The History & Evolution of Recruitment Agencies

June 11, 2021 | Jason Whittenham

So where did it all begin? Believe it or not, recruitment agencies originated as a product of World War II. They were there to fill the gaps in the workplace left by soldiers being called to war. Then after the war, these agencies were used to find returning soldiers work. They used the skills that they had gained while they were away.

The very first recruitment agency was actually started by Henry Robinson in 1653. He made a proposal that there should be an “Office of Addresses and Encounters” to help link workers with employers. This was refused by British Parliament, but Henry went on and opened his business anyway!

There’s that recruitment drive we like to see! (Look at that determined face).


Curricular Vitae (CVs) 

During the following decade, a new practice emerged. The creation of CVs that showed the applicant’s profiles and skills. Recruitment agencies at this stage became even more focused on efficiently linking qualified applicants with the right jobs.

There were several limitations, though. Including the fact that recruiters had to work through newspaper ads. Applying and hiring were very cumbersome at this stage because applicants had to submit their handwritten CVs by hand or mail. Meaning recruiters had to keep track of a mass amount of paperwork.


The Evolution of Recruitment

The introduction of computers into the workplace drastically altered the staffing process. By introducing software such as the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and applicant databases in changed everything. This made storing and searching through applications a lot easier and quicker.

The introduction of the internet further revolutionised the recruiting process. While recruitment before was localised, the internet allowed recruitment agencies to look for candidates on a national or even global scale. Different websites and social media platforms gave recruitment agencies a wide reach. This allows them to find the best candidates from different platforms.

The emerging technologies transformed recruitment agencies into tech-savvy companies. Today, modern agencies rely on the latest technology to recruit the best candidate for any position in a company. Companies could call on administrative assistant recruiters, executive search firms, and more.

Using big databases, recruiters can connect employees with employers in a limited time and with greater skill than ever before. Perfect for the temp industry! It’s a great, new world for job applicants. They can apply for employment in their dressing gowns and slippers from the comfort of home. No more traipsing around from business to business with a CV in hand.

People can also submit their CV online to recruitment agencies. Or through various social media platforms. Kenect offers its own job board, SSL secure CRM, Client and Candidate Portals, and Online application portal.

Recruiters of days gone by would find today’s processes to be downright wondrous. With all the technology and resources in place, the entire hiring process can now be completed in a matter of days. This also includes all the background checks. It’s an exciting time to be looking for an employee or a job.

Is tech being taken too far in recruitment? Read our insight on recruitment AI solutions and algorithms.


Franchising in Recruitment (with Kenect Recruitment)

The recruitment industry is HUGE today in the UK. Did you know 9 in 10 companies use a recruitment agency? This means only one thing, there is ample opportunity for all involved to take a piece of the pie. Unlike typical franchises, Kenect offers franchisees the opportunity to work on three key sectors rather than just one. This means you can focus on different markets at the same time. It’s important to secure different revenue streams which then contribute to a bigger overall profit.

Kenect is a highly rated, leading supplier of Drivers, Office, Industrial and Commercial staff on both temporary and permanent assignments to the private and public sectors. We pride ourselves on delivering the quality service our wide variety of clients and candidates expect.

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Jason Whittenham

Jason Whittenham

Co-Founder & Managing Director

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