“This acquisition makes it possible to reach a critical volume in temporary digital work.”

By Philip Guerrier | The | temporary

“By acquiring Side, the Randstad Group wanted to strengthen its position in the temporary digital job market,” said Christophe Montagnion, chief digital officer of Randstad France.

Christophe Montagnon, Randstad France Group Digital Director – © DR

The digital transition period is gaining momentum and the giants of the sector are taking a stand. After Adecco’s acquisition of Qapa, Here is the side that lies in the lap of Randstad.

Created in 2015 by a quartet of entrepreneurs (David Benkazen, Gaspard Schmidt, Pierre Mugnier and Hugo Michalski), Side has become an online recruitment specialist connecting over 2,000 employers and 300,000 candidates. It mainly operates in the logistics, trade and services sectors.

“We have identified Side as a major player in our competitive field. In May 2021, we directly started discussions for the acquisition. This offshore growth process was completed on May 12th”explain Christophe Montaignon, Chief Digital Officer of Randstad France, in an interview.

During the self-development phase, the startup raised €6.3 million in 2016-2017 and changed its model in 2019.

Behind Franck Ribeaut (Chairman of Randstad France) left to right: Pierre Mognier (side), Christophe Montagnon (CDO, Randstad France) and David Benzaquin (side) - © Rémy Barthas
Behind Franck Ribeaut (Chairman of Randstad France) left to right: Pierre Mognier (side), Christophe Montagnon (CDO, Randstad France) and David Benzaquin (side) – © Rémy Barthas

(Extracts from an interview aired on News Tank RH on May 18, 2022)

Since 2016, Randstad has been running its own temporary digital channel: Randstad Direct. What are your new ambitions for temporary digital transformation with Side?

We wanted to strengthen our position in the temporary digital marketplace. The acquisition of Side allows us to acquire the best products and thus reach a critical size in this highly competitive digital recruitment market.

The group aims to make “Side by Randstad” the leading platform in this market.

The technology developed by Side is unique because it is powerful, smooth and elegant at the same time. It offers users an unparalleled experience. These assets are valuable, both for attracting and retaining talent, but also, in business terms, for simplifying the recruitment process and related administrative management.

What synergies will you create?

The acquisition of the side staffing platform is fully in line with Randstad’s “Tech and Touch” strategy, which is to put the best technology at the service of people. It is the right combination of the two that creates added value for our clients as well as for our talents.

Experts from Randstad Direct and Side share their experience. Today, Side teams consist of about sixty employees. It should grow by about forty people over the next few months.

What experience have you had with Randstad Direct?

We started Randstad Direct in 2016 with one goal: to give our VSE-SME clients access to our pool of candidates via a website.

We then expanded our offer with a catalog of services aimed at large companies and most of all refocusing on the most attractive sectors for digital recruitment: commerce and services.

Today, Randstad Direct’s offering also covers the logistics, retail, events, hotel and restaurant, industrial and service sectors.

How is the physical branch networking approach distinguished from the digital approach?

The ways of working differ because the goals, their expectations, and their issues are different.

We offer an offer that ranges from a hosted agency (ie we are physically located on our client premises with Randstad Inhouse) to a fully digital offering with Randstad Direct and now Side.

Our clients and talents have the possibility to choose what works best for them. Today we cover the entire experience chain. These different networks are not competition but complementary to each other.

Has the emergence of digital led to the reorganization of agencies deployed in the region?

We have more than 900 agencies and offices across the territory and we continue to strengthen this network. We have the desire to provide the highest level user experience in agencies, such as the Internet.

Randstad examines the startup ecosystem, including in France

Through the Innovation Fund, Randstad has made around two dozen investments in startups around the world. In France, after the capture of Side, minority stakes were taken in:

• safe box (electronic archive),
Illuin . Technology who helped develop Randy’s chatbot run by Randstad.

“Working with startups waters our value chain and allows us to understand changes in our environment very early on.”Christoph Montagnon recalls.

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