History of Recruitment
18 February 2013

Where are we going?


The modern day recruitment industry can trace its roots back to the 1940s and WWII. A significant proportion of the population were enlisted in active duty resulting in a void within the work sector. This led to the creation of several recruitment agencies who began to advertise these vacancies amongst the remaining populace. Furthermore the end of the war resulted in an influx of new workers, many of whom had practical skills that were sorely lacking in the employment market. This led to increase in the popularity of recruitment agencies and the continued growth of the economy marked a shift whereby recruitment agencies started catering for the employer rather than the unemployed. The modern day recruitment industry then is as varied as it ever was; from specialist boutique headhunters to large mutli-disciplinary recruitment behemoths.


There is no doubt that the recession took its toll on the recruitment sector, however latest trends has shown that the industry has bounced back and is expected to be worth a peak vale of over £30 billion by 2014/2015. The industry has constantly shown that it is able to reinvigorate itself and come back stronger however there are still many challenges that lie ahead.


The Eurozone unrest has led to increased turmoil in the employment sector with many companies choosing to lay off staff and source staff internally to keep costs down. In addition the rise of professional online media such as Linkedin and Monster places millions of potential candidates just a click away from the employer; candidates that would previously have been contained on the hallowed databases of the recruiter. On the face of it the future for the recruitment industry looks bleak.


However it turns out that far from competing with the recruitment industry, the rise of online media is very much aiding the headhunters and recruiters. An employer using a job board or Linkedin in itself does not guarantee a satisfactory hire. They have to first set out a job description and decide where to advertise and then they would have to sift through all the resulting applications, the majority of which won’t be upto standard. This is a time intensive process.


On the contrary using a recruitment agency tends to save the client money. Recruiters already have a well established network of candidates and if they specialize in a certain field they will know exactly where to go to find your ideal candidate. In addition recruitment agencies tend to only charge a service fee upon placing an individual successfully, irrespective of the time spent on the assignment. There are advantages for candidates to as going through a recruitment agency means that they don’t have to waste time getting their name out to employers. CIPD figures show that 72% of vacancies do not enter the public domain; recruiters will almost certainly have access to clients that do not post vacancies on job boards.


The recruitment industry has shown itself to be resilient in the past. The eventual upturn in the economy and the rate at which the recruitment sector is adapting to modern tools means the future is very promising indeed.