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Birth and Evolution of Recruitment Agency

During the outbreak of World War II, recruitment, as an industry took birth as a vast number of soldiers, were to recruiting. Recruitment agency was born to fill the vacancies created by people who went to war. And once it was over, they worked to find suitable work for soldiers re-skilling them.

With industrial revolution of early 1900’s,  companies started having full fledge Recruitment Department says most of the companies were finding it difficult to hire a large number of skilled people.

It is difficult to believe that up until the 20th century, the structure and form of recruitment did not change much in the past couple of thousand years. Recruitment industry as we know it has only taken shape after World War II.

 Recruitment in its current avatar just emerged when American men left to join the army and the lack of talent available to fill their positions sparked the creation of structured recruitment agencies. Retreaters started to contact people to fill these positions, often employing women as well even in factories, offices, etc. When the soldiers come after the war, staffing companies were able to cash in on the profitable positions that were now open for skilled soldiers to retake.  

1960-1970’s, recruitment agencies started moving out of UK to other locations in Europe to expanded global operations.

In late 1980’s things were the same regarding how recruiters operated where they majorly focused on the telephone, fax and we did not have email communication. The only way to do recruitment was through conventional means of advertisement in newspapers.

Recruitment agencies steadily thrived and evolved into headhunting operations. Slowly, over the course of the next half a century, the shift of recruiter focus moved from the employees towards contacting better-paying employers first.

In This phase where recruitment companies enjoyed a significant amount of prosperity until the labor laws changed in the mid-1980’s with the classification of jobs and the formation of labor unions. Sometime in the 1990’s, the Internet boom created jobs for systems analysts, programmers, coders, and software & hardware engineers. 

With these new jobs came the slow but steady trickle of online recruiters. Once the Internet boomed, job boards and aggregators cropped up - such as those discussed earlier, e.g., the monster board. This digital progress ushered in a new era of smart recruitment.

Between 1990’s till 2004, it was a period of Job Boards and ATS with an objective to make whole recruitment process efficient, and this was the phase of early digital revolution with more and more companies getting to online search and posting of jobs.