Randstad Holding
Randstad Holding N.V. is an international company offering temporary staffing
Employment agency
An employment agency is an organization which matches employers to employees. In all developed countries there is a publicly funded employment agency and multiple private businesses which also act as employment agencies.-Public employment agencies:...

  and HR services. Randstad was founded in the Netherlands in 1960 by Frits Goldschmeding and operates in around 40 countries. In 2010, the company achieved a turnover of €14.2 billion and a net profit of €288.5 million. Randstad employs around 26,000 of its own staff, whilst 500,000 people are deployed in other companies every day through Randstad. Globally, Randstad has 3,085 branches and 1,110 in-house locations (where Randstad works at one location for a specific client).

Randstad is thus the second largest HR service provider in the world, the largest being the Swiss company Adecco
Adecco S.A. is a human resources company, based in Glattbrugg near Zurich, Switzerland. Adecco employs 700,000 temporary workers and contractors who are supplied to business clients, and has over 32,000 employees and 5,500 offices in 60 countries and territories around the world...

. Randstad also operates under the brand name Tempo Team.

Randstad Holding N.V. is listed as RAND on the AEX of Euronext Amsterdam. Founder Frits Goldschmeding
Frits Goldschmeding
Frits Goldschmeding is a Dutch businessman. In 1960 he founded Randstad Holding, an employment agency based in The Netherlands. According to the 2007 annual ranking of the world's wealthiest people compiled and published by Forbes magazine in March 2007, Goldschmeding's personal wealth amounted to...

 is still the biggest shareholder. Randstad’s head office is in Diemen, in the Netherlands.

Core activities

Randstad specializes in solutions related to flexible work and human resource services. Besides regular staffing services for temporary and permanent jobs, as well as temporary and contract staffing of professionals and senior managers, Randstad also offers specialized HR Solutions and supplies dedicated on-site personnel management with its inhouse services.

Randstad describes its mission as ‘taking the lead in shaping the world of work’.

Randstad divides its activities into several business areas, which it calls service concepts.
  • Temporary and contract staffing
  • Professionals / search & selection
  • Inhouse services
  • HR solutions

Temporary and contract staffing

Temporary and contract staffing and the related recruitment and selection are traditionally Randstad's core activities. Randstad offers these services through a network of branches in towns and cities in the countries in which it operates. In most of these countries, Randstad works according to a so-called unit structure, whereby each unit consists of two consultants who are responsible for service provision to clients and selecting candidates.

Randstad promotes these activities under two brand names: Randstad and Tempo Team.

Professionals / search and selection

A separate division of Randstad focuses on recruiting supervisors, managers, professionals, interim specialists and advisors. These people are deployed in (temporary) positions in middle and senior management, such as engineers, ICT specialists, or marketing & communication specialists. Randstad calls this service concept ‘professionals’.

In a number of countries, Randstad has operating companies that select managers for permanent placements in middle and senior management. This often involves recruitment and training programs. Randstad calls this service concept ‘search & selection’.

Brands under which Randstad promotes these activities include Randstad, Randstad Care, Expectra and Yacht
A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries...


Inhouse services

With its inhouse services, Randstad works on site for just one client. This involves offering a large number of candidates with very specific capacities, usually for industry and logistics. Randstad is responsible for all personnel matters, including recruitment and selection, training and planning.

Randstad promotes these activities under two brand names: Randstad and Tempo Team.

HR solutions

HR solutions include Randstad Managed Services, whereby Randstad manages a client’s flexible personnel requirements.
HR Solutions also involves a number of services such as selection processes, HR consultancy, outplacement and career support.

Randstad promotes these activities under two brand names: Randstad and Tempo Team.

