Recruitment and Training Industry Guide

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Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide covers business aspects of the recruitment and training industries. For more technical and academic works on management, recruitment and training see Explore the British Library.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Business Trainer  BOP492 
Executive Coach  BOP496 
Executive Search Consultant  BOP428 
HR Consultant  BOP433 
IT Trainer  BOP332 
Recruitment Agency  BOP084 
Temping Agency  BOP226 

Mini Business Profiles (MBP)

Business Network/Club  MBP327 
CV Writer  MBP420 
First Aid Trainer  MBP424 
Public Speaking Coach  MBP172 

Small Business Help Books 

This is a collection of books with practical information aimed at those starting and running a business. Located in the Centre, unless otherwise stated.

The Coaching Manual by Julie Starr (Pearson, 2016) [SBH MNG.73 Small Business Help]

Complete Guide to Mentoring by Hilarie Owen (Kogan Page, 2011) [SBH MNG.74 Small Business Help]
Deliver Great Training Courses by Martin Manser (John Murray Learning, 2014) [SBH ODHR.21 Small Business Help]
How to be a confident trainer including course design.
Finding & Hiring Talent in a Week by Nigel Cumberland (John Murray Learning, 2016) [SBH ODHR.30 Small Business Help]
Financial Times Guide to Business Coaching
by Anne Scoular (Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2012) [DRT ELD.173175 – electronic book – accessible on British Library computers]
Comprehensive guide to business coaching including skills and psychological techniques.
Financial Times Guide to Business Training by Tom Bird & Jeremy Cassell (Pearson Education, 2013) [SBH ODHR.64 Small Business Help section]
How to develop, design and deliver business training including resources for ideas, practical help etc.  
Headhunters and How to Use Them: a Guide for Organisations and Individuals by Nancy Garrison Jenn (Economist/Profile Books, 2005) [YK.2006.a.1186 Humanities – has to be ordered using Explore the British Library]
Guide on how to use executive search companies for candidates and employers including a survey of the major consultancy firms. A little old but still a standard guide.

How to Be a Successful Life Coach by Shelagh Young (How To Books, 2009) [(B) SBH BT.40 Small Business Help]
Guide to setting up a coaching business including skills, choosing a client base, business structure etc.
New Coach: Reflections from a Learning Journey by Lis Paice (2013) [SBH MNG.53 Small Business Help]
Professional Recruiter’s Handbook by Jane Newell Brown & Ann Swain (Kogan Page, 2012) [YK.2012.a.20818 – must be ordered using Explore the British Library]
Guide to recruitment practice including candidate management, client acquisition, business strategy.

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

IBISWorld logo

  • Corporate Wellness Services in the UK (UK0.008) 2020
  • Employment Placement Agencies in the UK (N78.100) 2021
  • Executive Search Recruiters in the UK (UK0.013) 2021
  • Human Resources Provision in the UK (N78.300) 2020
  • Technical & Vocational Education in the UK (P85.410) 2020
  • Temporary Employment Placement Agencies in the UK (N78.200) 2020
  • Universities in the UK (P85.421) 2021

(Some of the UK reports above will also have equivalents for the US, Canada, Ireland and some other countries)

Mintel logo

  • Recruitment 2019
  • Schools, Universities & Hospitals 2021 

Please note that many articles about the industry (from business journals and newspapers) are available from electronic sources: ISI Emerging Markets, eMarketer, Business Source Complete (EBSCO), Factiva etc.

Other Market Research Reports

UK Retained Executive Search Industry Report (Executive Grapevine, 2012/2013) [(B) 658.4071110941 BUS]
Overview of the executive recruitment markets in senior management and in the key sectors of finance, industrial, consumer, media, healthcare, professional and not-for-profit.

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists.

Executive Talent (formerly Search) (Association of Executive Search & Leadership Consultants, quarterly) [Available as a free eMagazine on the web]
Global Recruiter(Front Page Publishing, monthly) [(P) 658.31110941 – E(1) BUS]
Formerly Recruitment Consultant. News and trends in the UK staffing industry. Covers job moves, job adverts, training and payroll issues.

Graduate Recruiter (Association of Student Employers, bi-monthly) [ZC.9.b.3049 – Humanities) (Order via Explore the British Library)
News, comment and topical features.

HR Grapevine (Executive Grapevine International, monthly) [(P) 658.3005-E(5) Science 2]
Formerly Grapevine. News for people in the talent management sector including company profiles, trends, career development issues etc. Also publish directories of executive recruitment consultants (see Directories section). Hard copy available up to Oct 2015. Later editions in full on website.

Industrial and Commercial Training (Emerald Group, quarterly) [Social Sciences Periodicals Display for 12 months then Humanities P.513/237 - from 2014 Electronic Legal Deposit] [also available onsite via electronic resources – ABI Inform & Emerald]
Semi-academic journal covering the latest research in training and development for industry and business.

Labour Market Outlook: Quarterly Survey Report (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, quarterly) [(P) 658.3094105 – E (1) Business] Also available through the British Library Management & Business Studies Portal
Trends in the labour market and recruitment and economic background.

Pay & Benefits (Payroll Alliance/LexisNexis, monthly) [(P 658.3005 – E(1) Business]
Magazine for people working human resources and particularly payroll. Includes employee benefits, outsourcing, HR issues, software and payroll services and job adverts.
(Note: final issue was December 2016 but may still have useful content)
Recruiter (Centaur Publications, fortnightly) [Humanities – Zk.9.b.17414] [available onsite via electronic resources – Factiva and Business Source Complete]
Magazine for recruitment professionals. Industry news, sector profiles, features, people moves, company news and rankings, large recruitment job advert section.

