As one of the world’s leading workforce recruitment agencies, The Adecco Group connects millions of people with career opportunities. Speed is critical. Which is why the company is transforming traditional recruitment processes, with digital contracts.

Carlos Estrada, Head of Legal, Compliance & Special Projects, APAC, shares his experience of The Adecco Group’s journey to modernise its agreement processes, including the timely introduction of eSignatures on contracts.

Why do you think now is the time for your industry to change?

As a business, we’re unafraid of pushing boundaries and want to transform the world of work through talent and technology.

We also realised that transformation needs to start with us, and as an industry, we’ve been preparing and managing all types of agreements in the same way for the last twenty years. It’s a highly manual way of working which no longer appeals to our digitally savvy clients and candidates.

What were the main drivers for your business to modernise the agreement process?

In Asia Pacific alone, we process thousands of agreements each week; mainly employment agreements with candidates, and service agreements with clients for permanent placement, temporary staffing and business process outsourcing services.

In the past, the process of getting agreements prepared was almost entirely manual. We would waste time and resources on printing, scanning and shuffling agreements between three or four internal approvers before they were even sent out the door. We also held paper-based contracts for seven years, and as you can imagine – the storage costs had become unacceptable.

We wanted to eliminate these inefficiencies, as well as the frustration for employees and clients. So, when we saw our clients using DocuSign, it was an easy decision to get behind it.

How are you using DocuSign today?

We’re using DocuSign not only as an electronic signature solution, but also as a way to modernise our business and accelerate our entire agreement process. Currently, we’re in the middle of a staged roll-out of DocuSign’s System of Agreement platform in our Asia Pacific region. Our goal is to have 70% of contracts prepared, executed and managed on the platform by the end of this year, and 90% by 2020.

So far, we’ve had the most progress in Taiwan, where contract managers are already using DocuSign to prepare agreements, send to internal stakeholders for review and approval, then on to customers or clients to be signed electronically, using a laptop or mobile phone.

What has been the impact on your service and efficiency?

Digitising these processes has improved the contract experience for everyone; so much in fact, that we’re outperforming all client and candidate expectations in terms of contract turnaround times.

The accelerated pace of business has been especially valuable when it comes to executing short term contracts. Not only are we able to complete the process in just a few hours, the candidates genuinely enjoy the convenience of signing agreements electronically. It’s a huge advancement from where we were only 12 months ago.

How have employees reacted to the new processes?

We’ve had really strong support from both managers and employees. Basically, once they realise the process is faster with DocuSign, and that it’s not just another legal tool, but a way to help them to do their job better, they’re quick to adopt it.

What is The Adecco Group’s vision for the future?

Speed remains critical as we compete to deliver service excellence to our clients, and to fill urgent temp positions. That’s why we’re continuing to roll-out DocuSign as both an electronic signature and contract management solution; it allows us to stay at the forefront of our industry and put people into the right roles, faster.

Longer term, I can see this process evolving to a point where AI can help us prepare our contracts and make every client or candidate interaction highly individualised.


Read our whitepaper, The Rise of Modern Systems of Agreements, to learn how a digitised processes could benefit your business.

Read the System of Agreement Whitepaper