Randstad's strategy

Randstad's goal is to continue to grow in the coming years. For this reason, the company carefully monitors the global labor market. In that labor market, Randstad identifies several factors that may facilitate growth.
  • More and more companies need flexible employees. This boosts productivity and is good for their competitive position. The economic crisis of 2009 has reinforced that effect. Many companies now realize that a more flexible workforce enables them to respond faster to demand from the market.
  • The shrinking and ageing population offers opportunities for Randstad, which recognizes the need for a more flexible relationship between employer and employee, with more emphasis on guaranteed work and less emphasis on a guaranteed job. The number of people in employment can be increased through flexible work. Countries with a higher percentage of flex workers on the labor market also have lower unemployment.
  • In more and more countries, the rules concerning work are gradually becoming less rigid. This development is welcomed by Randstad, although the company is not in favor of a completely deregulated labor market. More and more authorities are realizing that there is a need for a (partially) flexible labor market.
  • Customers increasingly want a comprehensive range of HR services, rather than different suppliers.

Based on this market analysis, Randstad developed a growth strategy based on four pillars:

Services that meet market requirements

Randstad has a limited number of service concepts, which respond to market requirements. See above under core activities.

Well qualified people

By ‘the best people’, Randstad initially means its own personnel. Randstad sees its own people as an important factor for growth and success. For this reason, Randstad continues to invest in the education, training and support of its personnel, even in difficult times. For this purpose, Randstad has its own training institute, the Frits Goldschmeding Academy, which offers some 15 different teaching programs. Staff can consult the internal vacancy database to keep up to date with any career possibilities.

According to an internal survey in 2010, the motivation of our own staff was 7.8 on a scale of 10. In general, staff are proud to work for Randstad.

Standardized work processes

With regard to its various service concepts, Randstad uses the ‘best practices’ method. This method standardizes and records an approach that has proved itself in the past through efficiency and good service provision. It can then be copied from country to country or from branch to branch, sometimes after first being adapted to the local situation. Randstad thus ensures that the company delivers the same quality and the same working method all over the world.

Strong, well known brand names

According to Randstad, good, strong brand names ensure ‘better price options’ and good name recognition. With a good brand name, clients immediately know that it stands for a certain quality. Candidates are also more likely to apply to a well known brand than an unknown temporary staffing agency. ‘Randstad’ is the most important brand. In some countries, ‘Tempo-Team’ has been launched as a second brand.

In order to increase its name recognition, Randstad has become a sponsor of the British Formula 1 team AT&T Williams F1 .

1960-1970: The company's launch

Randstad was founded in 1960 by Frits Goldschmeding
Frits Goldschmeding
Frits Goldschmeding is a Dutch businessman. In 1960 he founded Randstad Holding, an employment agency based in The Netherlands. According to the 2007 annual ranking of the world's wealthiest people compiled and published by Forbes magazine in March 2007, Goldschmeding's personal wealth amounted to...

 and Ger Daleboudt, who were both studying economics at the time at VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Goldschmeding had just written a thesis about the phenomenon of temporary work, something which hardly existed in the Netherlands in 1960. The thesis referred to the fact that, during peak periods, companies could easily hire extra machines and buildings, but no temporary personnel. As a result, in quieter periods companies had too little work for too many people, and during peak times the exact opposite. According to Goldschmeding, in a flexible labor market employers would be able to adapt much better to the economy and employees would find it easier to get different types of work and thus acquire experience faster.

What started as a thesis soon turned into a plan to start his own temporary staffing agency, together with fellow student Ger Daleboudt. The first flyers were typed in Goldschmeding's attic room in the student house on Sloterkade in Amsterdam. The agency was called ‘Uitzendbureau Amstelveen’. Thus the seed was sown for the later success of the company. The first financial year (1960) ended with a profit of 4.12 euros; the next year, the company’s profit of 7,866 euros was nearly 2,000 times higher.

Its success was not just due to the two students’ hard work. The booming economy of the 1960s with a huge demand for personnel also helped them. A new group was also finding its way into employment: married women. They started work as short-hand typists and keypunch operators, for instance. In the first years, Uitzendbureau Amstelveen mainly provided personnel for the insurance industry, banks and the health care sector.

After Goldschmeding and Daleboudt graduated in 1963, they moved into their first ‘real’ office near the Vondelpark
The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located in the stadsdeel Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and originally named the "Nieuwe Park", but later renamed to "Vondelpark", after the 17th...

 in Amsterdam.

