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Customer Story: Randstad

A recruitment process fit for the future at Randstad

The future of recruitment lies in processes which are fair, engaging, virtual yet personal. At Randstad, where the talent acquisition function needs to remain at the leading edge of innovation, the recruitment team partnered with Sova to deliver a fully virtual and scalable end-to-end recruitment solution for Randstad’s own hires.

Randstad is a global leader in the HR services industry and the largest recruitment agency in the world. In 2020, Randstad helped nearly two million candidates find a meaningful job with more than 236,000 clients. Randstad is active in 38 markets around the world and has a top-three position in almost half of these. In 2020, Randstad had on average 34,680 corporate employees and generated revenue of € 20.7 billion. Randstad N.V. is listed on the NYSE Euronext.

For the duration of this project, Sova worked with Jenna Alexander, Director of Internal Talent Acquisition at Randstad UK, Randstad Sourceright EMEA & Pareto UK/NAM. Sova worked with the Randstad team to transition from a legacy system of online psychometric assessments plus an ATS, to Sova’s end-to-end talent acquisition solution which combines online assessment, assessment centres, interview and analytics in one platform, creating efficiencies and a positive experience for assessors and candidates.

“Our motivation was to become completely agile in our recruitment processes. We needed a solution that was fit for the future of our business. One that would enable us to get to market faster and that would reduce travel and interview time”.

Jenna Alexander, Director of Internal Talent Acquisition at Randstad UK, Randstad Sourceright EMEA & Pareto UK/NAM

Objective
A recruitment process fit for the future

Randstad’s UK & EMEA talent acquisition function assesses 5,500 candidates each year across 15 countries. Jenna and her team wanted to source a new solution that would expand the talent pool, improve the candidate experience, provide insight from data and feed through into employee development:

“Our motivation was to become completely agile in our recruitment processes. We needed a solution that was fit for the future of our business. One that would enable us to get to market faster and that would reduce travel and interview time”.

The solution needed to answer the following questions:

  • Q1 How to improve the experience for candidates and hiring managers so that Randstad’s recruitment process continues to be engaging and innovative.
  • Q2 How to offer a developmental experience where candidates acquire new skills throughout the process, those who accept a role have clear development plans, and those who are not offered a role receive constructive personalised feedback.
  • Q3 How to ensure that the competencies being assessed are relevant to Randstad’s business now and in the future.
  • Q4 How to gain insight into diversity in the business and use this data to plan development and internal talent mobility.

Solution:
A virtualised, scalable end-to-end talent acquisition process

“This move to new talent processes was to ensure that the best internal and external talent joins our business and is then mobile across our business. The goal of this project was to improve our talent agility through quicker access to the talent market, instilling learning behaviours in the process, and providing a first-class experience for external candidates and employees.”

Jenna Alexander, Director of Internal Talent Acquisition at Randstad UK, Randstad Sourceright EMEA & Pareto UK/NAM.

Having drawn up their requirements, Randstad reviewed options for their new talent processes. Randstad ultimately chose Sova because of the platform’s candidate and hiring manager experience, and for the advanced reporting, especially around diversity, that Sova offers.

The solution is an end-to-end talent acquisition journey which includes interactive candidate homepages, customised, interviews and a virtual assessment centre, all which are scored based on Randstad’s competency model. Each of Randstad’s competencies were mapped to Sova’s HEXACO model and dashboards enable managers to see how teams are comprised in terms of 54 traits which are linked to Randstad’s job families.

Following a pilot programme, the Sova solution is being rolled out across 52 projects in Europe and four in the UK, across 15 countries. The new process provides a personalised experience for each of Randstad’s talent populations: rising talent, professionals, and leadership. The brand experience is consistent across all levels, yet the process and competencies are tailored to each job level and role.

“Since hiring through Sova I have found our overall talent acquisition process has really improved, especially when it comes to interviewing and reviewing interviews for candidates going through the process. The improvements I have noticed immediately include having all the interview tools in one place which are simple and easy to access, this saves time creating copies in new folders saved on different peoples’ Google drives and it also means whoever wants to be involved in the interview process can have all the info needed to make a hiring decision at the tip of their hands all the time.”

Matt Godwin (MIRP CertRP), Regional Director of Teachanywhere, Central Perm Team, Central Delivery Team, Candidate Sourcing Team at Randstad Public Services

“This move to new talent processes was to ensure that the best internal and external talent joins our business and is then mobile across our business. The goal of this project was to improve our talent agility through quicker access to the talent market, instilling learning behaviours in the process, and providing a first-class experience for external candidates and employees.”

