Sustainability has been one of Randstad’s core values since the company was founded. We operate in such a way that the interests of all parties, with a direct or an indirect involvement in our business, are served simultaneously. And because we are active in the world of work, we have a variety of corporate and non-corporate interests to serve. Our core values inspire us to conduct our activities, both inside and outside the corporate environment, in a sustainable manner.

‘Perhaps our most important core value is ‘simultaneous promotion of all interests’.
It describes what we call ‘stakeholders’ interests’. We strongly believe that a company should benefit the society in which it works, and not just focus on profit or the benefit of an individual. We think we have to contribute to our society, and we do so every day by helping people to work’, says our CEO Ben Noteboom.

Since the formulation of our core values in the 1970s, we have aspired to grow sustainably: to safeguard the business and its long term viability, while taking the interests of all stakeholders into account, and making our business increasingly relevant to all parties involved. Over the course of 2011, and based on a dialogue with multiple stakeholders, we developed a vision for the way we will approach sustainability towards 2020. This vision is captured in a framework.

Our role in society

We strive to shape the world of work. And as one of the global leaders of the industry, we play a key role in contributing to sustainability, social and economic growth, and the general well-being of societies around the world.

To achieve this, we need to continue developing staffing and other HR services markets according to the highest standards of fairness, integrity and social responsibility, while seeking out opportunities to apply our knowledge of the world of work wherever we can make a meaningful difference.

For example, we can use our knowledge and services to influence diversity and social cohesion in employment markets for the better, while helping to reduce undesirable working conditions, undeclared work and tax evasion. Countries with higher penetration rates – those with more people in the employment market working through staffing agencies – typically have lower overall unemployment and fewer people suffering long-term unemployment. Our expertise can also help address the growing challenges of structural skills and talent shortages, declining population growth, cultural changes in the way new generations view work, as well as the challenges posed by shifting age profiles in the workforce.

The implications of sustainable behavior differ by industry. We believe that our industry has a specific opportunity to act with a social ambition in mind. However, our newly developed framework is also designed to remind us that we need to pay the right amount of attention to those sustainability aspects that are common to all businesses. The illustration below highlights how the framework forms an integral part of our strategy, and how we view our specific stakeholders and sustainability.

Ambitions and key performance indicators

Our new framework sets the direction for our ambitions. It reflects our activities from the perspective of our clients, candidates, employees, shareholders, society and employment markets. It displays our vision heading towards 2020, and identifies the key drivers needed to make this vision come to life. This structure will help us drive the agenda and communicate our sustainability objectives, both internally and externally. It also translates these into specific company-wide programs, now and in the future.

We have added examples of key performance indicators (KPIs). Several of these KPIs are already in place, while others are under development. New KPIs will be added as society changes, while others may be abandoned if they turn out to be obsolete.

Since 2006, we have been reporting on a number of specific topics that are relevant to the HR services sector, selected from and based on indicators proposed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the UN Global Compact. These are: labor market relationships and social dialogue; diversity measures and (re)integration programs; career advancement and training; health and safety; client, candidate and employee satisfaction; business principles; volunteerism; environmental measures.

In 2011, we made substantial progress with our sustainability reporting coverage of countries and FTEs across the Group, which is now virtually complete. This corresponded with another major development in our sustainability reporting, which took place in the third quarter: for the first time, our sustainability reporting ran through the financial reporting system. This means that our operations report on a quarterly basis, and aligning the non-financial reporting process with financial reporting will encourage people at all levels of the organization to put these topics on their agendas going forward.

2012/2013 program
From 2012 onwards, our focus will be on systematically extending and improving the programs and metrics that follow from the new framework. The reporting process will be embedded in our planning and control cycle. We will continue to develop our sustainability performance targets associated with our KPIs while focussing on HR-related data. This year's sustainability report is structured along the new framework. To illustrate how sustainability is embedded in our daily business practice, we have also collected some examples from our business operations.

Integrated reporting
Randstad is participating in the pilot of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC). This two-year program, launched in September 2011, is dedicated to a select group of companies who will be part of the development of the International Integrated Reporting Framework. Integrated reporting brings together the material information about an organization’s strategy, governance, performance and outlook in a way that reflects the commercial, political, social and environmental context within which it operates. It provides a clear and concise representation of an organization’s business model and how it creates value, now and in the future. In 2012, after a gap analysis, we will start incorporating integrated reporting in our reporting process. For more information, please see

Organization and governance

We have a sustainability officer at Group level, working within the Group marketing & communications department, whose managing director reports directly to the CEO.

Our larger operating companies have their own dedicated sustainability managers, and the majority of these have appointed a coordinator for sustainability reporting.

In addition to the Randstad annual report, several larger operating companies publish their own detailed sustainability reports. Randstad Belgium, Randstad Germany, Yacht Netherlands and Sesa Select in Argentina have done so for several years, while Randstad Netherlands and Tempo-Team Netherlands issued their first report in 2011. These reports facilitate their local stakeholder dialogue.

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