Solutions Driven

Recruitment Through The Ages: It’s Time For The Process Age

The Process Age from Solutions Driven

We recently read an enlightening piece by Third Republic on the “ages of recruitment” that got me thinking. Third Republic defined the recruitment ages as The Analogue Age, The Spray and Pray Age, and The Digital Age, and suggested that the levels of skills for each of these ages waxed and waned. 

Photo Credit: Third Republic

They suggested that the skill levels at each of these stages was different, with the current Digital Age being the most skillful.

While we agree with them to a certain extent, we think there’s a new age coming that will push every recruiter, whether in-house or external, to consistently be at the top of their game; The Process Age. 

Before we go into what The Process Age is all about, let’s look at the previous eras of recruitment.

1980’s and The Analogue Age 

Although before our time, when Solutions Driven was first founded, many elements of the recruitment industry were still rooted in the 1980’s. Everything was very relationship-driven with recruiters pulling out their little black book to find the best candidates. 

Third Republic class this as a skilled age and we agree. Recruiters had specific processes they’d go through to build up relationships with the right candidates and were fantastic at organising and cross-referencing these candidates and skills. 

Their interpersonal skills were razor sharp and they were experts at identifying talent without the benefits of LinkedIn or online testing.


1990’s and The Spray and Pray Age

The 1990’s were a messy mix of the previous Analogue Age and the following Digital Age. Buoyed by the early internet, job boards began springing up, showing huge amounts of candidates at the click of a (slow-to-load) button. 


Because of this, recruiters stopped being seen as being highly skilled. Their in-depth sourcing was being replaced by mass information and they began to act like the job boards – with a spray and pray approach. Rather than source the best candidates, they were trying to get CVs in as fast as possible.

2010’s and The Digital Age

When the 2010’s came along (have we decided what to call that decade yet?), the internet became increasingly sophisticated. While mass job boards still existed, recruiters began to use forensic search tools to find candidates and analytics to match the perfect people with their perfect role.

It became much easier to become a recruiter, and so many people became recruiters. And the problems began. Retained recruiters would charge huge sums in upfront fees with no guarantee of actually making hires, while contingent recruiters were using these tools to emulate the spray and pray age.


Rather than tell hiring managers and in-house teams how they sourced their candidates, they worked separately with little oversight from the teams they were working for. Pay for LinkedIn Premium and Google Xray and anyone could call themselves a recruitment expert. Unlike every other industry, there was no accountability in recruitment.

That’s why we think it’s time for a new age…

2020 onward – The Process Age. 

Hiring managers and companies, especially now, need accountability. The world of work changed completely in 2020 and companies can no longer take chances, especially when it comes to business critical hires. 

There are currently more candidates than ever, and with the BBC reporting that over a third of UK companies plan to make redundancies in 2020, there’s likely to be even more in the future. But, with budget cuts and fast-paced environments, getting quality candidates who hit the ground running is vital. Meaning “spray and pray” just doesn’t work. 

But what do we mean by “a process”? 

At Solutions Driven, we use RPI — Recruitment Process Intelligence to make all of our hires (even internal ones). There are various elements to RPI .

  • A detailed briefing at the beginning of the contract to ensure each party has the same outcomes in mind. 
  • The 6S Process which allows us to find and secure the right candidate each and every time. 
  • The 6F Methodology which ensures the candidates we find match up with the ethos and values of the companies we’re hiring for. 
  • Advanced scoping technology to find the best passive candidates for roles. 
  • Talent Mapping Intelligence™ which allows us to do in-depth research into locations or roles that may be problematic. 
  • Decades of learned information about recruitment and industries like Science, Tech, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Having this precise process in place means working as a partner to hiring managers, rather than just as another services provider. It gives them a clear map of how the hiring process will unfold, ensuring we, as the recruiter, have full accountability at all times. 

It also means the hiring process stays on track throughout – there are never any surprises or unexpected requirements and stumbling blocks as everything is clearly laid out in the beginning. 


If you buy a piece of software or sign a contract with a building company, how the service will work is laid out at the beginning.

It’s how recruitment should work too. It’s why The Process Age needs to be the next step, bringing recruitment inline with every other 21st century industry. 

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