Jenna Alexander, Director of Internal Talent Acquisition at Randstad UK, Randstad Sourceright EMEA & Pareto UK/NAM

The Result
Fair and inclusive talent development at scale

The Sova solution has helped Randstad to create an agile, fluid approach to hiring that is fit for purpose and fit for the future of the business. Being an end-to-end solution, Sova’s unified platform is easy to use for both hiring managers and candidates. Regional Director, Matt Godwin shares some feedback on using the Sova platform:

“The platform itself is exactly the kind of tech we need more of, where it's self-explanatory and you can start using it without needing much (if any) support. The save and move page functions ensure you don't lose any data as the interview runs its course and it's good that you can also go and add to answers where you need that flexibility to do so. I like how you can review the previous hiring manager's feedback, comments and feedback on the candidate which you can then add to during the second interview to make an objective review process clear and quick.”

“Having the candidate's live camera stream on one page makes the experience much less anxious for the interviewer, especially when you are working from one screen. Having moved from a set up where previously I would have had a CV, interview questions, assessment review and video stream all open and I would have been navigating between them mid-interview, this one platform set up is a big step forward which enables you to fully focus on the candidate and the interview.”

Matt Godwin (MIRP CertRP), Regional Director of Teachanywhere, Central Perm Team, Central Delivery Team, Candidate Sourcing Team at Randstad Public Services

Candidate experience: Using the new solution, candidates have a clear pathway and a first-class experience. Candidates land on an interactive homepage where they watch a video about what the firm does. They then access hotspots from the homepage where they meet the talent acquisition team, management team and take their assessments. It was crucial for Jenna that the recruitment process could also be a learning experience for candidates that helps them to develop whether they are offered the role, or not. Personalised candidate reports that explain candidates’ strengths and areas for development can be accessed by all candidates, wherever they exit the process.

Employee experience: Through the Sova platform, assessment results from the recruitment process can be accessed so that when candidates join the business, Randstad can provide an agile approach to learning and development. Data can be brought into six- and 12-month reviews and insight from other assessments such as 360° feedback can be combined with past assessment data so that line managers have a full picture and can target development effectively.

Improved diversity: Within the parameters of market legislation, Randstad has started to collect diversity data through the Sova platform to help build a more diverse workforce. Biodata is collected by the Sova platform and then analysed by Randstad to look at trends in candidates, drop-outs and retention. This data is also being used internally to look at diversity across teams and roles which is guiding training schedules and internal talent pooling.

Insight from data: One of Randstad’s requirements was to have all assessment data in one place, making analysis easier - as well as the lives of hiring managers. Using the Sova platform, managers can easily run interviews without having to access multiple systems and calendars, making the process stress-free and allowing them to focus on the candidate. Once candidates join the business, Randstad has access to all assessment and diversity data, enabling better development planning.

Based on the success of the initial rollout in 15 countries, Randstad is now piloting the platform with a focus on internal talent mobility. This rollout will have a focus on development and diversity in Randstad’s internal talent pool.

The team is also looking to implement the platform across all markets in which Randstad operates so that the firm’s clients can use the platform as part of the global tech stack that Randstad offers to its clients. This would result in a global partnership between Randstad and Sova.

Feedback on the new talent acquisition process has been extremely positive both internally and externally:

“Candidate feedback so far has been extremely positive. The candidate having more control and visibility on where the process is at is being seen as a standout feature, especially versus our competition in the market. The questions in the process flow well and also mean each candidate is being asked the right set of questions, supporting a consistent interview process where we can benchmark candidates against each other - previously I'm not sure that consistency was there which might have meant our hiring criteria was inconsistent in places. Overall, I am a happy hiring manager and having worked for the business for 14 years, Sova is a clear step in the right direction.”

Matt Godwin (MIRP CertRP), Regional Director of Teachanywhere, Central Perm Team, Central Delivery Team, Candidate Sourcing Team at Randstad Public Services

Finally, Jenna looks towards the future:

“Our goal is that within 12 months we will have an organic, fluid and ever evolving approach to how we assess external talent, that we will provide agility and learning to our existing employees, and that our approach is fit for purpose. We will no longer be represented by traditional competencies, each job family in each team will have its own HEXACO makeup [see box out]. We will use the diversity data that we have collected to improve our assessment model to ensure fair representation across the business.”

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