Randstad is the global leader in human resources. With almost 40,000 employees, it supports people and organizations in realizing their potential by combining the power of today’s technology with its passion for people.
Industries: Professional Services
Location: The Netherlands
A smart contract platform built with modern distributed technologies, Cypherium enables thousands of blockchain transactions per second while preserving decentralization.
Google Cloud Results
- Supports a creative partnership with a cutting-edge blockchain platform
- Enables load scaling in response to news events and business cycles
- Reduced human error in the vetting process during the test period
Aids possibility of accelerating verification processes
When Frits Goldschmeding founded his staffing firm in 1960, he rode his first worker to his first client on his own bicycle. Since then, Randstad has grown into the world’s largest human resources firm, and is helping to redefine the world of work using technologies including artificial intelligence (read Randstad’s AI principles here) and blockchain. As an enabler of human aspiration through technology, the group also deploys gamification and VR experiences to chart new paths in workplace transformation.
Randstad believes all these innovations provide a unique opportunity to help recruiters connect with and deliver value to both job seekers and employers. Combining technology and its team of passionate HR professionals, the company aims to create an experience that’s inherently more human. It’s part of Randstad’s “ human forward “ philosophy, symbolized by Goldschmeding’s 1960 bike trip. This mission is more relevant than ever as the world’s fast pace of change means that companies need to find the right talent at the right time.
Imagine a global bank needs a project team to respond to regulatory upheaval. Or a healthcare service requires emergency staff after a disease outbreak. Or a multinational needs independent consultants to draft a strategy for weathering global trade conflict. Randstad has come up with the idea to use blockchain to automate bureaucratic tasks, augmenting human capabilities and enabling teams to focus on the critical art and science of matching talent with demand.
To make this a reality, Randstad needs a fast, reliable blockchain that’s powerful and easy to use, and that keeps the personal data of millions of people safe and secure. The company has turned to Google Cloud to host its solution in tandem with Cypherium, a blockchain platform that has become a leader in smart contracts.
“Google Cloud and G Suite already free us from some manual verification tasks, and we plan to use Cypherium’s blockchain to hand off even more,” says Frank van der Bijl, Global Collaboration Manager at Randstad. “This will enable us to invest more time in deep conversations that help us make the best match.”
Shaping the Future of Work with Google Cloud
Randstad understands that blockchain can play a key role in the nuts and bolts of HR allocation, enabling its team to continue pursuing imaginative solutions to achieve its goals. Distributed ledger technology, for example, can verify academic and professional qualifications. It confirms birth date, address, and driver’s licence information. It also enables instant, guaranteed payments via smart contracts, and handles paperwork to bring workers into and out of an organization through onboarding and offboarding.
“Google Compute Engine and the Cypherium blockchain have proven the ideal combination for us. Both can be accessed with a few clicks; there’s no need to worry about building everything ourselves, installing other apps, or maintenance.”Frank van der Bijl,
Global Collaboration Manager, Randstad
Typically, these are manual tasks done by humans. By handing them off to blockchain and ML algorithms, Randstad’s employees can focus on what they’re really good at: using creativity, intuition, and empathy to find the best match between and candidates and jobs to help organizations shine.
Randstad decided on the Cypherium blockchain platform to gain the performance and safety needed for its innovative project: “Choosing the right blockchain platform was a priority for Randstad. We also wanted to make sure it was easy and worth the effort,” says Frank. “Google Compute Engine and the Cypherium blockchain have proven the ideal combination for us. Both can be accessed with a few clicks; there’s no need to worry about building everything ourselves, installing other apps, or maintenance.”
Deploying a consensus mechanism called Hotstuff, the fastest known iteration of Byzantine Fault Tolerance, Cypherium achieves thousands of transactions per second without sacrificing decentralization. It also features instant transaction finality, as well as Java compatibility for its smart contracting language, both of which are widely seen as necessary components of scalable blockchains.
Freedom in Simplicity
For Randstad, the key is simplicity: “On Google Cloud, you don’t need to know how to maintain your service on the cloud. With a few clicks, you can just run it,” says Frank. “And now with a full Cypherium node on Google Cloud, it’s also just a click of a button.”
