Recruiters have been urged to be prepared to offer more value for less in order to if they are to compete in the current economic climate

Anthony Hilton, the financial editor of the Evening Standard, offered caution to recruiters they they should offer clients a value for money services and to behave more like consultants rather than sales people

Hilton warned all sectors of business, including recruitment, they they may no longer be needed to act as middle men due to the rapid growth of online medias such as LinkedIn, Gumtree and Facebook, where clients can find people themselves.

Hilton urged recruiters to become more proactive in demonstrating the added value they could provide for their clients.

Hilton reminded delegates of the 2010 Conference that all recruiters have a wealth of knowledge at their disposal and urged them to use this knowledge to add value to their service offering. Recruiters, he said, could advise clients on restructuring, for example, where complex staffing issues can often arise.

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, said: “Disintermediation is a word that’s been bandied about for years, but Anthony Hilton presented a compelling argument as to why in the post-credit crunch world it could be about to become a reality. More than ever, organisations will be looking for value for money. Recruiters who don’t evolve face extinction.”

“We were looking for someone outside of the recruitment industry to give a keynote address and provide a fresh outlook on the industry, and Anthony Hilton has done just that.”

The conference opened with an address from Ann Swain. Delegates were then treated to the comedic styling of Magic Circle magician James Freeman, who reminded the audience, through a series of optical illusions and tricks, the importance of seeing the bigger picture in business.

Hilton then took to the stage for his address before Chris Matchcan, an internationally renowned speaker and expert in HR, demonstrated the importance of management engagement in business.

Conference delegates then chose between the sales track, the management track and the executive forum, before coming together again for a live panel discussion featuring several recruitment experts from highly successful businesses including Nokia, Blackrock, AXA UK and Copernicus Global Partners.