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The Adecco Group Appoints 48 Young ‘CEOs For One Month’

Posted June 2, 2017

The Adecco Group, a solutions provider, has selected 48 young men and women from the almost 120,000 applicants for this year’s ‘CEO for One Month’ program. The successful candidates will work alongside The Adecco Group country managers in their home countries, learning on the job and gaining a privileged overview of management in a complex, global organization.

The program was created to address lack of work experience, a major barrier for those entering the work force. The one month program gives talented young people unparalleled exposure to top management experience through shadowing The Adecco Group executives in their home countries.

Additionally, the apprentice CEOs join internal operations reviews and meetings with clients, national and international institutions. They learn about the workforce solutions industry and deal with themes ranging from human capital management to talent and leadership development, as well as corporate strategy and the definition of concerted actions to tackle today’s labour market challenges. Participants then have a further opportunity to be selected as ‘Global CEO for One Month’, offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to work alongside Alain Dehaze, The Adecco Group’s global CEO.

DIVERGE spoke to Joyce Russell, president of Adecco USA to find out more:

Where did the idea for this come from? 

Becoming Adecco’s CEO for One Month is the flagship experience of our global Way to Work program, a youth employment initiative designed to prepare the next generation of talent for the workforce by providing opportunities to build their experience. Youth unemployment threatens the future and dreams for millions of young people around the world. Alongside our many internship opportunities and career resources included in the Way to Work program, the one-of-a-kind internship of becoming CEO for One Month enables one outstanding candidate to learn the ins and outs of running a Fortune Global 500 company, while also inspiring Adecco leadership with fresh ideas.

Why is it significant? 

CEO candidates are exposed to business cases and daily challenges they’re unlikely to experience from any other internship, and the opportunity they’ll have to network throughout the month provides a fantastic launchpad to their career.

What do you hope to accomplish from this? 

The CEO for One Month program seeks to inspire the next generation by illustrating how their ideas can shape the future of the workplace. Our leadership also clearly benefits from the program by being connected to the brightest and most creative minds entering the world of work, and we hope to have them decide to join the Adecco team!

How did you select the CEOs ?

In the US alone, we received over 21,000 applications. Candidates were reviewed for academic excellence, asked to provide an “elevator pitch” and submit a creative video highlighting how they embody Adecco’s core values. The top US candidates were invited to participate in one-on-one interviews, and ultimately, six finalists were flown to Jacksonville, Florida, to participate in a “boot camp” of leadership challenges resulting in the selection of Adecco USA’s CEO for One Month. Adecco activated the CEO for One Month initiative in more than 40 other countries. Later this year, the most successful interns will advance towards the chance to be our global CEO for One Month, where one top candidate will earn the opportunity to shadow Alain Dehaze, CEO of The Adecco Group.

What will they get out of this experience? 

Our CEO for One Month will receive unprecedented access to the top levels of our business, paid travel, lodging and meals throughout the month and will be paid a $10,000 salary. The opportunity to learn and connect with our business is the perfect setting to network, and we hope our CEO candidate decides to begin their career with Adecco upon the conclusion of the program.

What role did diversity play in this? 

Diversity is at the heart of Adecco’s core values. We promote equality and inclusivity in the workforce, and our CEO for One Month selection process highlighted candidates who demonstrated global focus and cultural awareness. We were very pleased in the diversity of our applicants, and our top candidates represented a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.

Additional thoughts 

We recently announced that Adecco USA’s 2017 CEO is Sydney Rieckhoff, an outstanding student at Stanford University from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The value of hard work was planted in her at a very young age, working summers on her family farm. When she was just 13 years old, Sydney started a gourmet popcorn business that has since grown into a .5MM dollar company. Now, at the age of 18, her entrepreneurial spirit is stronger than ever, as she studies economics and communications at Stanford. In June, she will work closely with me and other Adecco leadership as she tours the US to learn our business.