Randstad Professionals Japan: Leadership Series 3 of 3 (Trusting Your Employees to Deliver)

 This is third and final post in the Randstad Leadership Series and it was great to get Cameron’s insight into how they have adapted and stayed ahead of the curve during these challenging times. Follow the Randstad Professionals story and stay tuned for more thought leadership content on the Randstad Professionals page on the Motionworks Careers site. 

Coffee for Closers (Episode 20):  Cameron Brett, Managing Director of Randstad Professionals Japan talks about “Trusting Your Employees to Deliver”

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For more information about Randstad Professionals Japan, please visit their website here:https://www.randstad.co.jp/professionals/


(Brad)  Hi, this is Brad and welcome to another episode of Coffee for Closers. My guest today is Cameron Brett, Managing Director of Randstad Professionals Japan. Cameron, thanks for joining us again.


(Cameron)  Thanks for having me Brad.  So, I mentioned in our last call a couple things that were quite unique that I thought about Randstad.  One of them was our mission to be one of the most loved recruitment companies in Japan and in order to do that we put the success and happiness of our employees at the heart of everything we do. And what I think has helped us through this crisis and through all the changes and transformations we’ve had to undergo as an organization in a very short period of time is maintaining a focus on those points.

And so this is how we were able to come up with the idea of VBR (Valid Business Reason) and how we are actually creating value for our clients because our aim is to be the most loved recruitment company.  And in order to maintain that emotional connection with our clients, we need to maintain contact with them and we need to be adding value even when they are not hiring. 

The reason Randstad was able to shift very quickly to a work from home environment not only because we already had the operational and technical infrastructure in place, the working rules and so on, it’s because we had a culture of trust.

And so we shifted to work from home. Of course, the business was impacted but it wasn’t impacted because people weren’t doing what they were supposed to do because they were at home. 

And I don’t think most companies actually felt that but I think there is a fear in many companies that that would happen so they implemented a bunch of checks and balances to make sure that people were doing what they were supposed to do and so on.

At Randstad, we already had a culture of trust.  People were used to working from home on a semi-regular basis, some people on a regular basis, and so it was a really smooth transition.

So my learning through all this is having a very clear culture, a clear vision, and being able to stick to that during a challenging time will help you move through any kind of crisis. And the other side of that is without it, you really will struggle in a time of crisis.

(Brad) Definitely, that key word you mentioned, “trust”and trusting your clients and also trusting your employees more importantly is a great thing to have.

(Cameron) It’s interesting because we talked when the whole world shifted to work from home and it was almost like flicking a switch, every company had to make this transition, there were all these articles written about the mechanics of it (how to have the infrastructure in place or the kind of rules involved or the best ways to run an online meeting) and so on.  But what I think was a little bit ignored in a lot of the thought leadership that was coming out was, trust. Anf that is the most important part of working from home.

You have to trust that the people know what they need to do and that they are motivated to do it.

So whether your or not your’re in the same room or not, they’re going to be doing what they need to do.

It sounds so simple but it is really difficult. And it’s difficult for a leader to suddenly start doing that.

So it’s something that you need to have as part of your culture and then the shift happens naturally.

And in that sense there was no shift, it was just having to get used to having conversations like this as opposed to face to face. And I’m old-fashoned.  I love being in the office and I feed off that energy, but it’s not that I don’t trust people.  It’s just that I like being around people, it’s part of my personality.  But there are other people that felt that through this whole experience that they may not return to 5 days in the office work week. 

And these were people that were “9 to 6” kind of people before COVID, but when they tried it worked better than they thought and they were like “I don’t really need to come to the office everyday.” So this is going to transform our way of operating at Randstad in a positive way. 

(Brad)  Thanks again for joining us. Again, this is Brad from Coffee for Closers. And again, thanks Cameron for joining us.  Stay tuned for more great content and we’ll definitely be following up with Cameron and Randstad Professionals Japan in the future. Cameron, thanks again.


(Cameron)  Thank you very much.