Spotlight on Members

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Tell us about yourself, your organisation and your connection with NEEOPA

A corporate NEEOPA member for over 15 years, RiseSmart’s Managing Director APAC, Alison Hernandez is a former NEEOPA President and a current advisor. Alison increased NEEOPA’s membership by close to 30% over her five-year presidency.
To continually engage with and support the association, Peggy Vosloo, Creative Manager APAC also joined NEEOPA’s Executive Committee for two consecutive years until last year and one of our senior coaches is one of the longest tenured NEEOPA executive committee member (Diane Utatao left the executive committee in 2019)


Randstad RiseSmart (RiseSmart) is the innovation leader in contemporary talent mobility solutions, supporting more than 1500 clients globally, from over 40 industry segments in 100 countries. Founded in Silicon Valley in 2007 and acquired by the Randstad Innovation Fund (RIF) in 2015, RiseSmart is now the global talent mobility arm of Randstad, the world’s leading HR services company.


Our talent mobility solutions are all inclusive of the employee’s lifecycle:


  • career development & planning – personalised programs based on proven methodologies to support your people to empower, excel, explore, expand or envisage their future

  • pre-change support – early support interventions to support your people leaders to lead with confidence through change;

  • redeployment – an integrated, full-service solution, complete with coaching, resources, technology and resume support, scoped and customised to meet your unique internal environment

  • career transition/outplacement - results-oriented career transition programs delivering highly personalised services to meet the needs of your transitioning talent

  • executive transition – strategic support which provides executives with a borderless, holistic and future-focused solution


What is your greatest accomplishment in the D&I space?


We pride ourselves of having employees’ health & well-being built in our DNA as a business priority. One of the profound insights COVID-19 has given us is the window into people’s home lives, and the need to bridge the work and family divide, as employers and employees grapple with the future of work.

Under new national standards launched by Parents at Work and UNICEF Australia last month, RiseSmart became one of the first companies in Australia to be certified as a Family Friendly Workplace (FFW) last month. We are the only career mobility and outplacement firm to receive certification as a family friendly workplace, demonstrating our commitment to ongoing implementation, measurement and management that will embed a sustainable family-inclusive workplace culture now, and into the future.

“As a working parent for the past 18 years, I have experienced first-hand that ‘the juggle’ is real. I am now at the life stage where focus shifts to elder care and navigating support from afar for parents in the UK. Fortunately I have had the benefit of working in a supportive and inclusive culture at Randstad RiseSmart which has enabled me to pursue my career ambitions whilst also accessing the flexibility I need to make it work. As the leader of a fast-growing career mobility business across Asia Pacific with a team of over 300, I am committed to supporting our people to not only bring their best self to work, but to bring their best self to their family and significant others. The lines between work and family continue to converge, each impacting the other. Our focus in creating a family friendly environment also extends to our program participants and we apply a holistic work/life framework that
helps them to shape their future and secure their new beginning.”

Alison Hernandez, Randstad RiseSmart Managing Director

APAC and Family Friendly Workplaces Ambassador


As a FFW Ambassador and Advisory Board Member, Alison Hernandez uses her reputation as a leader in the industry to create transformational change for RiseSmart families and for other workplaces by influencing the business community. We are extremely proud to be part of this world-first initiative and to be leading the industry towards a more family inclusive culture.


“We wanted to lead the way and be an early adopter of the Family Friendly Workplaces initiative (FFW) for many reasons. Firstly, to support our own team and create a culture where working families and carers are supported to combine their work and family life commitments,” said Alison Hernandez, managing director, APAC at Randstad RiseSmart and FFW Ambassador. “We also partner with hundreds of companies to provide career mobility solutions for their employees as they move into, within and out of their organisations. We have long encouraged individuals in career transition to holistically consider all areas of their life – including family and caring commitments. These standards set the bar.”


One of RiseSmart’s key differentiators (the ‘R factor’) in our strategic plan on a page is our commitment to diversity and inclusion - our focus being on applying the ‘D&I lens’ to all business decisions. This is our way of making sure everyone gets to do their life’s best work and provide the best support as participants create their new beginning.


Our diversity and inclusion expertise in career transition includes:


  • mental health first aid – conducting well-being check at the initial participant engagement touch point and providing continuous mental health support. RiseSmart is the only provider in the HR services industry to be recognised as a Gold Skilled Workplace for our commitment to developing mental health first aid skills in our people and embedding the program into our organisation’s culture.

  • mature age support – pioneering mature age transition solutions since 2004 and widely recognised as the industry leader in ageing workforce management, providing high-impact programs for managing a multi-generational workforce and building an age inclusive culture

  • parental leave transition – supporting everyone before, during and after parental leave to meet the competing demands of family, career, and well-being.


What changes would you like to see in the D&I space in the next year?

The Covid pandemic turned the spotlight on productive work/family integration and its mental health challenges – which brought many to reconsider career paths. More organisations experienced changes like redundancies recently and all organisations experience retirement and leadership change. Progressive organisations have diversity and inclusion policies which underpin their approach to attraction, recruitment and training. But what happens when you apply the diversity and inclusion lens to how employees exit the organisation or significantly change their role? How can you adapt to all ages and stages and how will it benefit the bottom line?
Most employees experience significant transitions in their working lives. Making sure company values and DI commitment are upheld not only during the employee’s career within the organisation but at the point of exit would be a step in the right direction.

By prioritising internal talent mobility, exploring redeployment options and reskilling/upskilling solutions, organisations have a better chance to future-proof their workforce and retain the diversity they worked hard to recruit in the first place.


Anything else you would like to add/ anything interesting you would like to share?

We like to say that we apply our own oxygen mask before helping others. This is why we use our own flagship holistic framework (Envisage ® ) with our people. The framework addresses key areas such as identity, money, career, health & well-being, and relationships. When people are at work, they bring more than their career aspirations with them - everyone has a family regardless of how it’s defined and the caring responsibilities this may entail; employees may have side hustles or sport commitments they prioritise outside work. Envisage supports individuals at all ages, life stages and levels of the organisation to plan for the future.

By taking a ‘whole of person’ approach - including the intersectionality of our team members - we aim to create an inclusive culture and foster a sense of belonging.

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