Toby Fowlston

Director, Commerce Permanent – Robert Walters London

1. What is the biggest change you have seen in the recruitment industry since you joined it?

In the decade I have been working in the industry, I’ve witnessed a number of major changes. Perhaps most notable has been the increased HR involvement in the recruitment process – historically recruiters dealt mainly with the line managers running the recruitment process but increasingly now deal with HR or for many of the largest organisations, through recruitment portals.

Secondly, the emergence of on-line recruitment activity and communication – be it, interaction with recruitment consultancy web-sites, job boards or social networks – has driven a major change in both candidate and client behaviour.

2. What is the biggest lesson you have learned while trading through the current recession?

Something we at Robert Walters are passionate about is ‘doing more than simply filling jobs’ – we actively provide market intelligence to our client and candidate base whether it be through our regular quarterly market updates, newsletters, jobs indexes, seminars, forums or salary surveys.

The recessionary marketplace has created even more of a hunger for this type of information/activity. I’ve therefore learned that whilst generating and communicating this knowledge can be time consuming and labour intensive, it is absolutely essential that is maintained through the cycle.

Equally, our job is all about relationship creation and management – maintaining strong and deep relationships with our clients and candidates is absolutely critical – recession or otherwise.

3. What do you most love about your job?

There is something very special about helping individuals manage their careers and helping clients develop their businesses through their people.

To find out more about Robert Walters, please visit


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