The Experts: Geraldine King on the Impact of Globalization in Recruitment

Geraldine King

CEO, National Recruitment Federation

Geraldine joined the Federation in 2009 and is responsible for the running of the NRF office and all divisions of the Federation, including all PR & Marketing and internal communications. Since her arrival to the NRF she has been focused on expanding the services of the NRF to member and has introduced the accredited Certificate in recruitment practice to the Irish recruitment industry the only certificate for recruiters in Ireland.

Welcome to another installment of our Power Women in Recruitment Month. Throughout October, we will celebrate some of the incredible women that make up the recruitment industry, highlighting their career achievements along the way.

In this clip, Geraldine King, Chief Executive Officer at the National Recruitment Federation, discusses how globalization has played a role in the development of the recruitment industry.


Is the recruitment industry deserving of its negative reputation?

Geraldine King: Do I think it has a negative reputation? Sometimes yes. I was on the client-side before I went to an agency. Before 2002, I worked in multinationals, and I used a lot of agencies–and my god, seriously? I worked in a technical role, so I needed a technical staff like engineers, technicians, and similar roles like that. I found that agencies didn’t send you what you asked for. They’d send you anyone who was available. I think yes, in those days they deserved some of the reputations that they got and the negativity. 

Roll it on 17 years, I think the industry has outshone itself in how it has literally geared up, looked at itself, flipped itself over, been through two recessions, and come out the other end with a professional profession and thriving, and the turnover is nearly 500 billion. So yes and no, I think it does have a bad reputation, not as much as it did, but it definitely has transformed itself for the better over the years.

How has globalization changed the industry and what opportunities has it created?

GK: In my opinion, having large agencies living a systematic culture, developing systems, procedures, putting compliance in place, and then rolling that out globally in all of their offices just joins up the industry and the profession for the better than if you had a lot of small or medium ones all doing their own thing everywhere in the world. But I think the global agencies have done an amazing job, as have the small and medium firms, but the global firms are really leading the charge. If you look at especially the top three, the innovation that they’re doing is incredible, and they’re doing it worldwide. So everybody’s benefiting from viewing what they’re doing and then trying to follow in their footsteps.

And I might add to that the World Employment Confederation–of which most national federations are a member of–are doing outstanding work. What they do in the head office in Brussels and what all of the board members do globally to systemize and connect the recruitment profession around the world, it’s unbelievable. The lobbying they do, the employment standards they set. So I think the opportunity that has been created is that we all get to benefit from seeing all of this.

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If you’re interested in hearing more insights from Geraldine on how to fix the recruitment industry’s reputation, check out her podcast episode: Take It from the Top (Episode 23).