globe on palm of businessmanBelieve it or not, it has now been over 100 years since the first recruitment agency in the UK opened its doors.

It seems like a long time – and indeed it is. Whereas some industries could go 100 years with very little changing by the way of structures and processing, the recruitment industry is one that has had to adapt and change hugely.

If you were to look at things back then (or even compare the industry 10 years ago) to the current way of working, you’d notice a huge difference. Not just a difference in methods of practice but tools and strategy too.

So what has caused this huge change within the recruitment industry? Perhaps most namely has been the rise of the Internet and the revolution of mobile technology that occurred hand-in-hand with the web. Here I’ll discuss in what ways the Internet has changed recruitment and how that has impacted the industry as a whole.

1. Recruitment is faster

The Internet makes everything instant and accessible, so it’s no surprise that the introduction and growth of Internet technology has streamlined and quickened the recruitment process. Whereas once a candidate would have had to wait for newspapers and job applications offline—and then send mail-outs or do deliveries to the hiring companies—the Internet has made this whole process much easier and simpler to handle. You can now email a candidate and within seconds expect a reply. Same for posting a job application. Once, it may have taken days or weeks to appear in a publication; now it can be up online within minutes for the world to see.

2. Recruitment is on a larger scale

The Internet has allowed recruiters to work on a much larger scale than they have done before. How? Well, as a recruiter with access to the Internet, you can post multiple job advertisements for many different roles and manage those communications too all from one place—whether that be your inbox, a special portal or software system. It means that you can do more work and hire more people, and advertise for more jobs, which of course is every recruiter’s aim.

3. It has made research easier

Search engines, such as Google, have made the research side of recruitment much easier and much more thorough too. In the past, a recruiter might have had to make several phone calls and arranged several meetings before they’d have had all the information they needed about a candidate. Now, it seems a quick Google search can throw up most of the necessary information—or certainly a good place to start. Recruiters can also quickly and unobtrusively get references through email, whereas once they would have had to be gathered over the phone or by traditional mail.

4. It has made hiring internationally, much cheaper and simpler

Twenty years ago, if someone had mentioned a Skype interview you’d wouldn’t have had a clue what they were talking about. Now, it seems that interviews over Skype and other online portals are commonplace and often replace the traditional face-to-face meetings. If you are recruiting for a Chinese office but are based in the UK, you can now call people using the Internet to hire for that role. It doesn’t cost you money to do that, and it saves a lot of hassle booking flights and arranging hotels for the candidate (were they to fly over and have the interview in person).

5. Locating and sourcing candidates is easier than ever

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Internet has made working in the industry much easier! Sourcing candidates is easier than ever before, with incredible useful search engines and social media platforms built specifically for job hunters and people seeking a career change. As a recruiter, you can go to these sites and search for people based specifically on their experience, their skills, their location (and many other filters). This means that you can vet candidates before you’ve even made initial contact with them – something that makes the process much easier and much more efficient too.

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