Deploying technology in the staffing industry

As Kelly Services helps to connect people to companies, Alexandre Kozlov explains how the company embarked on its digital transformation journey.

Person working at a laptop.

Celebrating 76 years in business, Kelly Services is a global recruitment company on a mission to connect people to jobs that enhance their lives. Over the past two years, the COVID19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across most businesses, which has meant the creation of new revenue streams and business operating models. Enabled by technology, these have the ultimate goal of transforming both the customers' experience and the operating model. But many companies have been so focused on the word digital that sometimes they, in fact, forget the key word: transformation. Alexandre Kozlov, Head of International IT at Kelly Services, talked to us about how he joined Kelly Services with a mandate to develop and execute a new IT strategy that would enable future business operating models and support business growth. “When the company hired me, I was tasked with putting out some fires around key applications. But I quickly realised that it was not about a particular application, it was more about the business/IT alignment and overall fit between the strategy and portfolio. It was clear to me that the old IT operation model and portfolio was not fit for purpose for the long-term business strategy and objectives,” he said.

People used to insist on having everything in-house and close to their chest, explained Kozlov. Over time, as technology and the IT industry have matured, people are realising that this approach is not really serving the business in the long term. According to Kozlov, there is not much added value to custom develop or heavily customise acquired applications as both market and business demand are changing rapidly. He explained that Kelly’s application portfolio built on cloud and APIs allows to experiment and quickly implement new solutions. If a company sticks to standard functionality of applications, it is much easier to replace the module A with the module A 2.0 or module B from another vendor.

“Right from the start, I paid particular attention to building partnerships with our strategic vendors, which paid off during the implementations.”

Alexandre Kozlov Head of International IT at Kelly Services