Liberating Leadership, Innovation and Creativity

Unlocking The Hidden Secret With Jim Link


Randstad’s Chief Human Resources Officer for North America, Jim Link has his finger of the pulse of the trends shaping how organisations can prepare and redesign their workforce.

His opinions on workplace issues and advocacy for intrapreneurship, are sought out by national and local media, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company and HR Magazine.

Jim believes that the fast pace our workplaces change these days, makes intrapreneurialism central to a companies’ ability to stay relevant. In his video presentation created for the Australian Intrapreneurs Summit, Jim reveals why and how HR needs to focus their organisation’s strategy around intrapreneurialism, building an architecture and culture that nurtures it.

“Intrapreneurialism presents a whole new opportunity for workplaces and companies throughout the world. Many companies are creating an environment and a culture where the intrapreneurial spirit can thrive, even within the hierarchies that exist,” Jim says.

Neglecting to adapt to a more agile work environment will cause some companies to miss out on skilled talent.

“Take a good strong look at intrapreneurialism and think about how you might build it out, reward it and then reap its benefits. An intrapreneur will have the capability and the desire to create something new and something different,” he says.

Jim oversees Randstad’s human capital strategy and manages the company’s human resources initiatives for 125,000 employees. In his role, he has enhanced recruiter efficiency, tripled the number of leadership programs and significantly grown employee participation in professional development programs.

Ranstad pride themselves on matching smart people with great jobs, from executive level to manufacturing. They have over 5500 staff in the North American branch alone and manage a workforce of over 100,000 people every week. Jim’s role with Ranstad has rewarded him with exceptional insight into how a workplace can really thrive.

He understands disruptive trends contributing to the erosion of the traditional workplace and the key leadership traits needed to succeed in the post-digital workplace. He believes the key to unlocking a company’s potential is through identifying, embracing and encouraging the intrapreneurs within.

“An intrapreneur has the ability to see something and figure out a way or a process or a methodology to make it better. They don’t always follow the rules. They are not looking for a normal protocol or normal hierarchy to solve their problems They are willing to work from within to create opportunities, to give birth to new ideas and, in essence, to help the organisation as well,” Jim says.

“The Human Resources team needs to be able to facilitate intrapreneurialism at its finest. And, the best way to build intrapreneurialism, is to look for it.”

“Leaders can look at the best qualities within their employees and encourage these to flourish. Leaders can mentor their intrapreneurs ideas, sponsor their projects and give reward to those who are showing the intrapreneurial spirit.”

“The best thing you can do is to mentor, to coach and lead individuals toward understanding that their ideas toward intrapreneurialism are appreciated and even expected within the organisation,” he says.

Intrapreneurs are notoriously hard to find and to keep, but the combination of innovation and intrapreneurialism, when working together, are an unstoppable force within an organization.

  • According to Jim, the characteristics of an intrapreneur are:
  • An innate sense of curiosity, asks questions, and finds different ways to do things
  • The ability to buck the status quo
  • Looks at an opportunity in a unique way
  • Desires to make change happen and knows how to see it through
  • Focuses on the change process to drive their intra spirit