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Breaking business barriers

Randstad Student Support believes that disability should never be a barrier to further education.

Since 2002, its specialist staff have helped over 17,000 students achieve their academic potential.

The Challenge

But even though the number of students with disabilities has doubled in recent years, the company’s growth had not been as dramatic as they’d hoped. They suspected there was an untapped opportunity in the market – they wanted to find it, and develop new services to fill it.

Our approach

What followed was a far-reaching research project designed to determine the goals of the universities buying Randstad’s services, identify gaps in the market and discover barriers to adopting new services.

First the barriers. Student disability managers have a difficult job. The student is by far the most important factor in any decision and so they view outsourcing with understandable trepidation. They rely heavily on recommendation and word-of-mouth and are wary of how suppliers to the sector position themselves.

As part of the research exercise, it also became clear that Randstad had a major opportunity to add a new service to its portfolio. At the time, they were offering purely operational services such as recruitment and payroll. But universities were also open to outsourcing pastoral services, like student care, if the right partner could be found. The key would be how Randstad positioned that service – they would need not just to focus on their capabilities and resources, but, more importantly, how they would make a positive impact on each student’s life.

The outcome

The end goal of the whole project was to improve Randstad’s business performance.

With Savanta’s findings in hand, Randstad has rebranded with a softer, more student-led approach. They’ve also changed the way they talk about the services they offer – making sure that student welfare is at the heart of everything they do.

Last but not least, they have refocused their offering around a new portfolio of pastoral services. And the results have been striking: market share is up 77%, clients are up by 56% and the new services now represent half of Randstad’s income.

…it became clear that Randstad had a major opportunity to add a new service to its portfolio.