8 Steps to Starting a Recruitment Business

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Setting up your own recruitment business can feel daunting and complicated. You're already a talented, successful recruiter but there's a whole lot more entailed in setting up and running a successful recruitment business. Here's our guide to the key areas you need to consider:


1. Find your niche and map out your business strategy

When launching a recruitment business, it’s important to have a clear strategy. What kind of recruitment agency do you want to be? In which market(s) do you have the knowledge and networks, and thus are most likely to be successful? 

Recruitment is a saturated market – how will you stand out from the crowd to clients and candidates? Conduct market analysis on the current economy, your potential pool of candidates and clients, and the competitive landscape in order to scope out the value and USP of your business. Think about your business development strategy and how you’ll get off the ground once you launch.


2. Get your finances in order

Like any business, there are upfront costs associated with starting a recruitment business. Plan your budget to take costs such as office space, equipment, marketing tools and insurance into consideration.

Bookkeeping, management accounting, statutory filing responsibilities (VAT, Corporation Tax and Statutory Accounts), forecasting, placement invoices, and credit control are crucial to the smooth running of a recruitment business. You need all of these in order and outsourced where needed, in order to be able to do your day job of recruiting and billing.


3. Get to grips with the regulations

Recruitment is a people-centred industry so there are a lot of laws and regulations surrounding it.

Make sure you understand all obligations regarding legislation, GDPR and insurance. Does your market require specific compliance? Are you aware of the impact market changes such as IR35 will have on your business? What sort of minimum referencing standards are you planning to provide?


4. Make a splash with your branding and marketing

Your brand is an integral part of your recruitment business’ identity and determines how clients, candidates and potential employees think of you. Take time to shape your brand’s unique personality, style, and core values.

A website helps with business development and establishing credibility within your market. Building a job board that integrates with your CRM will streamline the hiring process for both you and your candidates.

Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram are great ways to promote your services and engage with your audience. Posts should be engaging, aligned with your brand and culture, and clearly convey your business’ objectives and value-add.


5. Invest in technology

Investing in time-saving technology will ultimately reward your business as you’re able to spend more time with people rather than on processes.

A good CRM will give you a holistic overview of the entire recruitment process, from applicant tracking and nurturing through to your overall company activity. A LinkedIn Recruiter License is an essential tool for any recruiter. It helps you find and engage candidates for your sourcing needs, as well as giving you a monthly Job Slot on the platform.

Implementing state-of-the-art IT support and security systems is also imperative to protect your business and data against breaches or cyberattacks.


6. Set short-term and long-term goals

A successful recruitment business has clear goals. You should plan each quarter, managing cash requirements and setting realistic targets. Having a clear road map ahead will help you keep on track and see the forest for the trees.

What challenges do you anticipate that could limit your success, and how will you overcome them? A successful business is not one that never encounters difficulty, but one that’s prepared and resilient.


7. Attract the right talent

If you’re going to bring talent on board, you need to have a clear employee value proposition. Why would recruiters choose to work at your company? What career progression opportunities, perks and culture will you offer? 


8. Get the right support in key areas

You don't need to fund and run your start-up entirely by yourself. Getting third-party support in areas such as finance, marketing, legal and operations allows you to focus on what you're actually good at and why you wanted to set up a recruitment business in the first place - clients, candidates and billing. Recognise where your expertise lies and don't let all the other facets of running a business detract from that. 


Our team of business professionals at Recruitment Entrepreneur will help you with how to start a recruitment agency.


Ready to run your own recruitment business? Chat to our Investment Director Alex Niarchos about the different packages of funding, mentoring and back-office support that we offer to ambitious recruitment entrepreneurs.