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Companies should hardsell themselves to attract right talent: Randstad CEO Jacques van den Broek

The Economic Times :  February 13, 2015

As India Inc finally shows signs of growth, hiring across industries is expected to pick up, leading to a surge in demand for talent. Global CEO and Chairman of the executive board of leading recruitment firm, Randstad Holding, Jacques van den Broek is bullish about hiring and says the HR director's job today is a tough one in a vibrant job market. In an exclusive interview with TOI, he said HR and marketing would need to work together to build the employer brand. As Randstad prepares the ground to bring its global processes to India, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) - a model that helps companies in cost-effective talent acquisition - is one trend that Broek sees maintaining its strong growth momentum. Excerpts:

Q: Given the war for talent, what are the challenges for companies?

A: HR and marketing need to work together. It's not about you choosing the right talent, it's about you selling yourself as a company to get the right talent. Emphasis on employer brand is absolutely crucial. Recruitment is becoming difficult not because of the market but because of technology to source talent. About 85% of US companies have a partner to help them with this and we are definitely seeing that trend becoming a global one.

Q: What are the hiring trends that you see globally?

A: Global CEOs are worried that they still can't find the best talent. In Europe, the question is more about staying competitive. In Europe and US people are aware how best to make a career within the company because you learn from your mistakes and if you are well trained, you grow. In Asia the sentiment is if it is getting tough here let's move to another employer.

Q: Can you give us a broad sense of how the different markets performed last year and the future outlook?

A: Globally, US continues to look strong. It's the fastest growth in ten years, our biggest business, contributing 25% to revenues. Staffing business, which is about $2 billion is growing roughly two times the market growth. The other half of our business is our professionals business which is also growing fast. Europe is also a mixed picture. In Asia Pacific, we see good topline growth in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Q: What's the strategy for India?

A: India and China are potentially large markets, so we want to grow in what we call the sweet spots of the market, such as staffing with added value. We help clients train staff and therefore get a higher margin. That's the strategy in India as well. But for the next 3-5 years, for us it's definitely going to be the US and Europe.

Out of the roughly 600,000 of temporary placements that we get in our books globally, 60,000 are here in India. The expectation from India should be 10% of global revenues, which is not the case right now because of base parity that exists. In India, we have a different business model. While the staffing business is still going to grow, we are putting more emphasis on the permanent placement business and the RPO business. India is a promise of the future. BRIC countries account for just 6% of the total recruitment market and is expected to become 9% by 2020.

Q: Do you expect employee costs to rise in India?

A: Yes, but if costs go up productivity needs to go up as well. Being an HR director is a tough job in a vibrant space such as this. We say, let us take care of your recruitment process; let us bring in the right people and you can concentrate on keeping people in. So you spend more time on people and their development and help your operations to be close to people because otherwise you will keep losing people and new people are more expensive.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

x IBEF : India Brand Equity Foundation