Randstad RiseSmart Tackles the Great Resignation With Coaching
HR services firm Randstad RiseSmart launched a new coaching service in April aimed at helping employees achieve a better work-life balance and boosting employee retention. Called Worklife Coaching, the new service aims to "democratize" access to employer-sponsored coaching with a cloud-based career resources portal.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company was founded in 2007 as an outplacement firm and acquired by Dutch HR services company Randstad in 2015 for $100 million. Rebranded Randstad RiseSmart, the company added additional career development and coaching to its outplacement and redeployment services and now operates as the talent mobility and outplacement division of Randstad.
"For years, organizations have dictated the terms of work to employees, but the tables have turned and employees have the upper hand," said Randstad RiseSmart CEO Dan Davenport in a press release announcement. "We're amid one of the biggest shifts in work in decades. The Great Resignation shows no sign of letting up, and almost half of all employees are looking for a new job or plan to soon."
A 'Tech and Touch' Approach to Coaching
RiseSmart uses what it calls a "tech and touch" approach to coaching that combines human coaches with experts in specialized areas, such as personal branding and career development, and cloud-based career resources.
"We’re marrying our industry-accredited coaches with our field experts in resume writing, personal brand and industry-leading technology platform which has thousands of tests, articles and guides to help employees navigate the world of work in 2022 and beyond,” Davenport said in a subsequent email interview.
The aim of the new service is to deliver expert-led, engaging and inclusive coaching for all employees, Davenport said. According to him, business coaching as it now exists often fails organizations in three ways: firms are obliged to subscribe to packages that are seldom used, the packages are overpriced, and the packages typically are not deployed flexibly.
Worklife Coaching aims to get around these challenges by creating a coaching service that can be driven by employees. Using the platform, employees can self-select a coach rather than have one assigned to them, and schedule the coaching session at a time that works for the employee. The mobile platform can also deliver notifications and reminders to reinforce coaching sessions and allow employees to send prompts to coaches for their next session.
"It is employee-driven and with the assistance of our extensive network of coaches, we can assist a firm that is really devoted to global expansion," Davenport said.
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The Technology Evolution of the Coaching Industry
Technology-enabled coaching has grown rapidly in the last few years. According to industry analyst firm RedThread Research, the vendor database has grown to over 45 vendors who report some sort of coaching functionality. Much of this growth is due to vendors who are adding different functionality, wrote RedThread's Dani Johnson.
Earlier coaching technology focused on streamlining administrative tasks, such as finding and paying coaches, facilitating conversations between coaches and coachees, and matching coaches to coachees. Newer tech includes artificial intelligence, machine delivery of coaching with minimal human interaction, integrations with other aspects of work technology, behavioral nudges, and integration of data to make coaching algorithms better.
For Randstad RiseSmart, the coaching service grew out of conversations with clients in outplacement and career development. One focus area was to improve the employee experience, Davenport said, and be able to deliver coaching that is tailored to the individual. That in turn would help solve the other challenges faced by clients.
"Then, you have the HR team that is now able to affect major business challenges such as retention levels, employee engagement, internal mobility, career development and more,” he said.
Davenport told Reworked that increasing the number of coaches using their platform and improving the quality of the information in their knowledge base are two top priorities. This summer, the company also plans to release a new mobile app to enhance the service's HR and people management capabilities.
In June 2021, Randstad RiseSmart debuted BrightFit, an AI-based solution that evaluates market job data and skills information aimed at helping people going through a career transition find a new career or job with a strong market outlook and skills fit.