Recruitment Startups: New Job Who Dis?

In the notoriously competitive recruitment industry, these startups have found a niche and are flourishing in it. Read on to find out how!

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Bryn Glover - Startups
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Now in its 11th year, the Startups 100 profiles the UK’s most promising new businesses. With previous listees including Deliveroo, Monzo and notonthehighstreet, has a real knack for spotting business potential. This year’s entrants did not disappoint, with a diverse range of brilliant new businesses clinching spots in the top 100.

This year’s list has highlighted a number of exciting trends in the UK business market, with new and innovative recruitment platforms emerging this year to disrupt traditional job hunting.

Standing out alongside other market disrupting themes like the boom of the fintech app and future tech, recruitment is ready to change, and the startups on this page are set to lead the charge.

The rise of the recruitment platform

uk recruitment industry stats

According to The Online Recruitment Resource’s Recruitment Industry Trends report from 2017/18, as an industry, recruitment turnover from permanent and temporary contract placements has reached £35.7 billion, an 11% increase from the previous year.

In the same period, the number of UK businesses operating in the UK recruitment industry grew by almost 10%, but there is still room for growth. Though sometimes seen as a saturated market, new recruitment businesses that can increase efficiency and improve customer satisfaction are sure to win a portion of the market that more established, and perhaps less malleable businesses are able to tap into.

The job market is undoubtedly crowded, the number of applicants per job continues to rise and as such, mammoth costs are incurred when hiring new staff. These recruitment pain points are ripe for the picking and the businesses that present workable solutions to these will triumph.

Recruitment is a bustling industry, with London and other cities seeming to overflow with agencies; in many markets, the huge range of options can make competition tough.

However the companies in this list have gone a long way to stand out from the crowd and disrupt the space.

Meet the recruitment startups disrupting the talent industry

debut recruitment platform


Debut, with its graduate-focused approach to recruitment, placed 41st in this year’s overall Startups 100 ranking.

Debut is a digital platform designed to change the face of graduate job hunting. Available online, and with a useful app, Debut boasts a database of over 150,000 student profiles. The platform provides employers and recruiters alike with access to a wide pool of talent spanning a range of sectors and industries. Enabling a cost-effective approach to sourcing candidates, Debut offers a number of features designed to ease the recruitment process.

For the graduates themselves, Debut also works to streamline the application process by sending relevant job opportunities directly to them. For anyone finishing university, or for those of us young enough to remember the frantic job search that ensues graduation, having an easy-to-use service that helps you find a job is an invaluable tool.

On each side of the market, Debut aims to ease a process that has long been a struggle. Created to solve issues including tight budget and resource, Debut also aims to cut out irrelevant applications and low candidate engagement.



Talentful ranked 69th in the 2019 Startups 100 list and works with a range of high profile clients including names like Google, WeWork and Netflix.

Talentful provide flexible in-house talent acquisition teams to streamline recruitment processes. What sets them apart is their choice of partner; working with some of the world’s most recognised brands.

Their use of an in-house approach is unique in a recruitment world that tends to work on an external agency model. Hosting teams within the hiring companies provides insight, knowledge and experience that could easily hold back other more traditional recruitment businesses.

Having dispensed with commission – a huge cost in most recruitment processes – Talentful work on a flexible subscription basis, with around 90% of clients renewing.

Talentful have a simple mission: match the very best talent with the most ambitious companies to ‘unleash human potential.’ As many businesses aim to reduce instances of human touchpoints in everyday processes, it’s refreshing to find a company with people at its core.

the dots creative talent network

The Dots

The Dots placed 89th in the Startups 100 list this year with its no collar professional networking platform.

Forbes recently posed the question: is The Dots the next LinkedIn? The Dots captures the essence of LinkedIn and adapts it to meet the needs of no collar professionals: creators, freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Unique in its focus on the creative industries, The Dots boasts 400,000 members with a huge range of talents and skills represented. What makes The Dots really special, and a true industry disruptor, is the way the platform promotes the work you do, ahead of the people you know.

Creative industries have often been run on a ‘who you know’ basis. Having a platform that helps to overcome this barrier is a massive boon to professionals looking for work.

Next Steps

If you want to know more about hiring as a startup, head over to our taking on staff hub.

Or, if you want a broader look into the world of HR, have a peruse of our guide on ‘What is HR?

Written by:
Bryn Glover - Startups
Bryn Glover has been Editor of since 2017. Running the site's content strategy, Bryn spends a lot of time speaking to entrepreneurs and preparing for Startups' annual editorial campaigns. Having worked in journalism for just under a decade, Bryn wrote for sites like The Times, Reader's Digest, Independent and Times Higher Education before moving into the small business world.
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