Randstad was founded in 1960 by two economics students – one of which wrote their thesis on the then-underexplored topic of temporary workers. The two decided to turn this thesis into practice, founding the company Uitzendbureau Amstelveen in Amsterdam. This name was changed to Randstad Uitzendbureau in 1963 when they opened offices in Leiden and Rotterdam. Over the 1970’s Randstad’s growth was limited by government regulation introduced in response to fears that temporary workers circumvented workplace regulations. Ironically, this included a requirement that temporary workers not be paid more than permanent staff, which served to increase demand for temporary staff. Randstad (and the broader industry) successfully fought these regulations, and the government restrictions on temporary staffing were gradually relaxed during the 1980’s. The changed market environment led to growth which culminated in Randstad being floated on the stock market in 1990. At this time most of their operations were located in the Netherlands, but throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s Randstad concentrated on international expansion through both acquisitions and opening new branches. The strategy was successful, with Randstad now being the second-largest provider in the U.S. market.
Over the 2010’s Randstad have seen consistent year-on-year growth, notwithstanding a slight drop in 2013. This growth broadly matches the overall industry trend, with the largest global staffing company, Adecco, also seeing a similar growth pattern. However, the third largest global provider, Manpower, have seen less-consistent growth over this time and are yet to return their revenue to its 2011 peak. The global staffing industry is expected to continue growing over the short-term, especially in certain parts of Europe and East Asia.