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The History of the Recruiter and Recruitment Agencies

Posted on 14 Sep, 2021

Throughout the history of job advertisements, CV writing and networking, the role of recruiters and recruitment agencies has evolved tremendously.

During the early 1900s, most jobs and career opportunities were published through newspapers and noticeboards. Most networking was done physically through the exchange of business cards and formal meetings.

A few decades later, the introduction of new technology, computers and email formed the dawn of the digital era. Job hunting and networking were made simpler and much quicker than before.

But here at Careers in Design, we wanted to find out how recruitment agencies really began and how they have evolved over the years.

Origins and evolution of recruitment agencies

Henry Robinson formed the first officially documented recruitment agency in 1653, however, it is generally believed that the Romans were the first known recruiters in history to offer a structured, reward-based recruitment process. Early historical records show that during 55 BC, Roman Army leader Julius Caesar formalised an order which offers a substantial reward to any soldier that brought another soldier into the Roman Army.

Ancient scriptures discovered, during the Roman era, found recruitment standards and job descriptions listed in Julius Caesar’s official decree. The recruitment standards were particular and strict, stating that soldiers must be physically fit and capable of marching 20 miles with heavy weaponry, plus non-negotiable standards like the candidate must be a Roman citizen.

Filling in the workplace gaps during a World War

Another catalyst that further helped to establish recruitment agencies was World War 2. When men and women were recruited to fight in the war, it left many gaps to fill in the workforce.

With so many vacancies to fill, staffing agencies and professional job recruiters gained popularity, helping to match individuals to suitable positions. Even after the war, recruitment agencies continued to find work for returning soldiers.

The era of the internet

The introduction of computers and the internet pushed the development of recruiting procedures to new heights. The power of the internet made it possible for companies to look for potential candidates on a global scale.

Many prominent recruitment websites like LinkedIn and social media powerhouses like Facebook and Instagram are constantly improving the efficiency and convenience of recruitment, so it’s both a challenging and exciting time to be looking for a new employee or a new job.

If you need our help with your recruitment then please get in touch or register your CV with us today at Careers in Design.

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