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SVP and Chief Innovation Officer - Kelly Services
Rolf E. Kleiner is SVP and Chief Innovation Officer at Kelly Services. A veteran outsourcing professional, Mr. Kleiner is responsible for creating a new foundation of workforce solutions for the evolving workplace. Named to his current position in 2012, Mr. Kleiner previously served as SVP and General Manager of KellyOCG.
From 2001 to 2008, Mr. Kleiner was SVP and General Manager of Kelly’s International Division. He also served as SVP for the Science and Healthcare Group of Kelly Services.
Mr. Kleiner joined Kelly in 1995 and launched the Kelly Scientific Resources® business unit. This represented the first introduction of dedicated scientific staffing into traditional staffing services. Today, Kelly Scientific Resources employs more than 400 clinical research professionals and 4,500 scientists throughout more than 100 locations in North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.
Prior to joining Kelly, Mr. Kleiner had 19 years of experience in providing innovative products and services to the scientific community. He was one of seven principles that pioneered the concept of providing temporary scientific professionals through the launch of Lab Support, Inc. in 1986. Mr. Kleiner holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in natural sciences from the Department of Natural Sciences’ Water Resources and Water Pollution Control Department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland.
Engaging external resources to tap into existing expertise and innovation is not just about operating leaner. Productivity has been a driver of outsourcing for some time, but it’s not the only one. Being able to inject new thinking, to help shift old paradigms and ways of working—and do so quickly—is also an advantage HR outsourcing can provide.
Half of what college graduates today are studying will be obsolete by the time they graduate. The top 10 jobs a decade from now don’t even exist yet. What this means for business is that if current college students are not learning what you will need them to know in 3 or 5 years time (i.e when you hire them), what of your current practices, processes and ways of working?
This is not to devalue experience and history, particularly when it’s possible that up to 90% of company knowledge is inside employees’ heads. It’s true that existing talent helps maintain established processes and objectives, but the biggest challenges and opportunities ahead are ones we don’t even understand yet, let alone have the skills or talent pools to overcome. When they do arise, the challenge of retraining, redirecting and retooling existing staff will be immense. And as that challenge is overcome, another will be hot on its heels. That is why managing talent successfully is a balancing act between retaining the right people, ideas and processes, and accessing new ones as and when they’re needed.
To be among the 30% of business that don’t waste their investment in strategy development, and which go on to execute their ideas, getting that balance right in an increasingly competitive landscape could well be the key to business sustainability.