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When the 2008 recession hit North America with more than three million job losses, recruitment – and hiring – paused. As the economy entered the next decade in the early recovery stage, North America will finish this decade with approximately 19 million positions added in the U.S. and two million in Canada. With more than 21 million jobs gained, the current decade experienced many influential recruitment moments. These are recruitment’s defining moments – one from each year (with some honourable mentions!) – of the 2010-2019 decade:

Uber launches

inside Uber officeIn 2010, the first-ever Uber ride was requested. The launch of the ride-sharing app rewrote the unofficial dictionary. Economists and researchers coined the service-sharing era as ‘the Uber economy.’ Like Google, Uber became a verb. Through accidents, lawsuits, and at its worst, deaths, the taxi-hailing service provoked dialogue among governments, passengers, and its competitors on the contrast between employees and contractors, and the consequences of not adequately screening workers.


Honourable Mention:
Glassdoor introduces fee-based programs that allow companies to enhance their organizational profiles

Death of Steve Jobs

front of Apple storeIn 2011, the world lost visionary Steve Jobs. Today, his name is synonymous with innovation. As Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, he directed the multinational technology company toward user-centric design in its product line. His world-class, winning clairvoyance extended from product development to hiring and onboarding. He once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”


Honourable Mention:
McDonald’s announces it would hire 50,000 employees in its American restaurants in one day

Workable launches

inside Workable officeIn 2012, Workable was “born out of our frustration with the way hiring works in most modern companies. In the last decade, many applicant tracking systems were developed to – improve, enhance, optimize, expedite, streamline, whatever you’d like to call it – the recruitment and hiring process. Workable became a leader in not only the applicant tracking system industry, but the modernization of mobile recruitment as well. Today, it’s estimated that more than 80 per cent of jobseekers search for jobs on a mobile device.


Honourable Mention:
KONY2012 – American-based charity Invisible Children releases a short documentary film to promote their Stop Kony mission inspiring an estimated tens of millions of people worldwide to join movement

LinkedIn turns 10

inside LinkedIn officeIn 2013, the emerging employment-oriented social media website LinkedIn turned 10 years old and surpassed 225 million members worldwide. Since their 10th anniversary, it’s been acquired by Microsoft, experienced their largest interface redesign, and launched their Talent Insights feature. Today, more than 660 million members in 200 countries, including an estimated 90 per cent of all talent acquisition personnel worldwide, use the job- and candidate-search platform.


Honourable Mention:
U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) launches Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)

Ontario issues warning against unpaid internships

Ontario Employment Standards Act

In 2014, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour sent a warning against unpaid internships, determining that two well-known Canadian magazines were in violation of labour laws. The interns employed at The Walrus and Toronto Life were unpaid. According to the labour ministry, the interns needed to be paid. The magazines – declaring that they couldn’t afford to pay their interns – elected to terminate their current interns and withdraw future interns, cancelling their unpaid internship programs altogether. The Ministry of Labour then continued their “enforcement blitz” into other sectors.


Honourable Mention:
Tech giants settle lawsuit filed by their employees for $324.5 million for suppressing wages

EY drops minimum requirement of degree

outside EY buildingIn 2015, the U.K. division of Big 4 accounting firm EY dropped their degree requirement. Earlier that year, their Big 4 counterpart PwC removed academic grades from their selection criteria – prompting EY to advance the application process further by eliminating the minimum requirement for candidates to hold a degree. An EY talent partner said, “Transforming our recruitment process will open up opportunities for talented individuals regardless of their background, and provide greater access to the profession.” She said their own research “found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken.”


Honourable Mention:
Then-U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announces implementation of ‘name-blind’ recruitment

RBC aligns purpose, vision, and values

outside RBC buildingIn 2016, RBC released their ‘RBC Diversity & Inclusion Blueprint 2020.’ The Big 5 Bank’s four-year plan set a direction that “aligns with our organizational purpose and focuses on attracting and developing the best talent, providing advice and solutions for diverse client markets, and enabling the social and economic development of our communities through partnerships, research, volunteerism and corporate citizenship.”

Their President and CEO Dave McKay wrote, “We believe a powerful recipe for success is the combination of what each of us brings as unique individuals together with a common purpose and goals. That leads to new insights and innovation. By coming together and sharing our unique perspectives, we grow as an organization and as individuals. This helps RBC attract and retain the best talent. And it helps us better serve and meet the needs of our increasingly diverse client markets.”


Honourable Mention:
JPMorgan Chase agrees to pay $264 million fine to settle nepotism allegations in China

CIBC pledges to hire 500 people with disabilities

outside CIBC buildingIn 2017, CIBC announced it would hire 500 people with disabilities. The Big 5 bank commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 Canadians with disabilities. After learning that 37 per cent of respondents of working age were unemployed, the Big Five bank pledged to hire 500 people with disabilities. CIBC’s senior executive vice-president and Chief Risk Officer said, “We want to let job seekers with disabilities know that at CIBC we focus on the abilities and personal strengths of people.”


Honourable Mention:
More than 150 CEOs assemble to launch CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

Social media perfection (and rejection)

City of Los Angeles job advertisement for graphics designerIn 2018, the City of Los Angeles posted a job advertisement searching for a Graphics Designer. The job posting – described as looking like it was “created by a child using Microsoft Paint” – went viral on social media for its perfection in exaggerating the municipal government’s need for digital design talent. The advertisement inspired new real – and fake – job postings emulating the City of Los Angeles’s simplistic brilliance.

Later that year, a woman allegedly lost her internship at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) due to a Twitter exchange. After she tweeted her excitement with an expletive, a user – likely unbeknownst to her, an overseeing member on the National Space Council – replied. The incoming intern responded with more expletives. After the infamous, four-tweet conversation went viral on social media, she allegedly lost the internship. Her rejection highlighted the risks taken by jobseekers and the due diligence performed by talent acquisition personnel on social media.


Honourable Mention:
Amazon removes AI recruitment tool that favoured men

Starbucks hires global diversity inclusion officer

front of Starbucks storeIn 2019, Starbucks hired a Global Diversity Inclusion Officer. The coffeehouse chain apologized after two men were arrested in one of its Philadelphia coffee shops, in a case that led to accusations of racial profiling and subsequent protests. The coffee company then closed its American locations for a one-day racial bias training session, before hiring Nzinga Shaw as its Global Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer. Shaw said she was grateful for receiving “an opportunity to create internal and external programs with diversity at the core.”


Honourable Mention:
Jobvite raises over $200 million in funding and acquires three major recruitment startups