The name Randstad

In 1963, the agency also opened branches in Leiden and Rotterdam. Because ‘Uitzendbureau Amstelveen’ was no longer a logical name for the company, the board changed the name to ‘Randstad Uitzendbureau’, on the advice of a marketing specialist friend. At that time, Goldschmeding and Daleboudt were still sure that the Randstad
Image:Randstad_with_scale.png|400px|thumb|right|Clickable schematic map of the Randstadcircle 528 380 26 Schipholrect 426 356 498 436 Haarlemmermeerrect 399 166 479 245 Velsencircle 250 716 32 Delftcircle 220 642 60 The Hague...

 (the urban area between Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam) represented their total reach.

As turnover grew and in order to be able to continue paying the bills, extra capital was soon required. This was found in the form of a loan from a successful entrepreneur and the issue of shares among friends and family. This capital injection boosted growth.

The Randstad logo

In the early years, the temporary staffing sector faced strong prejudice. The sector was regularly associated with the shady practices of illegal labor subcontractors, who earned a lot of money from mediation yet paid no social insurance contributions or health insurance. Randstad did everything it could to assure people that temporary staffing is a sector that both employers and employees need and can benefit from. Although Randstad was primarily involved in finding work for highly qualified personnel, who looked representative, Goldschmeding wanted to further improve the company’s image by having a better logo designed. The new logo was created by designer Ben Bos from Total Design. This is still the logo used by Randstad in 2011.


From 1965, Randstad ventured abroad. First with a branch in Brussels and in 1967 the first branch in London opened. After initial doubts, it was decided to keep the name Randstad. In 1968, the first German branch opened in Düsseldorf. France followed in 1973.

1970-1980: search for recognition

After obtaining additional credit from the AMRO Bank to enable the company to grow further, in 1970 Randstad moved into a new head office on A.J. Ernstraat in Amsterdam. This was where all the branches sent their time sheets every week. In order to process everything, the first computer, the size of a large conference room, made its appearance at Randstad.


In the 1970s, temporary work was still not fully accepted by society. It attracted ongoing criticism. During the period 1970-1980, Randstad was largely engaged in countering that criticism and searching for recognition by constantly seeking publicity and communicating its vision.

As the number of temporary staffing agencies grew (ASB, Manpower Inc.
Manpower Inc.
ManpowerGroup is a workforce solutions and services provider company headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It was established by Elmer Winter and Aaron Scheinfeld in 1948. It was acquired by Blue Arrow of Britain in 1987, but became independent again in 1991.The directors include...

, Evro and Tempo-Team had also become important players on the market), the criticism increased. Temporary staffing agencies continued to have a bad image. Trade unions and left wing parties felt that the government should have a steering role on the labor market and also in the field of employment mediation. Trade unions felt that temporary staff had no rights and were afraid that temporary staff would earn more than permanent staff, and that employers would replace permanent jobs by temporary ones. In turn, Randstad felt that it was finding jobs for people who would not otherwise be active on the labor market. The unions also complained that it was only people who were relatively mobile who got temporary jobs and that temporary staff could only do dirty and heavy work.

The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs also struggled with the concept of temporary staffing agencies and produced a whole series of restrictive measures. These went so far as to stipulate that the agencies could not expand any further. Moreover, each temporary employee had to be registered with the Ministry every few months and be granted permission. Nor were temporary staff allowed to earn more than permanent employees. The unintended effect was that demand for temporary staff soared, due to the low rates.

Randstad had no other option than to comply with the government’s regulations, but it tried to get round the restrictions. Together with ABU, an association that promoted the interests of temporary staffing agencies, 22 court cases were initiated. This at least had the result of abolishing the regulation prohibiting expansion.


In the 1970s, the consultant was also born. Whereas acquiring and serving clients on the one hand and selecting and placing temporary staff on the other used to be two different roles, these were now growing together. Randstad decided to integrate them in one person, at the time a unique development in the temporary staffing sector.

Whilst in the early years, the company had focused on supplying keypunch operators, typists, accountants, administrators and secretaries, from 1973 the company chose a broader approach. The consultants now had to target all kinds of personnel, from medical to industrial.


