Recruitment Sector
The Evolution of the Recruitment Sector
- Jan 25, 2019

The recruitment sector is changing like never before and at a significant rate, with lots of new emerging technology and tools, a growing number of rare skills, demanding customers with varying objectives and significant changes to the way that candidates behave within the process.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the Agency recruitment model is going need to adapt and change with it, or simply get left behind.

I’ve never been a fan of the contingency model and as a recruiter many moons ago, I learned quickly to move clients towards exclusivity or retained as quickly as possible. Having said that, according to figures provided by REC, more than 80% of agency recruiters still operate this way and offer very little or anything outside of that contingency model.


Talent Attraction


Skills shortages over the last few years have kept agency recruiters relatively safe, but as we see more spontaneous recruitment related activity and passive searching by candidates as a growing phenomena and a new breed of low-cost multi-functional ATS enter the market, I expect to see more and more companies execute their own direct hire solutions, either internally or via their dedicated recruitment partners.

These dedicated recruitment partners are I believe the modern day agency recruiter, who probably left their parent company to set up on their own and adopted a modern recruitment management system as the centrepiece to their flexible range of recruitment offerings.

The contingency recruiter of yesterday, cold calling clients, searching CV databases and networking on Linkedin, is being replaced with the modern day recruiter, armed to the teeth with the latest and best tools and tactics for finding people, engaging with them, screening them and placing them, not mention that they can do it faster and at a lower cost.

They don’t provide one single solution, they have several and are effectively a walking recruitment kit box that can adapt to each and every clients recruitment needs.

The modern day recruiter will still do contingency, but it’s just one of many solutions within their inventory and when they do offer that, it will be on a more exclusive basis. Effectively, they will start to get paid for everything that they do.

Is your recruitment agency ready or perhaps it already has a clear plan of action, so that your client base doesn’t start to erode away?

At the centrepiece to your strategy should be a technology solution that plugs into your CRM, taking prospects and turning them into customers, providing a range of solutions such as Media Buying, Candidate Sourcing, Screening, fixed price solutions, technology and tools (a good ATS/recruitment management system) and then your contingency, executive search and retained services.



We also need to train our recruiters to be more consultative and to develop genuine partnerships rather than the fluffy PSL type arrangements that insult you as a genuine business partner.

Mark Stephens has over 20 years of business management experience, across Sales, Marketing, Recruitment and Technology environments. Mark is a recent winner of the Chambers of Commerce award for innovation in business. He is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of several companies including Smart Recruit Online and The HR & Recruitment Resource Library.

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment sector, both client and agency side. For the last seven years he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications.

Mark also delivers keynote talks and training to recruitment teams in both public and private sector organisations, on writing better advertising copy, targeting passive candidates and understanding candidate behaviours online.

Connect with Mark Stephens on LinkedIn


Smart Recruit Online offers an award-winning talent attraction software that can streamline and revolutionise your recruitment. To find out what we can to for your recruitment strategy, book a demo by clicking here.

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Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the HR & Recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. A previous winner of the prestigious Chambers – Innovation in Business award, Mark is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, CareersPage Ltd, The HR Resource Library and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 7 national and international awards in the last 18 months for recruitment innovation. Mark has dedicated his time since 2007 researching the online HR & Recruitment sector from a user, technology, and candidate behaviour perspective, and is regularly published and quoted by leading industry publications for his research and personal opinions.

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