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20 years of recruitment in 5 highlights

On its 20th anniversary, the international recruitment firm Approach People Recruitment looks back on 5 events that have influenced recruitment over the past 20 years in Europe.

2000: The arrival of the GAFAM in Europe

In the early 2000s, large American companies set out to conquer Europe by setting up their head office, computer servers and production factories here. Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon are not the only multinationals that turned their focus towards expanding in Europe during this period. Other digital giants like Microsoft and LinkedIn have also entered the old continent.

By setting up in Europe, these companies attracted many international candidates and transformed the world of recruitment. Their expansion has been achieved thanks to massive recruitment campaigns on a European scale. Thus, the attractiveness of cities like Dublin and Cork in Ireland has increased tenfold thanks to the career opportunities they offered.

2007: The “brain drain”

In 2007, countries like France noted that its graduates increasingly sought careers abroad. This phenomenon, then called “brain drain”, worried the government which was facing increasing expatriation.

In 2021, the OECD is reassuring: “When people leave, they come back with knowledge and new networks. This is more promising than worrying. “

Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin, Analyst and Deputy Head of Division at the Education and Skills Directorate of the OECD

What this means is that we are facing brain mobility rather than a “brain drain”. Those who go abroad might only stay for a short period of time and return. We can also see international talent moving France as well.

2010: Digitization of the world and professions

In the early 2010s, the world took a technological turn that revolutionized industries and the economy, and redefining the job market in the process. At the time we feared that many jobs would be cut and replaced by machines.

The reality is different: while some professions have disappeared, or fewer people are now needed to do a task, other jobs have been created, especially in the digital world.

With the increase of mobile applications, mass video consumption and sophisticated websites, many professions have transformed and demand greater digital skills.

For several years, the IT market has been very tight as companies fight for scarce digital and IT profiles.

2015: The rise of Startups

Each year, between 2012 and 2015, the number of startups increased by 30% compared to the previous year. In 3 years, the number of unicorns worldwide has increased from 53 to 153 in 2016. Among them, 3 French: Blablacar, OVH, and Deezer. (Source: Digital Agency)

In 2017, Xavier Niel launched Station F in Paris, the largest startup incubator in the world with more than 1,000 startups today.

Startups, young, “disruptive” and innovative companies have changed the recruitment landscape. Large organisations, attractive for their prestige perks, had to face a transformed labor market, where young* talent were moving towards younger, more agile, and more personal structures.

* The average age of employees is 31, and 40 for managers.

2020: The COVID-19 pandemic

The year 2020 will remain the year of records: an estimated 3.5 billion people have been confined across the world, global warming recorded at historic levels and growth has declined by 3.5% globally.

As uncertainty hovered over most companies, many recruitment processes were put on hold, pending better visibility of the future. Closed offices, remote onboardings, decline in sales… There have been many arguments for suspending recruitment.

However, some industries have flourished such as IT, e-commerce and construction which have fared well with disconcerting growth. This phenomenon has also reinforced the shortage of certain profiles on the job market.

With the global crisis of 2020, we have moved from a global labor market in favor of companies, to a so-called “candidate market”.

This global crisis created changes in our society such as the rise in remote recruitment and remote work as well as left many questioning their career and seeking a new challenge.

In a fierce fight for talent among companies, an effective recruitment strategy is proving to be an important competitive advantage. Quickly identifying talent, speeding up interview processes and ensuring proper onboarding are key steps in successful recruitment. Being supported by a recruitment agency thus optimizes your recruitment strategy and offers an advantage over the competition.