By Jaya Dass, Country Director, Randstad Singapore
When the F1 Grand Prix first came to Singapore, I had just started with Randstad. It was also then I discovered our unique partnership with the Williams F1 team - a long-term partnership that was formed back in 2006 and founded upon a set of key values closely shared by both Randstad and Williams.
I remember feeling really proud that we are associated with such a world-renowned and exciting global sport, and spoke excitedly about it to friends, family, candidates and clients. I also started to understand that our affiliation with Williams goes beyond just a corporate sponsorship - it’s a technical partnership that covers everything from knowledge-sharing to developing the next generation of global engineering and IT talent. The logo on the car is merely a symbol of a successful relationship. Above all, it’s an extension of what Randstad truly stands for.
Many people have asked, “What do Randstad and Williams have in common?” It’s easy to see once you know how our clients describe our people at Randstad. Determination, drive and endurance - the same qualities that we have come to value as strongly as our partners in the Williams F1 team. Underlying these three simple descriptive qualities, however, are six core values that form the pillars of everything we do and aim to achieve on a global level across both Randstad and Williams.
It was only upon recent reflection of what has driven our success in our Singapore operations that I’ve come to appreciate what these shared values truly mean to us, their connection to the Randstad brand, and how much they define who we are as company and as a team. These six values meant something even more to me - they describe a personal journey to success and our route to achieving market leadership in Singapore.
striving for perfection
Whenever I interview someone who is keen to join Randstad, one of the favourite statements I use to set expectations of our working culture is: “We have an invisible sign that hangs 365 days at our entrance. It says 'Work in Progress'. We will never take that sign down because we’ve a relentless pursuit for improvement.” Striving for perfection is at the core of our daily function. Like the Williams F1 drivers, we live and breathe this value as it sets the tone for winning. Every Randstad leader is wired to think about how we can improve and how we can better our game. To quote our global CEO Jacques van den Broek, this mindset has made us “proud but dissatisfied”. Perfecting our craft is what drives our business forward as we work to translate that commitment for perfection into our service delivery.
The Williams F1 team is known for its world-class innovation in engineering and technology, which enables them to compete with the best in the top echelon of motor racing. Similarly for Randstad, staying ahead of the curve is no longer an advantage - it's a way of survival. We started the Randstad Innovation Fund (RIF) in an effort to give back to the community by backing and investing in small and upcoming progressive startups. In no time, it has become a springboard for new ideas, an incubator for technological excellence and an innovative channel to change and grow our operations. Innovation is not just about finding a genius idea or business that we want to invest in or acquire, but more about finding new, fun and creative ways of changing how we work. We are constantly looking out for the newest disruptive technologies to innovate our processes, or thinking about what competitive advantage we can produce to add value for our clients. The constant quest of keeping ourselves updated and current has been the lifeforce of our growth, and the technologies we have invested in have also brought fresh answers to our clients’ most pressing HR challenges.
speed to market
This is perhaps the most defining aspect of success both in the F1 motorsport and in the recruitment industry. In fact, no other sport illustrates this value better than Formula One. To win, speed and acceleration is critical in every single aspect of the race - no matter how minute. Every start, every turn, every second it takes at the pit stop, every maneuver counts. For us, it’s the ability to demonstrate speed to market over our competitors whenever possible that has been the key driver of our success. In our Singapore operations, every day is a race we seek to win - and win quickly. How do we do it? Through a dogged focus on achieving small, incremental gains in every single interaction with our clients with the aim of delivering better and quicker service than any of our competitors.
This is the latest buzzword for every modern day organisation. It’s a great badge to wear - but what exactly is “high performance”? In F1, it means pushing the boundaries to achieve world-class standards in all aspects - car, driver and team performance - to ensure everyone is giving their very best in every race. For Randstad, it’s an unwavering commitment to deliver and function at that optimum level where pressure is most productive. This commitment is underpinned by the highly motivated people we employ who come to work every day, fully prepared to put their best foot on the pedal. Just like the Williams team, we believe in the role of technology, innovation and people to drive high performance - and we’re proud to be fully invested in all three areas.
In the world of F1, precision is what makes or breaks the competition both on the track and in the pit stop. Every single action is measured down to the milliseconds, which is why it is as critical as speed. In any race, speed without precision is simply recklessness. It's also what gives the recruitment industry a bad rep. "Penny stock" recruitment companies are in it just to milk the quickest opportunity. What sets us apart from such recruitment firms is perhaps this quote from Abraham Lincoln: "If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe.” Our belief is about honing our craft. We take pride in coming across as sharp, deliberate and as precise as possible in our delivery. This company-wide focus on excellent execution is one of the major factors behind our success. Our ambition is to be the best there is - where our recruiters are recognised as specialists in their respective fields, and whom our clients can count on to address their talent needs and challenges timely and accurately.
An organisation will never truly succeed if it depends on a few star players, which is why in Randstad we don't typically rally around individual success. We believe that success in Formula One relies on the commitment of a talented team performing to the best of their ability. For Williams to be competing among the world’s best racing teams on the global circuit, it takes an entire army of specialists - engineers, data scientists, technology partners, pit stop crew, nutritionists, sports therapists, etc. We adopt the same conviction at Randstad, where teamwork is a key value we drive across the entire organisation. It's not winning unless we all win together. This level of group accountability and cooperative way of working have defined our success over the last few years, and have continued to prove sustainable for our Singapore business. We’ve found this incredible synergy by having everyone come together and work towards our common goal to win. Such a bond is extremely watertight and helps to inject resilience into an organisation’s DNA. Without every person doing their part to get the company race-worthy for that precise moment in time, you will never qualify to be part of the winners’ circle.
Our amazing partnership with the Williams F1 Racing team has given us a whole new perspective on what our brand stands for and what we can aim to be - particularly based on our shared goals, vision and values. It's the connection to these close parallels that have kept Randstad in and at the forefront of the race no matter what the external circumstances are. Being aligned to a world-class organisation like Williams reminds me of something that marks the Randstad Singapore operations: "This challenge to be the best is one that the Randstad Singapore is willing to accept; one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win."
If finding exceptional talent to drive success is a key challenge for your business, register a vacancy with us and we will be happy to help.
Randstad Blue Suite
The Randstad Blue Suite is a collection of personal insights from the Randstad leadership team.