the future of recruitment


Where is this recruitment game heading?


The $12 billion* Australian recruitment industry has seen massive changes in the last decade, but two factors stand out for me – easier, cheaper finance (great for building a contractor base) and more accessible technology. These were the game changers – they levelled the playing field.

The result – a proliferation in boutique firms offering high care factor, personalised service and niche focus. This caused a brain-drain in the large recruitment firms, at a time when large clients were building their in-house talent acquisition firepower. So, an unfortunate double hit for the big end of town.

2020 onwards

What will the next 10 years look like? We can only guess, but below are some thoughts around what we see happening.

Talent acquisition becomes continuous, not reactive

This is already happening, but not heavily adopted at all levels in the market. The idea of building talent communities before you need them and engaging them with your employer brand, is great on paper, but requires a lot of time and effort in practice – fine if you are a global FMCG, but less realistic for smaller, growing organisations where everyone is already at 150% capacity.

As the market evolves I expect to see greater focus on proactive applicant engagement, ahead of the hiring curve – in practice, that means identifying future talent needs (workforce planning), connecting with those communities, then building meaningful dialogue, which highlights your values, culture and career opportunities. This employer branding will eventually be the difference between high performance cultures and those who remain reactive in the marketplace, hiring in a panic as they have left a very manageable process to chance (again!).

Proactive employer branding will eventually be the difference between high performance cultures and those who remain reactive in the marketplace.

Recruitment as a service will grow

Those without the constant internal resources required to ensure the above continuous engagement with their employer brand, will turn to agencies as collaborative partners. The support provided by the latter will take the form of a more continuous service, providing proactive support, as averse to ad hoc hiring support in reaction to needs. Expect to see greater collaboration with specific agencies as workforce planning integrates with hiring strategy.

Recruiters will specialise in client culture, not niche candidate skills

Identifying technical skills in the market will become easier as AI improves. We already share a communal database of 600m people (LinkedIn). The benefit of using a recruiter will shift from faster reactive response times to a) supporting your workforce planning processes, b) building and engaging future communities on your behalf and c) screening against the specific value and soft-skill competencies required to deliver your mission statement (as per the workforce planning engagement). Stone’s Performance Talent Partnering, for example, is a service aimed at this growing demand.  It takes time for this change to occur – as it requires increasing trust levels between recruiters and their clients – however the rewards are significant. See Rhino Rack’s Testimonial here.

A.I. will totally replace human recruiters?

Yeah right. I see this one at least once a year! Don’t even go there.

For more information regarding Performance Talent Partnering and how to adopt a proactive approach to hiring tomorrow’s talent – reach us on

*The Age, April 2019