I had the opportunity to spend the day earlier this week with Randstad Sourceright, best known as the recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed services program (MSP) arm of staffing firm Randstad. If you’re not familiar, RPO focuses on services that let organizations outsource all or part of their recruiting process, letting them either replace or augment their staffing function either across the organization or for particular roles, geographies or portions of the candidate pipeline. MSP solutions are about temporary staff augmentation and contingent labor solutions that help organizations manage cost, availability and business variability. But the most important thing Randstad Sourceright wants you to know about them is, you can forget about what those acronyms mean and just remember their acronym, RSR.

RSR’s forward-looking focus is all about what they call the Human Intelligence Advantage. Through their expertise in understanding the available talent in the marketplace and matching that talent with jobs, tasks, and organizations, they want to be viewed as a provider of “getting work done” as opposed to individual services. Clients shouldn’t have to worry about the alphabet soup of hiring and employment options, they should be able to come to RSR for an integrated solution to their hiring and workforce needs. The message from executives was clear that RSR wants to “shape the world of work” as Rebecca Henderson, chairman, GRT put it, and help organizations take advantage of new paradigms and how employees relate to employers, and new generations of workers relate to work.

As part of this strategy, they recently acquired RiseSmart, an innovative outplacement company that utilizes technology to personalize the outplacement process, making it both more effective for the employee and more cost-effective for the employer. As Sanjay Sathé, RiseSmart founder and CEO said, the RiseSmart difference is the “difference between teaching someone to look for work versus getting them a job”. The acquisition completes the lifecycle, giving RSR capabilities to help organizations find talent, deploy it throughout the organization as contingent or full-time labor, and then also help transition employees out of the organization. And of course with the ability to connect jobseekers with employers gives the combined RSR/RiseSmart some unique opportunities. The acquisition is still quite new, but the possibilities are intriguing. The organization is continuing to explore other avenues of innovation through its $50 million innovation fund that has thus far invested in nine other emerging technology providers exploring new technologies and new ways of finding, engaging and deploying workers.

This was my first opportunity to spend much time with the RSR team and I walked away with the impression of a team that is full of smart, thoughtful individuals who are committed to innovation and who appreciate the impact they have on organizations and people that work within them. Through their technology, processes, and global reach they do have incredible data to mine to give them workforce intelligence, and their scope and scale in addition to this insight certainly present an advantage to their clients. But they haven’t forgotten the human. As the world of work continues to change, companies like RSR may someday be the main relationship in an employee’s life, providing them with access to work opportunities and employers, and RSR understands the value as well as the responsibility of owning that relationship. They need to focus on candidate and “employee” engagement as much as any full-time employer. If they can tackle that challenge, they truly do have a shot at reshaping the world of work.

Throughout the year Aptitude Research will continue to explore the changing world of work, and it will be intriguing to see how RSR, as well as other proprietors traditionally competing in the RPO and MSP spaces, take advantage of these changes by using technology as well as process expertise and relationship skill to give their client organizations a competitive advantage through human intelligence.