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Interesting Changes in the Last 10 Years of Recruiting


My, how 10 years have flown. TLR Search turned 10 years old this month!


I was asked for a reflection on the last 10 years owning my own recruiting firm and the first

thing that came to mind was the gray streak in my hair that just show up one day a couple of years ago and needing reading glasses for the first time.


Though that has nothing to do with recruiting, time really does fly.


A lot has changed in my business and in the way we hire people. It’s amazing to see how just 10 years can bring so much change.


This reflection was an eye opener for me and sets me in motion to be a part of the change in the next 10 years. I hope it does the same for you. So, let’s take a ride on the time machine to get a feel for what has changed:


  • We were just coming out of the great recession.

  • More talent was unemployed and willing to take a cut in salary to go to a new role.

  • There was more talent on the market and people of every level of qualification were applying for roles. Companies were receiving more applicants that were overqualified for the roles.

  • It was an employer’s market and less of an employee’s market.

  • Companies were more attracted to candidates who didn’t move every 3 years.

  • Though we don’t use them: job boards were not being used as much and social media recruitment was all the rage.

  • Free snacks in the workplace were an important perk.

  • Job changes were more out of necessity with the changing economy.

  • According to the US Census: “The percentage of all workers who worked at least 1 day at home increased from 7.0 percent in 1997 to 9.5 percent in 2010, according to SIPP. During this same time period, the population working exclusively from home in SIPP increased from 4.8 percent of all workers to 6.6 percent.”

  • The inflation adjusted price of a barrel of oil is: $84.24 (Inflation Data).

  • The workforce had 50% or more women and diversity moved from a focus on gender to cultural diversity.


  • Most candidates who entertained a new role were looking for career progression.

  • Medical benefits were very important for candidates and they were also looking for perks like tuition reimbursement and longer paternity leave.

  • Recruitment marketing became stronger and more aligned with how a company wanted to attract talent. Unfortunately, the candidate’s journey was not as straight forward as companies were thinking. Candidate’s are not immediately going to a website, they are speaking to anyone they can think of that can help and looking at external tools.

  • Talk of not needing a resume anymore became a big deal, for a short period of time.

  • The world turned from an employer’s market to a candidate’s market.

  • Smartphone usage was close to double from 2011 and mobile recruitment was a big strategy (Statista)

  • Job boards had reinvented themselves, there were certain job board companies that were seeing more engagement, and the job board market had new players.

  • Human Resources (HR) analytics and business analytics were on the rise and colleges were building robust data analytics programs.

  • More companies were building a talent brand strategy to recruit top talent.

  • Social media was being used more in recruitment branding, marketing and sourcing.

  • Companies were using more automation and some roles started to become obsolete.

  • More data was available regarding individual’s backgrounds. We can tell how long someone is with a company, who we mutually know, what skills people have through peer validation, commitments people have to associations, and we can evaluate how they write.

  • The inflation adjusted price of an oil barrel is $93.24 in 2014 and goes down to $45.55 in 2015 $84.24 (Inflation Data)

  • Just a couple of years prior to 2015 tech companies were in the news regarding their diversity and inclusion numbers being low.

  • Working from home was a nice perk, but companies were not as open to it. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states: “On the days they worked in 2015, 24 percent of employed people did some or all of their work at home. The share of workers doing some or all of their work at home grew from 19 percent in 2003 to 24 percent in 2015. Workers in managerial and professional occupations were more likely than workers in other occupations to do some or all of their work at home.”


  • Companies are more attracted to people who don’t move every year. Three years is more accepted.

  • We are in the Coronavirus recession.

  • We have moved to a market where more people have been downsized, but many have started a business or joined other gig workers. (Interesting stats on small business profiles by state)

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot topic. In recruitment, there are concerns about diversity and inclusion issues with AI. (Article: SHRM- AI Related Lawsuits Are Coming)

  • Companies are looking to reskill their employees as technology, artificial intelligence, and the face of business keep changing. (Article: Mercer)

  • Career growth is the most important factor for candidates to make a move, even during the pandemic. Candidates are also looking to work where there is a purpose or they are making a difference.

  • More candidates are doing research and any negative public information is very likely to deter a person from taking a job. Just think about the last time you made a buying decision on Amazon!

  • Networking to learn about new roles or about a company’s reputation is now a part of almost all candidate’s journey.

  • Company stability is more important to candidates than ever.

  • More candidates communicate by text during the process of looking at a new role and interviews.

  • Healthcare benefits are super important and more candidate don’t just want them, they want to know what they cost before making a move. (Health Insurance Premiums up 131% in the Last Ten Years)

  • Our world has turned to being more experiential and the candidate experience is more of a competing factor for companies who do it well.

  • Though the market is shifting back to an employer driven market, skilled-talent is still in the driver’s seat. They will not move if the company does not align with their goals.

  • The barrel price at the time this was written was staying around $40 a barrel (Markets Insider) However, this year we did see a barrel price that was less than 0.

  • Companies are investing a lot more in diversity, inclusion, and equity.

  • Of course, working from home was a necessity this year. We are hearing from the market that many companies are going to downsize their commercial space. They see productivity in most of their employees working from home and they will save money by moving employees to a work from home model. We heard through the grapevine some companies who are in downtown locations are saving thousands on parking passes for their employees.

  • On the flip side there are companies that do not feel they can work from home and feel their company does better with a face to face collaboration process.


Recruitment and talent acquisition are on a fast-paced ride. So much has changed in the last ten years. TLR Search is looking forward to seeing what will happen from 2020 to 2030!


What movement or changes have you been a part of? What changes will you be a part of in the next 10 years?



TLR Search helps energy and chemical company hiring managers gain talent market share by bringing strong diverse talent to their door, while inspiring potential new team members to picture their future possibilities; especially with hard to fill positions. We are people experts with a specialization in energy and chemicals. We’re a woman-owned recruitment firm that partners with clients to assist them in placing decision-makers at executive levels, supervisors in functional management positions, and experienced professionals in technical roles.

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Energy Recruiters and Chemical Recruiters

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