Today recruitment is a global industry worth €345,000 billion*. Reflecting over the past 70 years it is clear why the industry is so successful, through continually adapting and transforming to meet new market needs and to make use of the latest technology, the industry has demonstrated its resistance and the reason why it is a force to be reckoned with.
1940s – The birth of recruitment agencies
With two world wars, recruiters were needed to fill the void in the work-place left by those going to war.
1950s – The rise of resumes
CVs became a regular occurrence with employers requiring to see the experience, qualifications and achievements of their applicants.
1970s – The start of advertising
Bulletin boards were the main tool recruiters had at their disposal, which eventually led to newspaper advertising. Prior to this word-of-mouth was solely relied upon to help increase applications.Through this method more applications were made, which led to better qualified people being employed in a reduced time. However, with more applications employers had more CVs to sift through, resulting in more and more clients outsourcing their recruitment processes to local agencies.
1980s – The development of technology
From the 1980s onwards the recruitment process was changed forever with the arrival of the internet in 1989. This opened up many doors for both employees and employers. Employees can now find and apply for jobs at a much quicker rate, whilst employers can attract and find suitable candidates in a less time consuming way.
Furthermore, the first applicant tracking system (ATS) and electronic candidate databases were introduced. ATS handles job postings, applicants, resumes and interviews by logging all of the information onto a secure database. This allows recruiters to sift through information quickly and easily, enhancing the service they offer to their clients. In addition, with the development of technology recruiters can now extend their services to ‘head hunting’, being able to find candidates of the right skill and calibre for their clients.
1990s – The arrival of online job boards and email
The first online job and CV databases were launched. Candidates can now spend their time more efficiently applying for the right job, in the right area and at the right salary; no more unannounced ‘walk-ins’ to hand in their CV. Hotmail launched in 1996. This marked the beginning of online email applications; once again increasing the volume of applications for a single role. In 1990, 22% of applications came through via email or online, which increased to 90% by 2014.
2000s – The importance of social media
Social networking websites were launched, such as LinkedIn (2003), Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). This allowed employers and employees to discover more about each other, enabling better matches (and more vetting by recruiters).
2015 – The future
It is predicted that the majority of people will soon begin to access the internet on mobile devices rather than from desktop computers, meaning all agencies will need to address the mobile compatibility of everything they do. The cloud is also becoming ever popular, which gives recruitment agencies even more flexibility. It is also expected that with the increasing popularity of cloud accounting, such as Xero and CrunchBoards, recruiters can take back control of their agencies by viewing, processing and reviewing all of their agency’s financial information in real-time. Furthermore, with CrunchBoards, not only can visual information be produced for reporting and forecasting purposes, but an agency’s entire CRM system can be imported, enabling candidates and client trends to be spotted and responded to immediately. Once again, giving the power back to recruiters. There has been a huge change in the recruitment industry within the last 70 years and it is exciting to see what the future holds.
2014 APSCo stats