Celebrating 25 years of recruitment evolution: But what next?

If we think back to before the millennium, the world as we knew it has changed significantly. In the year that the London Eye and Millenium Dome were constructed and we all worried if the Y2K bug would shut down all technology, something that I feel is more monumental happened: The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) — or Atsco as it was known then — was launched.

Fast forward to today: A lot has changed, but some things also haven’t.

25 Years in Recruitment

When I think back to the world of recruitment when APSCo first started out, so much has changed. Back then, the staffing sector wasn’t professionalized. The thought that you could have a career in recruitment was a passing one for many. CVs and applications were posted via snail mail in some instances. Rolodexes were a recruiter’s best friend, and in-person meetings or interviews were common and best practice approaches.

There are some elements of this traditional recruitment that I still hang on to myself. Building strong professional relationships requires in person networking, so I’m certainly still a fan of meeting and speaking to people face to face. But we’ve also seen the sector evolve in a positive way — and I’m not just talking about adapting to technological innovation.

Turning Recruitment Into a Profession

Perhaps one of the most notable changes that we’ve seen in the staffing sector and one which APSCo is proud to have contributed to is the professionalization of recruitment. The role we all play in changing the lives of workers and supporting company growth strategies should never be underestimated. For that (and many other) reasons, we have long advocated for the need to set clear professional standards in staffing that are regulated to some degree by unbiased parties.

In order to support this, all of APSCo’s members and Trusted Partners are fully vetted and constantly held to our code of conduct to ensure recruitment best practice is prioritized. Beyond this, we have created an extensive bank of tailored training programs and courses that provide those in the sector with qualifications to build on and a career path that truly adds value to individuals, staffing firms and the sector as a whole.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Contingent Workforce Program Blueprint and Best Practices

Striving for Better

While the last quarter century has seen a lot of positive change in recruitment, there are still elements that need addressing. APSCo strongly believes that more can always be done to professionalize the sector. There’s also a lot of work required in terms of appropriate legislation of the employment and labor market as the world of work continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

What also seemingly needs to still be addressed is the retained stereotype that recruitment is a “boys’ club.” I’ll admit that when I first started my own career in the staffing sector, it was a male dominated remit. However, today there are far more women in recruitment than I feel is acknowledged. APSCo’s membership consists of a vast array of females at all levels, and I’m proud to work with so many women leaders.

However, we still can’t shift that boys’ club perception. In fact, when APSCo surveyed its LinkedIn followers recently, almost half (42%) stated that this stereotype is one of the core issues that hasn’t changed in the last two and a half decades.

Striving for Change in the Years Ahead

Addressing this incorrect stereotype isn’t going to happen overnight, but I do believe that showcasing more female leaders in recruitment will help. I’m also excited to see how the sector further evolves in the coming years as the post-pandemic disruptions starts to settle and we begin to see green shoots of normality on the horizon.

The last few years have been one of the toughest periods of the last quarter century, but we’re now facing a recovering economy where business leaders are looking for experts to help them navigate growing skills shortages and multi-generational workforce demands. Recruitment can and will play a pivotal role in reshaping the world of work, and APSCo is excited to be involved in this.

Ann Swain

Ann Swain
Ann Swain is global CEO of APSCo.

Ann Swain

Share This Post


Recent Articles

Powered by staffingindustry.com ·