John Nurthen (LinkedIn profile), executive director of global research at U.S.-based Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), a global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions, has said that global annual revenue in online job advertising had exhibited strong growth in 2021, rising by 36% to $31.2 billion U.S. However, he noted that quantifying the recruitment industry was difficult, as there are many competing definitions of it.

He added that talent shortages remained at a 16-year-high, with 75% of companies questioned by SIA saying that they struggled to find the talent they needed. He said that this shortage was particularly acute in Asia, with IT and banking the most affected sectors globally.

According to Nurthen, there is a degree of convergence in the industry, with many companies investing in automation, and he cited Addeco Adia, Indeed Flex and LinkedIn’s Services Marketplace as examples of this. However, he cautioned that using artificial intelligence (AI) in an ethical manner was a huge challenge in recruitment and that he would not be surprised if some companies ultimately suffered reputational damage as a result of its misuse.

He concluded that convergence in the industry was set to continue, asserting that “Everything is going to look a bit similar.” He added that acquisitions would continue, leading to deepening consolidation among recruitment marketplaces.

Nurthen spoke on Tuesday at RecBuzz, the recruitment marketplace conference hosted by the AIM Group in Amsterdam.

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