Richard Earl, Founder and Managing Director of Talent International, shares his humorous take on how the language of the tech industry has changed over the last 20 years.  

Two decades of experience in technology recruitment and the tech start-up scene have given me an interesting view of the way culture and attitudes between clients and candidates have evolved. Looking back, there have been a number of distinct periods which I can describe as follows:

  • 1995: an old view of the world just on the cusp of the World Wide Web and its possibilities
  • 2000: the height of a crazy dot com boom where all commercial commonsense went awry
  • 2002: the dot com crash when reality hit home
  • 2009: the global financial crisis, where corporate selfishness dominated and culture and decency were only paid lip service
  • 2014: a new era of responsibility and obligation where company structures and culture are beginning to evolve and take on new meanings.

As culture and attitudes have changed, so too has language. Here’s my light-hearted view on how language has changed.

Looking back, it is possible to see certain patterns re-occurring but I genuinely think that the message is getting through that we have to create businesses that are built around being responsible, sustainable and accountable to all. Importantly, the people working in today’s organisations need to be recruited based on these principles, hence we need a new language and approach around attracting people to your business. Above all else, companies need to be authentic in both their language and actions to prosper in this new era.

– Richard Earl is Founder and Director of Talent International, an IT&T Recruitment specialist supplying thousands of technology professionals across Australia, New Zealand, SE and NE Asia and the UK. This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Please see for more details.

This blog post is part of a series produced by Virgin Unite, BBH London and the B Team to spark a conversation about language and the future of business. 

Find all the other posts in the series here.