Inside Risk: Corey Berghoefer, Randstad U.S.
With an average of 100,000 people put to work each week, Randstad's SVP of risk management shares how he turns risk into opportunity.
By Eric Gilkey
As the third-largest staffing organization in the country, Randstad U.S. puts an average of 100,000 people to work nationwide each week. CLM Fellow Corey Berghoefer explains the most important element to effective risk management, metrics to track, and how he turns risk into opportunity.
Q. How did you come to work in risk management at Randstad?
A. Early out of college, I found myself bouncing around a few different jobs while I looked for that thing that excited me, something for which I had passion. I ended up taking a regional position in risk management for safety and loss control. Within six months, I found myself also handling claims, insurance, and risk analysis. It branched out from there, and as I got more involved and engaged in enterprise risk management, I found myself excited every day and loving what I did. This gave me the ambition to move from a regional risk position to a director and assistant vice president role.
Q. Did you have to learn on the job?
A. Finding something that you’re passionate about makes it so much easier to learn. Even to this day, I’m a sponge for information. Whether it’s coming from my colleagues, peers, or a mentor, I’m constantly absorbing as much knowledge as I can—and that was especially true in those early days.
I’ve been lucky enough to have had several strong mentors throughout my career. One had a very strong claims background; the other a strong risk background. I leveraged those learning opportunities when I got them, all the while putting in extra hours and time off the clock with others in the industry so I could learn as much as possible. Even more critical in those early days—and still to this day—were the educational conferences, seminars, and workshops I attended to enhance and build upon the training and on-the-job experience I was already getting.
Q. Describe a typical day.
A. It’s a constant weaving in and out of every aspect of our business, which in turn creates opportunities for enterprise risk management. By engaging people and helping them succeed at their roles, our department creates opportunity to identify the risks and the challenges for the company, which we can then formalize into enterprise risk management strategies. That goes hand-in-hand with operational and financial strategies.
Q. What’s the most important thing about establishing a risk management program?
A. First and foremost, what I’ve learned is that engagement is the most important thing in risk management. Whether it’s the people on your team or the leaders in your organization, it’s about getting people excited and focused on risk management. Once you do that, you can really start to drive forward with cultural change.
Q. What metrics do you think are important to track?
A. Something we do very strongly in relation to our claims is track our attorneys as part of our litigation management approach. That can be a challenging conversation to have, but it’s really about zeroing in on how many days an attorney has possession of the file, what the legal expenses are, whether their ultimate outcome was based on original projections or assumptions, and where they deviated from their legal budget. Measuring those things aren’t necessarily the answer—the results tell you the biggest story—but those measurements along with the result tell you a lot about where your spend is and who is really performing at the highest level.
On the adjuster side, the biggest metrics that we focus on are the intake, investigation, and plan of action phase of the claim. The timeliness around that and how fast it’s happening along with the completeness and thoroughness of it is important to know. Those are really the areas that we focus on heavily in our metrics and key performance indicators to drive toward the best results.
Q. Have you ever taken a risk and turned it into an opportunity?
A. I think we’re creating opportunity every day because we send thousands of people to work every day across the world and the U.S. These folks are operating forklifts, machinery, and other equipment in manufacturing environments. So, there is risk in what we do every day. Every client we take on has risks for our folks, so we do everything we can to mitigate that because our talent makes us who we are. Risk management is part of our sell to clients; we talk about our claim management practices, our safety programs, and how risk management is an important part of how we do business. In that way, we become their partner.