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The recruitment industry continues to go from strength-to-strength and owes much to its ability to embrace change and maximise its unique position during periods of economic uncertainty.


Thanks to America, the 2008 global financial crisis triggered a piercing rise in unemployment, peaking at £2.7 million in 2011, a 68% increase from the £1.6 million in 2008, it was the highest level for 17 years in the UK. With the fallout evident across all industries, the knock-on effect was felt by recruitment however, not as acutely as first predicted. Between 2008 and 2010, the UK recruitment industry turnover fell 15% before finally rebounding to grow by 25% in 2011.


As the strain of the financial crisis tightened, increased unemployment led to CVs flooding the market. At a time when identifying individuals with the right skills was critical, many businesses found it difficult to recruit for the skills they needed and recruiters with focused networks and a deep understanding of client requirements were able to pinpoint the right hires without delay.


Overall, the recruitment industry’s unique position enabled it to weather the storm and increase value as the job market remained depressed into 2011.


After the financial crisis came public distrust in the corporate machine and rapid digitalisation provided fertile ground for new tech industries and start-ups. In fact, Y.O.Y. growth over the past decade has seen recruitment start-ups increase exponentially with over 32,500 agencies entering the market since 2008 and over 115,000 people employed by the industry.


But start-ups aren’t the only evolution to come out of the recruitment industry. From online profiles to mobile-friendly applications, there’s no doubt how we recruit has also evolved immensely and will continue to do so. But are these advancements helping recruiters or hurting them?


Recent stats show that, 46% of U.K. employers are having trouble filling jobs – the highest number since 2007. Further research undertaken by us has seen a shift in job descriptions and expectations and requirements to fill roles. In 2008 it was seen that the market needed more Directors, come 2019 most of our vacancies are for Managers, who have, unsurprisingly enough, similar job descriptions to the Directors in 2008, but without the salary. A G.F.C. trend that has stuck around from 2008 being that the job goes to the lowest bidder. 


Many innovations have led to further advancements in recruiting over the last decade. They can help us find high-quality candidates in difficult times, but only if we recruiters know how to adapt.


Have a look at how recruiting has transformed over the past decade:


The One About The Job Board Evolution


Most millennials and Gen. Z-ers wouldn’t recognize the original job board format, as they were not searching 10 years ago. The long, mundane lists of vacancies through which job seekers once had to excavate have been replaced by sophisticated platforms that take out a lot of the hustle and match job seekers and employers with one another based on skill sets and mutual alignment!


With so many resources and tools available, niche platforms are becoming more effective in helping you find the talent you’re looking for; Chef jobs on chef platforms, finance jobs on finance platforms. Getting high-calibre staff is pretty much at the end of finger-tips these days. The main challenge; the time it takes to reach them.


The One About The Rise of Social


Ten years ago, Facebook was pretty much still in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room. Twitter was a new thought, and a hashtag was the button you pressed after you left a message.

Nowadays, we are all constantly checking our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and these platforms have gone from purely social tools to critical communication channels that let people stay updated on world news, business trends, and yes, even job openings.


Job seekers aren’t the only ones using social platforms for business purposes. It is a vital tool for us recruiters reaching quality, targeted candidates. The frequent updates posted on social media make it easier for recruiters to get a preview of an applicant and decide if they need to be making contact.

While recruiters can use social media to keep tabs on job seekers, these platforms have given job seekers immense power as well. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn make it easier for job seekers to conduct research, track down jobs, and connect with employers. All of this allows job seekers to make informed judgements about company cultures, missions, and management styles before committing to anything.


The One About The Job Search Being More Personal


Applicants are no longer mailing hundreds of envelopes in the hopes of receiving a single phone call anymore. The job search of 2019 is much more personalised than that. Today, it’s more about building relationships and connecting with employers through networks and communities.


This personal touch is also bringing recruiters more hires. It’s a well-established fact that while job search engines lead to the most interviews, employee referrals lead to the most hires.


Networking has certainly been a positive change for recruiters and hiring managers, and who doesn’t like a good after-work bonding beverage. Connecting with candidates before the interview puts more quality applicants in our inbox than ever before. Leveraging networks has proven to be highly advantageous.


The One About It Being A Candidate Driven Market


The biggest change in recruiting over the last 10 years? Employers don’t have complete power over the job search anymore.

Throwback to 2008, it was applicants who had to show off their talents, but the tables have turned.

Employers must now focus on drawing in top talent by competing the way candidates used to, with attractive salaries, work/life balance and career progression all on offer to entice the top candidates to a particular business.


Today’s candidates know what they want from employers – and they’ll ask for it. This new power dynamic makes it more necessary than ever for companies to be transparent, even at the earliest application stages.

Make sure job seekers know what your company has to offer them in terms of salary, benefits, and company culture before they get close to the interview stage. This type of openness will not only bring you more candidates, but it will also bring you closer to finding the right person for the job and your company.

Irrespective of how strong a job market is, if you’re not executing on the core principles; segmentation, targeting and communication, it doesn’t matter how much tech or finance you have. Top businesses adapt to change and utilise the best tools to increase productivity and achieve greater results.


As machine learning and AI platforms continue to develop, the next decade will no doubt see an increase in ‘recruitment automation’. But at the end of the day, recruitment is a people job, the more time we spend interacting with our clients and candidates and letting the machines do their work, the more each stakeholder will get out of the process.


Krishnan Doyle

Managing Director - COREcruitment International

Tel : +44 (0) 207 790 2666