At the end of the 1970s, Randstad had several divisions, not just related to temporary staffing, but also cleaning work and security. In 1978, Randstad Holding N.V. was therefore founded to accommodate all the divisions. By now Randstad also needed a bigger head office. Its foundation stone was laid in Diemen
Diemen is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands with a population of around 24,000. Diemen is located in the province of North Holland directly to the east of Amsterdam within the capital's metropolitan area.-Geography:...

 in 1977.

1980-1990: steady growth and stock market flotation

The period 1980-1990 started with a recession, as a result of which Randstad – totally contrary to its philosophy – had to make staff redundant. One hundred and sixty people had to leave, but eventually these were all voluntary redundancies.

However, by recognizing in time that the economy would recover, Randstad shifted its focus - sooner than its competitors - towards growth instead of cost reduction. Very soon many Dutch branches were experiencing steady growth again.


Competitor Tempo-Team was less successful in riding the recession and at the end of 1982 started looking for a take-over partner. It found it in Randstad, which bought Tempo-Team for 125,000 euros and the commitment to repay a large debt. From that moment, Randstad had a second brand name in the same market. From the start, Tempo-Team was marketed in a very different way from Randstad: instead of starters on the labor market, slightly older consultants were chosen, both men and women, with a specifically practical mentality. With first orange and later red, Tempo-Team's house color was clearly different from Randstad's house color.

CAO for temporary staff

The recession had a second consequence for Randstad: the trade union FNV
FNV could stand for:*Fallout: New Vegas, a 2010 video game*Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging, Netherlands, *Förbundet Nordisk Vuxenupplysning, Sweden,...

 decided it wanted to talk. During the economic crisis, employers had introduced so many random temporary contracts, that a temporary staffing contract seemed relatively favorable in contrast. From now on, the trade unions recognized that the labor market needed flex workers. Moreover, it had become evident that for many people temporary work constituted a step up to a permanent job. In 1986, the discussions resulted in a Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) for permanent employees in the temporary staffing sector and in 1987 in a CLA for all temporary staff.


Even the government gradually changed course. From 1982, as a new government struggling with high unemployment figures, it realized that temporary staffing agencies actually helped people get jobs. Little by little, the rules were relaxed. Randstad experienced this as an epoch-changing landslide: instead of being considered part of the problem, the company was now seen to be part of the solution. During its 25th anniversary celebrations, founder Goldschmeding received a Royal Honor. For Randstad, this was the final step in its recognition.

Stock market flotation

Financially too, Randstad was very successful. Turnover rose from 204 million euros in 1983 to 518 million euros in 1985. In 1988, Randstad embarked on a long process that eventually terminated in its stock market flotation on 5 June 1990. For Randstad, this had a number of advantages: a listed company has greater name recognition, an option scheme allowed personnel to share in Randstad's success and the company gained access to new capital, which might be required in the future for possible acquisitions. Initially Randstad shares did not do as well as hoped, because the introductory price was too high. In 1991, however, following the publication of the figures for 1990 revealed the extent of Randstad's success, the shares became more popular. From mid March 1991, slowly but steadily the share prices rose.

1990-2000: internationalization

After the stock market flotation, there was a shift in Randstad's management structure so that there was more focus on internationalization. Around the start of the decade, Randstad was primarily a Dutch company with branches in Belgium, Germany, France and England. Temporary staffing, cleaning and security were its main activities. Only a quarter of the turnover was generated by international activities.

This was something Randstad wanted to change, as it was becoming increasingly clear that big international companies preferred to do business with one supplier for their flex worker needs. Such a company would then have to be able to supply temporary staff worldwide.

On 1 April 1992, Randstad acquired the Dutch temporary staffing agency Flex, which also had branches in Belgium and France, for instance. In the Netherlands, Werknet was acquired and integrated in Tempo-Team.

