Placing talent, deploying technology: Adecco’s success with the DocuSign Agreement Cloud
While every industry has its own specific digital transformation challenges, those facing the Human Resources sector are particularly acute.
That’s because of a number of factors: traditional players are finding themselves competing against more agile start-ups; disruptive technology platforms are taking many employment activities online; but most importantly, people are now working differently — freelancing, working part-time, zero-hours contracting, remote working and with an increasing emphasis on quality of life and work/life balance.
That’s a challenging landscape for every company in the sector, but especially the big players. One of the world’s largest multinational human resource solutions companies, The Adecco Group, is using technology to change itself for the better, by placing candidates faster and adapting to new business models demanded by its clients: in short, technology is making The Adecco Group’s clients happier.
One way this market-leader is making a difference is through the way it manages the transactions at the heart of the business. Every day, Adecco enters into many thousands of agreements: contracts of employment, temporary staffing arrangements, permanent placement, business process outsourcing contracts, the list goes on.
Historically, that involved a paper trail that was a cost drain, both in terms of time, but also the company’s rigorous internal compliance practices meant that every agreement had to be filed and kept for up to seven years.
We spoke to Carlos Estrada, The Adecco Group‘s General Counsel for Asia Pacific, about the company’s new approach to agreement management. He spoke about how today, contracts of employment cover terms from just a few hours to many years in duration and how important are the twin aims of a speedy turnaround in getting agreements finalized and remaining legally compliant among APAC’s regulatory complexities. He’d been instrumental in rolling out DocuSign eSignature as part of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, initially in Adecco Singapore, but now in seven countries in the region.
Carlos said: “Before DocuSign, getting agreements prepared and signed was possible, of course, but it took a lot longer and costed more.” That’s because, with many types of contracts or agreements, there are multiple sign-off points: legal, finance, and various other business units, too. “We don’t need to use email or other types of approval gathering — voice call, manual signature — and we don’t need to chase. DocuSign chases for you.”
He was referring to how companies are using the DocuSign Agreement Cloud to manage even complex cross-departmental agreements that need input from multiple parties. Rather than manually coordinating signatories or amendments, the platform does the manual work, all from a single point of control.
Carlos told us about the work The Adecco Group is doing with the world-famous Cirque du Soleil, placing talent quickly and in a compliant manner: as the General Counsel for the APAC region, that latter feature is of paramount interest for him specifically. Because every company is now ultimately responsible for its own data (even when outsourcing or using extensive supply chains), organizations that can prove rock-solid data governance processes are winning business over their less well-organized competition. Adecco’s annual compliance audits with regards to agreement data (and the confidential information that makes up a significant part of these) are significantly quicker and easier with DocuSign.
But the agreement management solution chosen by The Adecco Group isn’t one that’s imposed “from above” by management layers, and either resented by staff (at best) or not used at all by employees in their everyday working lives — all too often a feature of new technology roll-outs.
On the contrary, the DocuSign Agreement platform has a staggering 98 percent average adoption rate across users in the seven countries in APAC in which Adecco has deployed it. In the year to date, around 50,000 agreements have been completed digitally, saving the company significant costs, and providing a much faster and more compliant service to its many clients.
It’s a platform that has found widespread use across The Adecco Group’s offices in the region, and much of those adoption rates are down to word-of-mouth recommendation from one individual staff member to another. This is a solution that benefits management and the business, but one that staff actively enjoy using, and both parties see the benefits. But, at the end of the day, it’s Adecco’s clients and candidates that are getting a better service: isn’t that what it’s all about?