Forbes CMO Leadership Talk: Kristin​-​Kelley, Randstad

Kristin Kelley
By Thomas Barta
Last updated: July 13, 2018

In this Forbes interview with Kristin Kelley, CMO of Randstad North America, several key insights into successful CMO leadership were discussed:

  • Adaptability to Change: Randstad’s ability to adapt to the changing world, driven by technological advancements, highlights the importance of a CMO’s role in redefining the future of work.
  • Hiring Criteria: Kelley emphasized that degrees are secondary to passion and practical skills when hiring team members. Degrees still matter, but passion and skills take precedence.
  • Balancing Short-Term and Long-Term Value Creation: The Value Creation Zone concept from “The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader” was discussed, emphasizing the need to align short-term and long-term goals to serve both customers and the C-suite.
  • Digital Transformation: Marketing’s significant contribution to Randstad’s business in the past year was its role in driving the company’s complete transformation to digital, resulting in substantial business growth.
  • Proving Marketing’s Worth: Kelley highlighted the ability to demonstrate high returns on tactical marketing campaigns as a way to prove marketing’s worth to the C-suite.
  • Skills and Personality Mix: Finding the right mix of skills and personalities in the marketing team is crucial, with a focus on core marketing and technology skills. Understanding how team personalities shift with demographic changes is also important.
  • Leadership Changes: Leadership in the digital age has shifted with younger generations entering the workforce, emphasizing work/life harmony, self-empowerment, and project-based growth over formal promotions.
  • Balancing Team Coaching and Performance Management: Real-time pulse surveys, data-aligned KPIs, one-on-one career development plans, and an agile team structure contribute to team coaching and performance management.
  • Defining Leadership Experience: Implementing agile methodologies was a defining leadership experience for Kelley, leading to increased agility, project-based work, and issue resolution.
  • Leadership Inspiration: Kelley’s leadership style is characterized by transparency, a willingness to get involved, and a sense of shared responsibility.
  • Final Leadership Advice: Stay curious and look beyond the resume when evaluating potential team members.

Kristin Kelley’s leadership approach revolves around adaptability, transparency, and a focus on practical skills and passion when building a high-performing marketing team.