United States

However, the company's dream was to establish itself in the United States. New board member Erik Vonk therefore set up a small office in Atlanta and went in search of a suitable candidate for a takeover. He found it in 1993 in TempForce, a local temporary staffing agency with twelve offices in Atlanta. Randstad changed the name from TempForce to Randstad Staffing Services. At the end of 1993, Randstad also acquired the American agency Jane Jones Enterprises. This marked the cautious start of the American growth: by mid 1994 Randstad had 32 branches in America generating a turnover of 30 million euros. 5,500 flex workers were deployed every day. However, that was still not much compared with Randstad’s turnover in the Netherlands, which was 909 million euros.

Olympic Games

It was around this time that Randstad also ventured into sport sponsoring, by becoming a sponsor in Atlanta of the 1996 Olympic Games. Moreover, Randstad supplied temporary staff to the Games: 16,000 in total. After the Games, Randstad’s name recognition in the Atlanta region rose from fifteen to 99.5 percent.

Goldschmeding retires

On Friday 16 May 1998, at the age of 65, Frits Goldschmeding retired from his company after 38 years. A huge party was organized for 1,500 guests. After a year's rest, Goldschmeding took his seat on the Supervisory Board.

Goldschmeding was succeeded by Hans Zwarts, who embarked on more acquisitions. In order to continue the internationalization process, temporary staffing chain Strategix was acquired in the United States, a company with 300 branches. In Switzerland, Life & Work was acquired, in Spain Tempo Grup and in Germany Time Power. However, these acquisitions and the difficult integration of the companies in Randstad took their toll. In 2000 and 2001, profits tumbled and share prices fell. Faced with these poor results, Zwarts resigned.

2000-2010: recent history

In October 2001, Cleem Farla succeeded Hans Zwarts as CEO. He saw it as his main task - together with the board – to reintroduce the old Randstad values, developing a better strategy for internationalization and to substantially cut costs. Significant lessons were learned from the past too. The company went back to basics: the consultant and the match between client and temporary staff were once again the main focus.

This was expressed in a new business strategy based on four strategic building blocks:
  • strong concepts
  • best people
  • excellent execution
  • superior brands

(See above for a detailed description of these four strategic building blocks).

The introduction of these pillars was seen as a new start for Randstad and the success of this strategy is largely due to the inspired leadership of Cleem Farla. But in August 2002, Farla was diagnosed with a serious illness. Ben Noteboom temporarily stepped into his shoes, and definitively assumed his role on 1 March 2003.

    • As of September, 2011 -- Randstad Holdings merged with Spherion / SFN Group.

Best practices

In order to further standardize Randstad’s services, the company started to apply best practices. ‘You map out the market and enter the results in this database. We've turned these activities into a routine. […] We give it the rhythm and tone, but our staff make their own music,’ says CFO Robert-Jan van de Kraats.

As a result, it is easier to copy services from one market to another. Randstad has specialized in the recognition, recording and implementing of company processes worldwide.

Net profit rises

The new focus on the core activities and clear strategy were successful. In 2003, the net profit was 77.1 million euros, a 36% increase compared to 2002.

More countries

From 2005, Randstad's internationalization was further increased. In India, the company took over EmmayHR and Team4U. This immediately made Randstad the third player on the market. The company also took its first cautious steps in China. Randstad also ventured on the market in Portugal, Hungary, Turkey, Poland and Japan.


On Monday 3 December 2007, Randstad and temporary staffing organization Vedior
Vedior N.V. is an international staffing services company providing flexible labour, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and, thus, contributes more than 60% of its revenue to the social benefits of its employees there. Vedior operates worldwide: almost the whole of Europe, North and South America,...

 announced their merger. Randstad had been eyeing Vedior for some time. The takeover moved both companies up to number two in the world (after Adecco). Moreover, Vedior operated in strategic markets in which Randstad had not made much progress so far, such as Japan and Brazil. There were differences too: Vedior had a decentralized structure, while Randstad was more centrally managed; Randstad concentrated on one strong brand, whereas Vedior juggled 125 brands. Yet the former competitors were ultimately successfully merged to form one and the same company.

50 years Randstad in 2010

In 2010, Randstad celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, marked by the publication of the book ‘Randstad Mensenwerk’ compiled by Professor Fred Emmer, professor emeritus at Leiden University. This book was internally distributed within Randstad under the title 'Working on a dream'.

