Celebrating 30 years of recruiting

Posted on: May 8th, 2018

So, I’ve reached the milestone of thirty years in business, as a recruiter and running my consultancy Lucy Bristow Appointments.

I feel incredibly privileged that my chosen industry and the business I set up in 1988 has given me a fulfilling and ever-changing career.

It was the year Rick Astley released “Never Gonna Give You Up”; Rainman was in the cinema; the BBC’s first Red Nose Day took place raising £15million and it was the first year of GCSEs!

As part of marking this milestone I’ve reflected on how the industry has changed during that time.

1. Fashions have changed, people haven’t

No, I’m not talking about the power suits and the shoulder pads – although we are now more casual as a workforce.

The process of applying for a job has changed dramatically in some ways thanks to the digital revolution we’ve experienced in the past couple of decades, but the actual selection process has not changed as much.

People still recruit people – we’re not yet in a world of total automation and I for one think that’s positive. A face to face interview has not been replaced (although we do see more one to one video interviews).

Relationships between clients and candidates are vital and facilitating that connection has remained a large part of my role.

2. New ways of working

When I started the business we certainly did not have laptops and mobile phones – you had to be in the office to work.

Now remote working capability has led to a huge shake up and rethink in how we all employ people. This has produced more flexibility – which, in turn, has also helped many more women remain in the workplace as parents. We’re now thankfully in a position where our workplace is more diverse – although there is further to go, we have come on leaps and bounds in the last 30 years.

3. The tech revolution

The advent of email meant we didn’t need to post CVs anymore of course.

Email became more widely used throughout the 90s and therefore speeded up the recruitment process.

Job boards did not become established until the 90s and even then they were pretty rudimentary. We promoted positions largely through print advertising – jobs day in the local newspaper was very busy for us and much of our time was taken up booking and organising job ads.

4. We’re more sociable (or are we?)

Who remembers a working world without Linkedin?

The recruiters’ and candidates’ primary tool for finding people and being found – it has meant we can access an even richer talent pool – and worldwide.

Social media has helped us all connect with more people and find new career opportunities that we may not have realised existed in the pre-social media world. It has also meant that we all need to be more aware of our own digital profile – it can work for and against us. Don’t post those drunken pictures online of your Saturday night out!

While how I run search and selection campaigns for clients is different to the way I used to work when I started the business I can safely say that my relationships with clients and candidates remain central to my work week.

I have placed people in many and varied roles and no two days are ever the same – it’s fun and ever-changing.

Thanks to all those who have supported me over the years – matching candidates with interesting roles and watching them develop their careers is incredibly rewarding and I enjoy it today as much as I did in the 80s!


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