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Bridging the Generation Gap

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Randstad is a recruiting company which is originally Dutch and started to expand into the U.S. Randstad started to hire new sales agents that were of the younger generation and wanted to find a way that will fit in to their company as most of their sales agents were older. Every new sales agent will be assigned to a partner whom will be their guidance until their business has increased. As per the Chief Executive Stef Witteveen, “This set of approach will make the corporate world more approachable, personal”. The approach has increased productivity by sharing responsibilities/cross training from making sales calls to office interviewing potential workers and handling the paperwork. When it comes to the hiring process, the Human Resource department conducts an extensive interview and has the candidate shadowing a sales agent for half a day. There will also be some questions that’ll be asked to the candidate and human resource will look closely how the candidate will respond to the question using “I” or ‘We”. Randstad are looking for candidates who are team players as they will be teaching from their partners. Randstad’s approach to having mix generations (young and older) as partners is a unique approach and yet has been successful for the company as this increases the company’s clientele.

1. Personnel selection decisions typically are based on the fit for one person for one job. In what way does Randstad’s use of partnership teams alter the typical way one might think about selection decisions? The way that Randstad use of partnership teams to alter the typical way one might think about selection decisions is that their sales agents have to have the clear understanding of the company’s culture. In other words, the candidate has to be team oriented as this is the culture of Randstad and they will be partnered with another employee. During the selection of candidates the candidate is tested by the way they answer the questions, using “I” or “We”. This approach will not be suitable in other types of businesses.

2. What are some personal characteristics that might be viewed positively when staffing a single job, but that might actually be viewed negatively when staffing partnership team? The personal characteristic that might be viewed positively when staffing a single job but may be viewed negatively when staffing partnership teams is that the candidate has to be competitive, goal oriented, an overachiever, have great knowledge of the business, self confident and committed.

3. Randstad deliberately creates variance in age when forming partnership teams. In what ways might younger workers and older workers be in a position to uniquely support each other when working in sales teams? When working in sales teams, both younger and older workers can learn from each other. Younger workers will gain more knowledge when working with older workers due to their experience; they will also be nurture/guide by their older worker. The older workers will also gain some knowledge from the younger workers as the younger workers are familiar with the new age technology and approaches to younger clientele. 4. Other than age, what other types of traits or abilities might one want to see when creating variance in partnership teams? Other types of traits or abilities that might one see when creating variance in partnership teams will be combining different departmental functions in order to achieve the company’s goals, team oriented person, committed and ability to learn through cross training in order to fill any roles or task that the team needs to be supported.

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