Asia and the Middle East

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • United Arab Emirates


  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Turnover and profit

  • In 2010, Randstad achieved a turnover of €14.2 billion
  • The net profit in 2010 was €288.5 million

Global distribution of turnover generated by temporary staffing

See above for a description of this business area.
Total in millions of euros, in 2010 | 9,582.1
The Netherlands 20.7%
France 25.4%
Germany 11,1%
Belgium and Luxembourg 10.1%
United Kingdom 1.1%
Iberia 8.4%
Other European countries 6.2%
North America 9.4%
Rest of the world 7.6%

Global distribution of turnover generated by professionals

See above for a description of this business area.
Total in millions of euros, in 2010 | 2,594.7
The Netherlands 13.0%
France 17.1%
Germany 11.9%
Belgium and Luxembourg 2.3%
United Kingdom 18.9%
Iberia 0.1%
Other European countries 1.5%
North America 28.3%
Rest of the world 6.9%

Global distribution of turnover generated by inhouse services

See above for a description of this business area.
Total in millions of euros, in 2010 | 2,002.5
The Netherlands 25.1%
France 9.4%
Germany 17.7%
Belgium and Luxembourg 15.2%
United Kingdom 10.4%
Iberia 2.4%
Other European countries 6.3%
North America 10.9%
Rest of the world 2.6%

Average number of own staff in 2010

The Netherlands 5,250
France 3,900
Germany 2,260
Belgium and Luxembourg 2,090
United Kingdom 2,040
Iberia 1,460
Other European countries 1,560
North America 2,880
Rest of the world 3,730
Corporate 150
| 25,680

Own staff include flex workers working in the Randstad organization.

Number of branches, end 2010

The Netherlands 444
France 807
Germany 303
Belgium and Luxembourg 212
United Kingdom 197
Iberia 218
Other European countries 255
North America 372
Rest of the world 277
| 3,085

Number of inhouse locations, end 2010

At inhouse locations, Randstad works at one location for a specific client.
The Netherlands 289
France 98
Germany 200
Belgium and Luxembourg 162
United Kingdom 92
Iberia 39
Other European countries 61
North America 128
Rest of the world 41
| 1,110

Executive board, composition in 2011

Ben Noteboom 1958 Dutch CEO and chairman of the Executive Board since 2003, member since 2001
Robert-Jan van de Kraats 1960 Dutch CFO and vice chairman of the Executive Board since 2006, member since 2001
Jacques van den Broek 1960 Dutch Member of the Executive Board since 2004
Leo Lindelauf 1951 Dutch Member of the Executive Board since 2001
Greg Netland 1962 American Member of the Executive Board since 2008
Brian Wilkinson 1956 British Member of the Executive Board since 2008

Supervisory Board, composition in 2011

Fritz Fröhlich 1942 German Chairman of the Supervisory Board, member since 2003 current term 2007-2011
Leo van Wijk 1946 Dutch Vice chairman of the Supervisory Board since 2011, member since 2002 current term 2010-2014
Henri Giscard d’Estaing 1956 French Member of the Supervisory Board since 2008 current term 2008-2012
Beverley Hodson 1951 British Member of the Supervisory Board since 2008 current term 2008-2012
Giovanna Kampouri Monnas 1955 Greek Member of the Supervisory Board since 2006 current term 2010-2014
Jaap Winter 1963 Dutch Member of the Supervisory Board since 2011 current term 2011-2015
Rob Zwartendijk 1939 Dutch Member of the Supervisory Board since 1999 current and last term 2008-2012

In March 2011, Frits Goldschmeding
Frits Goldschmeding
Frits Goldschmeding is a Dutch businessman. In 1960 he founded Randstad Holding, an employment agency based in The Netherlands. According to the 2007 annual ranking of the world's wealthiest people compiled and published by Forbes magazine in March 2007, Goldschmeding's personal wealth amounted to...

(1933, Dutch), original founder of Randstad, resigned as vice chairman of the Supervisory Board. His last term ran from 2007 to 2011.
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