A chat with Damian Eyre about how recruitment has changed and the impact of technology

Friday, January 27, 2017

It was nearly 18 years ago that Damian Eyre, founder of Saleslogic, walked into a recruitment office in North Sydney looking for a job. Within three hours he had a job within sales recruitment. Now, years later, he runs his own successful sales recruitment company in London. But is recruitment the same game as it was, or have the rules now changed?

‘When I started out we would fax CV’s and make up to 500 calls a week. Cold calling was one of the only ways of drumming up new business, so you armed yourself with a phone book and phone.  If you wanted to apply for a role you would have to post or fax your CV, or deliver it by hand to a recruitment agency. The ability to communicate over the phone was crucial. This is still the case but the advancement of the internet and social media has now changed how we attract both candidates and clients. It used to be an advert in a newspaper but now there are many more was to engage.

The introduction of sites like Monster and LinkedIn has made huge impacts to the recruitment game. From posting the advert to a job board, getting in CV's and then getting interviews arranged, a recruiter can now have this done in a matter of days if not hours. The phone book has been put away and replaced with google to find clients. ‘I remember when Monster started. It was a great tool because not only could we suddenly respond quicker, but could also proactively search for talent rather than just waiting for people to come to us.’ LinkedIn hit the scene in 2002, ‘I jumped in pretty quickly with LinkedIn, though certainly never foresaw it developing to the scale it is now. It’s another powerful platform for recruits and candidates alike.’

But with all these improvements in all things technological, could the recruiter ever be replaced?

It’s now very rare for anyone, at any level, in almost any industry, to get a position somewhere without a recruiter being involved. The old cliché of time is money will always ring true, recruiters and recruitment agencies, save client’s time and thus money. Time is saved in the hunting for the right people and narrowing down to find the right match before the client even sees a CV. Much like online dating, people still need to be involved. A computer can help make the match, but to make sure it’s right, human interaction still needs to take place. You can’t automate relationships. ‘What has not changed with all the advancements in technology is the core skills needed to be a successful recruiter. The ability to communicate effectively over the phone, and also face to face, remains of paramount importance and relationship building remains crucial. I certainly can’t see being replaced completely by technology. ‘

Technology has not replaced engagement but rather fostered it and made it easier. We can engage with more people, and quicker than before. With LinkedIn, in a matter of minutes, you can find people with the right experience.

So looking back- is it easier now than before? Or are the challenges the same? ‘I think it’s both harder and easier today. The essential concerns remain the same, around finding good candidates and economic pressures.’ What do you prefer about the industry now? ‘Technology has certainly helped reach more candidates and companies. I also think standards have improved and hopefully there are not so many scrupulous operators out there. Today there are certainly more internal recruiters but if you can develop working relations it can be mutually beneficial. There is enough opportunity for everyone if you are doing a good job.’

The recruitment industry continues to grow, and it seems that technology is only encouraging that not deterring it. So who will be the agencies coming out on top?  ‘Agencies that embrace and invest in both technology, and the people they employee, will thrive. There is no short cut to sustained success within recruitment and working closely with clients as an adviser and partner will help you stand out and keep recruiters essential.’

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Saleslogic is a leading Sales Recruitment Agency in London. We specialise in digital sales jobs, SaaS sales jobs, software sales jobs and more. Click here to view sales jobs we are currently recruiting for