How we helped the world’s largest HR services company streamline its ER function – while upholding its core values

Over the past 55 years, Randstad has grown from a two-man operation in The Netherlands, to the world’s largest HR services company. Despite its evolution, the recruiter remains fiercely protective of its culture – built around empathy, intuition and instinct. Randstad is an expert in helping jobseekers find fulfilling and prosperous careers – whether it is in their first ever job, or a move to a more senior position – and will assist with the application, interview and negotiation processes.

About Randstad

  • The world’s largest HR services company
  • Operating in 39 countries
  • 40,000 employees globally 


The Challenge

Despite the size and global scope of Randstad, the organisation prides itself on its ability to make every jobseeker, client and employee feel valued. As such, when it came to bolstering the 13-strong internal HR and employee relations (ER) function, it was crucial a partner shared the same strong ethos and approach.

Responsible for 1,400 employees in the UK alone, Graham Trevor, HR Director (UK&I) at Randstad UK, was looking for an advisory partner which could help twofold. Firstly, there was a need for ongoing support of the HR team in terms of upskilling colleagues’ existing knowledge, and acting as a sounding board ahead of significant, legal decision-making.

Secondly, and due to the sheer number of employees, and the diversity of roles and responsibilities, Randstad needed a truly commercial partner who would prove invaluable when dealing with its complex HR and ER cases.

Above all, the consultancy giant sought a long-term partnership which was aligned with the HR function’s desire for a commercially versatile solution, balancing risk and reward. Rather than a ‘services supplier’, Randstad was looking for an extension of its team which possessed the legal expertise it was looking for, while understanding the realities of running a business.

The Solution

After an initial meeting to discuss Randstad’s requirements with ESP’s sales director, Russell Guest, the wider team set to work – getting to know the likes and dislikes of their new customer’s HR function, along with exploring the areas where the two firms might work best together.

Since the companies first kick-started the partnership in 2018, they have tackled several complex ER cases, and managed to resolve each case with an amicable solution for both parties. As a brand, it is important for Randstad to find a solution which both the employee and employer are happy with – as a tribunal would be a failure of the relationship the ER team wants to foster with the workforce.

On a day-to-day basis, the team relies on ESP’s online employment law and HR resources to improve efficiencies with the everyday tasks, while the monthly news updates – which include changing legislation and landmark cases – provide a user-friendly insight into important legal information, aiding professional development.

Additionally, ESP’s ER case management system, MyHRCases, enables Graham Trevor, HR Director (UK&I) at Randstad UK to understand where there may be a knowledge gap within the team and organise proactive internal training sessions accordingly.

It is very rare to find someone who genuinely appreciates what we want to achieve – and what matters to us as a brand – and tailors a solution around that. ESP offered a business solution which carried longevity and truly understood what I was looking for in terms of support.

Randstad’s HR team is not employed to be reactive, but to focus on pro-active and forward thinking solutions, so that we can provide the very best working conditions for our team – something that ESP understands instinctively. Furthermore, the team has had a significant impact on our own efficiencies too – the speed which we get solid, practical and relevant advice is second-to-none.

Simply put, everyone at ESP is open and honest and wants to help make your working life better – in both the short and long-term. This is the way all business relationships should be. I do not want to change supplier every few years. ESP offers security and sustainability and I look forward to working with them in the future.

Graham Trevor
HR Director (UK&I), Randstad UK

The ESP Difference

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