Then and Now: How the recruitment industry has changed over the last 20 years

This year, BDO Recruitment will reach an exciting milestone as it celebrates its 20th anniversary in July 2016. With this in mind, I have offered some insights into what has changed within the recruitment industry over the last 20 years.

What has changed within the recruitment industry?

1) The process of sourcing candidates

The recruitment industry is now using online advertising such as Irish jobs/jobs.ie where you can advertise a vacancy out from your desk or from home within minutes versus the more traditional route of classified adverts in Friday’s Irish Times or Thursday’s Independent.

2) Communication

Social media and texting have impacted greatly on how we communicate with candidates and hiring managers. Posting jobs and replying to candidate queries through social media has become extremely efficient and popular. Getting messages out to the market via text has also been notably welcomed. These communication channels enable us to communicate directly with people through different media in real-time.

3) The Recruitment Market

Manufacturing companies are much thinner on the ground, have reduced to almost a 3rd of what they were 20 years ago and many of the corresponding roles no longer exist. IT roles are much more software focused than hardware which was not the case in 1996. Senior Executive roles have a greater requirement to travel internationally in order to cover multiple sites as opposed to just single sites.

The demand for accountants has not diminished although technology has taken a lot of the basic processing out and the analytical tools available to accountants have impacted the role of the accountant in a very positive way.

4) Types of FDI companies

Foreign Direct Investment companies who have chosen to relocate in Ireland are generally smaller next level organisations as opposed to well established multinational companies who came here in the 1990’s. Some of the big names have disappeared but there are wonderful success stories that have flourished among companies such as Boston Scientific, Pfizer, and GE.

5) Sending documents

Email has replaced fax machines and post which makes life much easier when sending out CV’s and other documentation. However, I did read recently that the fax is making a comeback as it is a more secure means of transmitting documents.

What hasn’t changed within the recruitment industry?

1) Technology is not a substitute for face to face

From a recruitment perspective, in spite of all the changes in technology, the face to face interactions with both clients and candidates is as important if not more important than it ever.

2) Recruitment as a Career

Recruitment is still a very interesting and enjoyable way of earning a living. In my view, technology has impacted this industry in a very positive way. It has taken a lot of low level work out of the market and has facilitated the development of in-house resourcing functions. The people element in recruitment is always central and if you find people interesting, you will never be bored. You will be continuously learning about the world we live in and probably more importantly, learning about yourself.

Other things that have not changed

The rain, taxes, the road to Cork……

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