How Recruitment has Changed Over the Years


I have been into this industry from Egyptian time. Oh OK, let us say it has been 17+years that I am into recruitment and I have seen  how our industry and work style  has changed over the years. 15-17 years back recruitment was not everyone’s cup of tea. We use to be known as head hunters and not recruiters. Don’t forget that mobile phones were only Richie Rich things and job portals weren’t there. So we had to hunt people from our target companies, as per requirement specifications.  I still remember with horror how we use to reach or locate candidates. It required calling on company board numbers and dialing all the extensions to find out who sits where by using fake names and then after a day or two, call them back and try to sell our job openings. Most of the time people used to hang up on us (sometimes those people weren’t relevant to us but we still talked to them – future prospects). But being hunters we used to call them again and try to pursue them to have a 2 minutes discussion with us.

Our main purpose was to build up a relationship with that person and not just selling our job openings. We knew this could help us getting more leads from that concerned person. Throughout the day we used to keeping dialing and talking to strangers and sometimes we used to get hold of the relevant person for our openings; if people were not comfortable talking in office, they used to share their home or mobile numbers and asked us to call them after office hours. This meant sitting late in office and making umpteen phone calls – sometimes as many as 50 calls till 8 pm!

I still remember sitting in a Local phone booth late in the evenings and making sure that I tell the Local phone booth person not to disturb me because I would use it for the next couple of hours calling people who have shared their personal residence number and If we had an interview event then scheduling candidates late in the evening because most of companies didn’t allow them to use personal email and very very few people had cell phones.  After so many years even today when I cross that Local phone booth (now also a stationary shop, it brings a smile on my face and takes me back to those crazy days.

Now with mobile phones and laptops our life is so much easier. Over the years things have become easy for recruiters – because some divine angel created job portals (Monster, Naukri, Shine…etc.).  Now we
have Social media, which helps us to connect with other professionals and smart mobile phones have made our industry pretty small and easy to work in.

These days’ young recruiters have no idea about head hunting and whenever I interview any young professional and ask them about head hunting they look at me like I have asked them a question in Latin! Those days head hunting was the base of our industry and now searching CVs on job portal is the base of our industry. But as we says life is all about new things and you have to keep changing with time.

Life is easier for recruiters only as far as sourcing CV goes; otherwise life is still very difficult for recruiters and I have seen that most people move to other profession after spending  3-4 years in the recruitment industry because people do get frustrated doing the same thing again and again.

But I still miss those old days when a recruiter and a candidate used to have a personal equation but these days’ recruiters have less time to fill up positions and candidates have more options for new jobs.

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