Developing blockchain-based HR solutions, says Frank, is “incredibly difficult.” And that leaves little time for handling infrastructure or platform maintenance. “It gives us confidence to know that Google Cloud is a leader in fully managed services, so this dimension is all being handled.”
He adds: “It’s all about simplicity, and Google Cloud lets the developers code without having to worry about anything else.”
The partnership with Cypherium and Google Cloud has shown great promise in its initial test period. Randstad currently relies on humans to verify qualifications, a process which can take months. With Cypherium blockchain, Randstad expects to enable instant verification from recognized official sources. It will be able to do this through a system of digital signatures, which allows the presence of data to be handled transparently and authentically, while maintaining the best privacy for Randstad’s clients and employees. Authorities can publish hashes of digital certificates on Cypherium public blockchain. This allows Randstad to verify information such as whether or not a certain employee candidate has a driver’s license without having to collect and store that user’s data. This separation between the presence of data and the sensitive data itself through cryptographic hashing of digital certificates will allow for cross-chain collaboration among different users and enterprises.
“In today’s world, data is the key to serving clients and candidates better. Cloud Auto ML makes it easy to create your own data prediction model. You don’t have to be a data scientist.”Frank van der Bijl,
Global Collaboration Manager, Randstad
Using Google Cloud Auto ML to Serve Clients Better Through Data
For a company like Randstad, which handles billions of HR data points, the very best ML and data analytics solutions are crucial. Randstad uses a host of Google Cloud features in order to create AI-driven features for corporate matchmaking. These include BigQuery, Firebase, and Contact Center AI solutions such as Dialogflow.
One key addition has been AutoML, which makes predictive modeling simple and intuitive: “In today’s world, data is the key to serving clients and candidates better,” says Frank. “Google Cloud Auto ML makes it easy to create your own data prediction model. You don’t have to be a data scientist.”
As Randstad also uses the full range of G Suite Enterprise features, the company is increasingly adopting Sheets for storing data. One key reason? Sheets offers virtually unlimited rows for ML spreadsheets through its data connector for BigQuery. “Using the connector, we can have two billion rows of data, and it executes in just seconds,” says Frank.
Protecting the Privacy of Millions
Because Randstad handles snapshots of millions of people’s working lives, it regards security as paramount. The secure-by-design infrastructure of Google Cloud keeps private information safe, while ensuring that Randstad remains compliant with international data regulations, such as GDPR and ISO requirements.
Meanwhile, Cypherium’s deployment of next-generation consensus protocols, within the Google Cloud framework, gives it robust defenses against hacking. Unlike in previous generations of digital security, the data that the Cypherium blockchain protects can’t be leaked through massive, centralized data breaches. Instead of storing data in clear text on centralized servers, Cypherium keeps data secure by incorporating the Decentralized Identifiers (DID) standard. This helps to assure Randstad that it can avoid vulnerability and liability in a sensitive industry: its users’ information will remain safe no matter their employer or turnover rate.
“We work with resumes that contain an entire personal history,” explains Frank. “So privacy is definitely one of our biggest considerations. A major reason we’ve chosen Google Cloud is due to its security model.”
“There’s a lot of innovation yet to come. It’s definitely much more than a vendor-customer relationship. We really feel that Google Cloud is eager to help us on our journey, walking us through new features and partnering on solutions.”Frank van der Bijl,
Global Collaboration Manager, Randstad
An Infinity of Human Potential
Randstad believes humankind’s potential in the work sphere is unlimited. And it foresees plenty of possibilities to build the future of work with Google Cloud. For the company that launched on a bicycle 60 years ago, Google Cloud is more than just a supplier of cloud solutions; it’s a partner in helping to realize human potential through tech.
“There’s a lot of innovation yet to come,” says Frank. “It’s definitely much more than a vendor-customer relationship. We really feel that Google Cloud is eager to help us on our journey, walking us through new features and partnering on solutions.”
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