3 Phases of Evolution of Staffing Agencies: A 2023 Guide

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Emergence of Remote Hiring

Emergence of Remote Hiring: A Brief History of Staffing Agencies

Recruiting the right individuals for essential positions is a critical factor for the success and survival of a business. The Winter 2022 Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey of 175 leading CEOs representing more than 15 industries found that above 75% of them considered a shortage of skilled labor, along with higher costs, as the biggest external issue facing their business strategy within the next 12 months.

The Great Resignation‘, which refers to the significant disruption in America’s labor force caused by the pandemic, led to more than 47 million workers quitting their jobs in 2021. However, upon closer examination, the phenomenon can be more accurately labeled ‘The Great Reshuffle‘ because hiring rates have exceeded quit rates since November of 2020, indicating that many workers who quit are being rehired elsewhere. And based on findings by the US Chamber of Commerce, these are significantly facilitated by rising remote working options available, mainly, through the internet.

When operating remotely, however, the demand for skilled labor can be met due to the increased accessibility to a global pool of talent. Despite that, owing to the presence of distinct challenges unique to the situation of the hiring process being conducted remotely, the generational issue of a skilled labor shortage is at a higher risk of getting complicated.

According to the New World of Work survey report, published in August 2020, and filled out by more than 350 respondents, the biggest challenges in hiring remotely are:

  • Remote onboarding/ training challenges (37.4%)
  • Hiring in a remote environment (33.1%)
  • Uncertainty among candidates about job security (31.7%)
  • Economic anxiety within the business (30.6%)


Keeping these in mind, hundreds of remote staffing agencies have come up in the past two years alone to mitigate the gap between demand and supply, promising to tackle, if not all, most of the problems faced by both employees and employers, across the world, during the hiring process. Hence, in this article we explore the history of staffing agencies- their emergence and evolution to the current state.

Although there is no standard definition of a hiring agency, it generally refers to any company or organization whose primary business revolves around sourcing the right talent for the right demand. In simpler terms, they get candidates hired in roles that companies have openings for. The history of the landscape of hiring agencies is a brief one, being quite recent, and can be broadly broken down into three parts:

Emergence of Remote Hiring: A Brief History of Staffing Agencies
Emergence of Remote Hiring: A Brief History of Staffing Agencies
  1. Pre-Internet phase:

    If you had job openings and wanted vacant positions to be filled in your organization, chances are, you went with hiring staffing agencies to do the job for you, in the absence of the creation of the internet. You could also place advertisements in newspapers, spread the news by word of mouth, try to recruit from colleges and universities, and of course, exhaust your personal, social, and professional networks. Some of the biggest hiring agencies to come up during this time were Robert Half, Randstad, Allegis, Kelly Services, and so on.

  2. Internet phase:

    The creation of the internet and the commercialization and mass use of the world wide web helped staffing companies evolve their systems and become more up to date. It also led to the invention of newer kinds of hiring practices and processes altogether, leading to the formation of some new types of hiring agencies. The idea of online job boards was conceptualized. This approach almost totally replaced the earlier practices of newspaper job advertisement postings. Some of the biggest names to come up during this phase was Craigslist, Monster Jobs, HotJobs, LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc. LinkedIn, primarily, pioneered the later shift from this phase on to the current one, by combining the prospect of, the then rising trend of, social media platforms with an online networking opportunity.

  3. Current phase:

    The emergence and development of high-tech with artificial intelligence and the mass availability of evolved portable electronic gadgets making it easier to access the internet from anywhere has given birth to the current phase of the job market that we are in. Another parent of this situation is the rise of a highly digitized global economy that keeps on advocating and shaping a free-flow, de-hierarchized work structure and ethic. There are many more factors contributing to the ongoing advancement in the current phase, some of which are- the shift in attitudes toward organizational work structures of the current employable generation, etc.

    A defining factor in the current phase, unfortunately, has been the global COVID-19 pandemic that led to the rise and crystallization of the work-from-home or remote work structure. What was initially implemented as an emergency plan to contain the transmission of a deadly contagious virus, rose to the occasion to show businesses that work could successfully, and in most cases, even more productively and in a cost-effective manner, be conducted from non-office spaces.

As discussed earlier, ‘The Great Resignation’ had many causes. Some of the leading reasons were rising demands from the existing workforce for a smoother work-life balance, flexible work structures, better job roles, and opportunities for career development, among others. This led to the rise in freelancing, as observed by the trends of the last couple of years. However, people soon recognized that even that is not free of its inherent cons, and started looking for business solutions that are best optimized.

That is when creative minds across the globe came together to form hiring startups like Remote Resource LLC. Keeping sync with the socio-economic trends of the current phase, startups like RR help small and medium sized businesses all over the world get the best fit for vacant positions even from the remotest corner of the Indian subcontinent. By helping SMEs continue to keep business operations remote, RR helps companies save millions of dollars in establishment costs, while ensuring that their remote employee churns out uncompromised deliverables through an office-managed setup despite being remote. RR also takes care of all employee liabilities like medical costs, insurance policies, HR requirements and so on, so that SMBs can focus on core business tasks along with top-notch resources that would work like in-house employees for their clients.

A future-proof business solution for remote hiring is here. We hope that our article informs the decision to choose your next hire judiciously.


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