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‘The recruitment industry has died, never to be resuscitated’

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

Recruitment is a key component of any organisation. There are some that believe the need for external recruitment agencies is dying, however.

LinkedIn has played a major role in these attitudes. With working professionals all putting their information into one database, the site has shifted the recruitment industry and made it easier to connect with candidates.

“LinkedIn has now completely changed the landscape in terms of the ability to be identified by employers and the ability to identify your employers,” said Richard Triggs, founder and CEO of Arete Executive.


“When LinkedIn first started to get traction, it was originally to connect with former colleagues or people we went to uni with and build our professional network. Recruiters saw this massive database of people.”

Being the leader of a recruitment agency himself, Mr Triggs has utilised LinkedIn to his advantage. Internal recruiters have reportedly done the same. This spells trouble for those external recruiters as their jobs may become obsolete.

“Using searches, we can get into LinkedIn, and we can actually find people to suit the needs of our clients. Then the employers saw that. And then they said, ‘We don’t need external recruiters; we can just hire our own internal recruiters and utilise those people using LinkedIn,’” said Mr Triggs.

“‘So therefore, we don’t need to rely on third-party recruiters nearly as much as we used to, which will save us a lot of money.’”

Further compounding these issues for external recruiters is the attitudes of candidates. Many have realised that they’re able to apply for jobs without the need for recruitment agencies. Online posting boards like SEEK have enormous traction. However, Mr Triggs believes that the best way to secure a job is to approach an employer directly.

“All the recruiter wants to do is to put a square peg in a square hole, get paid and move on. So, if they run an ad, and there are 10 applicants who are pretty square pegs, and you’re not quite so square, it’s very hard to get an interview,” he said.

“So, how do you get the opportunity to access these vacancies? You have to get in front of the employer before the employer needs you. Employers are reactively hiring people that they think will help them to succeed.”

Mr Triggs noted that employers would obviously rather get somebody for free than pay recruitment costs. This is why employers should be encouraging candidates to approach them directly for jobs.

“Employers can encourage more people to reach out to them by starting to build their brand as an employer of choice, and to start to use media to promote why their organisation is an attractive place to work. But not only that, they also need to promote why they’re personally an employer or a boss of choice,” explained Mr Triggs.

“Let’s say a mining company need to recruit a CFO. You need to go to a recruiter who specialises in recruiting chief financial officers for the mining industry because they’ve got the database. You have to spend the money with them. Well, now, probably 99 per cent of those CFOs of mining companies have got a LinkedIn profile. So why would I go and spend $100,000 when I can go and find them myself for free?”

He concluded: “The recruitment industry has died, never to be resuscitated.”



The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.