Training Journal (Dods Group, monthly) [Social Science Periodicals Display for 12 months then Humanities P.551/109] [available onsite via electronic resources – ABI Inform & Business Source Complete]
News and features for those involved in the learning and development sector, including coaching. There is company news, interviews, reviews of resources, conferences and a marketplace section. (journal and back issues on website).

This list does not include academic or technical journals on management or training. Many of these will be available in the Social Sciences reading room (use Explore the British Library).


Sadly there are currently no directories in this field. The directories included in previous editions of this guide are now too old to be useful. However, we have listed the details below for reference:

Directory of Products & Suppliers: UK Education & Training (British Educational Suppliers Association, annual) [(B) DIR 338.7613702541 BUS]
Lists suppliers of educational and training equipment e.g. whiteboards, software, furniture etc. 2013 edition is last on shelf but searchable online.

Executive Grapevine Global Directory of Executive Recruitment Consultants (Executive Grapevine International, annual) [(B) DIR 658.407111025 BUS] - Final edition was 2012/13
Country-by-country listing of consultants specialising in executive recruitment. Includes contact details as well as biographies of the major consultants and lists their specialisms. Note: final edition available 2012/3.
Personnel Manager’s Yearbook (AP Information Services, annual) [(B) DIR 658.3002541 BUS] - Final edition was 2012/13
Directory for people working in human resources departments. Consists of detailed listings of HR and training managers in large companies and organisations. Note: final edition was 2012/3.

Training Manager’s Yearbook (AP Information Services, annual) [(B) 658.3124 BUS] - Final edition was 2012
Directory for training managers and people in company training departments. Also training course providers by specialism. Note: final edition was 2012.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Membership organisation for private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training organisations, including apprenticeship schemes. Site includes news and policy documents. 

Association of Executive Search & Leadership Consultants

International organisation (based in the US). Site includes news, resources, eMagazine, blogs, industry reports and global membership directory.

Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE)

Organisation for the professional self-employed including trainers and recruitment consultants.

Association of Recruitment Consultants

Trade association representing recruitment companies from all sectors. Site has information on the association, details of events etc. 

Best Companies

Lists and profiles of the best companies to work for in the UK including small, medium, large and non-profits. Profiles include details of employment policies, progression, benefits etc.

British Institute of Recruiters

Professional body for recruiters and HR. Website has details of membership, model terms, register of recruiters and industry supplier details. Members can access best practice guides and templates.

British Library Management & Business Studies Portal

Gateway to reports, articles, news and original content on the internet and in the British Library. Includes human resources management and employee relations. 

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Professional body for people working in human resources.

Employee Benefits

Online news and information resource including a directory of suppliers.

Executive Grapevine

Executive recruitment publishers. Some free articles, reports and data.

Executive Research Association

Network of executive search professionals. Activities include events, training and a researcher directory.


UK directory of courses including training and career courses, further and higher education and short and hobby courses. Formerly Hot Courses.

The Global Recruiter

Online version of the magazine. Includes news, features, job adverts and supplier directory.

HR Director Online

Website includes news, features, job search, events and searchable HR services supplier directory.

HR Grapevine

News on human resources issues. Produced by Executive Grapevine

Institute of Consulting - now part of the Chartered Management Institute

Professional body for consultants in general (including HR and recruitment consultants).

Institute of Student Employers

Formerly Association of Graduate Recruiters. Employer-led membership association of companies and organisations that employ graduates.

Learning and Performance Institute

Website of the professional body for learning and development professionals. Details of the institute and information on careers, events, accreditation and standards. Contains research papers, webinars and industry news. 

Learning & Work Institute

Independent research institute. Website has free reports and statistics.

Online Recruitment (OnRec)

Free news and information about the recruitment industry. Includes site and sector profiles, discussion forum and a directory.

Payroll Centre

Resources for payroll professionals, news and regulations.

Personnel Today

Online version of the industry weekly newspaper, now only available online. Includes latest news, blogs, resources and supplier details. 

Recruiter Magazine

Online version of the magazine. Includes news, analysis and job advert search functions.

Recruitment Agency Expo

Details of the exhibitions held in London and Birmingham including free seminars.

Recruitment and Employment Confederation

Main professional body for the recruitment and training industries. Site includes member directory and details of events but membership required for other information. Includes the Association of Executive Recruiters and the Interim Management Association. 

Recruitment Buzz

News and views on recruitment matters. 

Training Journal  

Website accompanying the Training Journal. Site include recent training news, directories of training course providers, training venues and suppliers to the training industry. Also job search facility, conference reports and details of awards. Magazine and back issues on the site.  

Training Pages

Directory of over 25,000 courses, categorised by subject with an alphabetical listing of training providers and a venue guide. Free to register.

Training Zone

Information for trainers. Includes news and features, useful downloadable documents, directories (of trainers, venues, suppliers, courses and coaches) and a job search facility.

UK Recruiter

‘The Recruitment Knowledge Network’. Website includes online forums, supplier directory and newsletter. 


Portal for career information. Includes employer guides, industry surveys, salary surveys, recruitment directories and networking. American but covers UK information.

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by The British Library, bpsuf, under a Creative Commons license, The British Library