Chapter 1

Transforming business models to meet evolving needs

Joining the company in 2018, Kozlov’s objective was to differentiate Kelly Services from the competition with a unique user experience for candidates, clients, and employees, delivering solutions that enable and support standardised processes, and rationalise a portfolio of local solutions around the globe. Shortly after joining the company, Kozlov conducted research in one of Kelly’s key markets on the activities and tasks performed by recruiters. It turned out that recruiters were spending more than 60% of their time in Outlook. That is, rather than searching for candidates and talking to them,

recruiters were busy typing emails and managing their inboxes and calendars. This spurred Kelly Services to start its transformation journey. In response to its findings, the company came up with a series of business modelling workshops, with the objective to design a future operating model that should be in place in three years. It took the company 18 months to complete the whole programme – from the first modelling workshop until the last go-live in the 15th country. When COVID pandemic hit, it was right in the middle of the implementation.

“Today, your network is the internet – it's global. People tend to work from their home, PCs, private laptops or even mobile phones. This means that IT organisations need to tackle all those devices. It becomes very dynamic, very complex, but I would also say, at the same time, very exciting because you have so many new opportunities, new ways of doing things, new things, and new ways of working that it's amazing,” said Kozlov.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, business processes needed to be changed quickly, along with the IT solutions that were supporting those processes.
“There was a big emphasis on cloudbased solutions, but our approach was not to put all our bets on the cloud. We say we don't go cloud first, we go cloud smart – in other words, considering where a cloud solution would really make sense and would benefit the business side. Unfortunately, I very often hear that my IT colleagues from other companies are still looking at the cloud as a costcutting opportunity. But, in my view, this is fundamentally wrong. Of course, it's good to cut costs, but you should really explore the cloud to deliver new features and new capabilities to the business, and not always just to simply save,” explains Kozlov.

According to a report by BCG, companies can save around 15-40% on infrastructure costs by migrating to the cloud. For some companies, the savings can be even greater. With these statistics in mind, it’s no surprise that Gartner’s research found 95% of data workloads will be hosted in the cloud by 2025, up from 30% in 2021. It also predicts that over 95% of businesses will use cloud computing by 2025.

"We continue looking at the opportunities where we can deliver new services to our candidates and clients"

Alexandre Kozlov Head of International IT at Kelly Services

Touching on the importance of technology, Kozlov discussed how, without technology, businesses probably could not operate. We are no longer in the era where CVs are sent via post, today it is all automated.

“Today, you even have companies where video interviews are conducted with robots, not a person, especially at the beginning of the hiring process. Something that is not so visible to the external world is that we have quite a big explosion of various analytics stores. We utilise these at the backend when we analyse our candidate database when we look for the best match between a job offer and existing candidates. We also try to forecast how the market will go, in what direction, the kind of job roles and opportunities in a given sector, and then try to prepare it on our side. Without technology, you cannot do this.”

As the technology proliferation in all industries grows, there’s also an increasing demand for employees with IT skills. Looking back to just a couple of decades ago, according to Kozlov, literacy was the absolute ‘must’ to be employed, but today companies are looking for IT-savvy professionals for non-IT functions, such as Marketing or HR.

Alexandre Kozlov

Title: Head of International IT
Industry: Staffing and recruiting
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

Alexandre Kozlov has 20 years of broad senior IT leadership experience in leading international IT organisations in Fortune 500 companies. He has worked in multiple industries and is viewed as both business and IT leader. Kozlov created and successfully delivered businessfocused IT strategies that transformed overall business operating models and facilitated growth and innovation. He has initiated and led several successful global digital transformation and business/IT re-alignment programs. Kozlov was instrumental in building new enterprise IT organisations and successfully completed several multibillion M&A integrations and divestment programs. At Kelly Services Kozlov leads a global IT organisation which serves its international arm of business.