The Second Oldest Profession… and it isn’t Espionage

Recruiting is the second oldest profession, preceded only by… well you know.

A lot of recruiters don’t understand that they are literally partaking in one of the purest professions that still exist in today’s marketplace. Every industry is constantly moving and evolving but one thing stays the same. Recruiters are still on the phone.

Starting as a military function, recruiting as we know it can be traced back to the 1800’s as the world was at war. It wasn’t until the tail end of the Great Depression that large recruiting agencies were formed. With people switching from full-time work to job sharing opportunities, large agencies like Manpower and Kelly Services were born. At this point, recruiting was as simple as the resumes coming in and the candidates heading to work later on that day.

Things got a little easier in the 80’s with the invention of the fax machine and the personal computer. The birth of the tech industry made it easier for the smaller recruiter, giving way for boutique and regional agencies. Before then, there was a licensing process for recruiting, but as more and more people were getting into the Staffing industry that process disappeared (although it still exists today in British Columbia).

The Internet began to become more commonplace in the late 90’s although there were still Recruiters grinding along with more traditional processes. At this point, finding a candidate went from weeks to hours and almost every single barrier to the market had disappeared. The industry was splintered at this point, with independent cropping up everywhere.

One thing has always been the same; the phone. Since its invention, it has been the only must have that Recruiters will always need despite changes to the market. Social Media will continue revolutionize how recruiting is done, but great headhunters will be able to work with only a phone.

What did you have available to you when you got into this business?


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