place the right candidate in the right role," says Mr Smith.

IN the competitive industry of corporate recruitment, Randstad Singapore has worked hard to stand out from the crowd. At a time when recruiting through online platforms such as LinkedIn has become prevalent, Randstad throws its net far and wide to find the right candidates for its clients.

"There are over 500 professional competitors in our industry . . . and we work hard to differentiate our service offerings," says Michael Smith, managing director for Randstad Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

"Given the very dynamic landscape of talent acquisition and the continued penetration of online profiles, we utilise a minimum of five sourcing channels when compiling our shortlists for our clients - this sees us cover the active, passive and super-passive candidate market".

Once the firm has compiled a long-list, it matches the candidates to the job, the company and the boss to create what Mr Smith believes to be the best shortlist in the market. Furthermore, the exhaustive sourcing and matching methodology often means clients only need to work with Randstad. This saves them time and money while protecting their employer brand.

"We do everything that is reasonable and practical to place the right candidate in the right role. This includes six-point reference checks as well as behavioural-based interviewing. These processes, that might involve third-party testing, focus on the core skills of the candidate and their fit with the organisation's culture, interpersonal connection with the boss and skills for the role," says Mr Smith.

This approach has produced impressive results. Randstad Singapore has averaged 25 per cent growth in gross profit year-on-year since 2012, and has moved from eighth to third place in the market. In line with this growth, its headcount here has risen from 45 to more than 180 over the past four years.

Randstad Singapore was the recipient of the Industry Champion of the Year and the Eminent Leaders in Asia gongs at the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards 2016.

Netherlands-based Randstad operates in 39 countries, representing more than 90 per cent of the global HR services market. The group employs around 28,720 of its own staff globally, while 580,300 people are deployed in other companies every day through the firm. Randstad has been operating in Singapore since 1993.

A big part of Randstad's success is due to its talent. To monitor employee engagement, the management conducts what it calls The Great People Survey, and uses the results to carry out changes that have a real impact on employees. This year's survey showed that changes implemented from the previous year's poll drew positive results, with 94 per cent of staff saying they would recommend working for Randstad Singapore, up from 70 per cent. Some 86 per cent also said they are satisfied with their job, up from 69 per cent previously.

The company in putting in place measures to deal with the technology-fuelled disruption sweeping the HR industry. For instance, it launched the Randstad Innovation Fund three years ago to seed and acquire technology firms. "This philosophy of using technology in the HR industry will be a key focus for Randstad in the coming years by automating processes that will allow consultants to focus on adding the human touch to recruitment," says Mr Smith.

In the area of leadership, he believes there is a big difference between managing and leading. "These days, being a leader is often more compared to serving others rather than telling others what to do. This does not mean doing work for others, it means doing everything possible to make that person successful in achieving their personal and professional goals," he says

He also thinks leadership can be taught as long as an individual is open and willing to receive constructive feedback, is genuine about wanting to put others first and has a high level of emotional intelligence.

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