7 Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Own Recruitment Agency

15 May 2020

New Start Business

If you’ve worked in the recruitment industry for a number of years and you’re considering heading out on your own, then good luck, it’s an exciting industry with so many opportunities!

You can of course start with our checklist for recruitment start ups, if you’re ready to get going! However we’ve also summarised seven useful things to know before starting your own recruitment agency:

1) It’s Competitive

It’ll probably come as no surprise, that the recruitment industry is incredibly competitive. In fact currently statistics show that there are nearly 40,000 recruitment agencies in the UK.

This means as a start up you have a real challenge on your hands to find your own place in the market.
The market is worth over £35.7 billion so there’s a huge market to tap in to, it’s just a case of finding a niche or doing things a little differently to everyone else!

2) You Can’t Be All Things to All People

It’s tempting when you’re first starting out to not specialise in a certain industry and instead just try and pick up any job you can. However working in this way doesn’t tend to be effective.

In such a crowded market it’s essential that you find your niche. This typically means specialising in an industry and then focussing on a certain career level. Do your research beforehand to ensure the opportunity is there and the talent pool is available.

There are lots of other ways you can stand out too, for example offering the highest level of service or investing in unique technologies to help you stand out from the crowd.

3) It’ll Be Hard Work

If you’re hoping to leave your current recruitment position because of the long hours, then it’s unlikely that you’ll find a better balance when starting your own recruitment business. It’s no secret that recruitment professionals work hard.

Recruiters of course speak to both clients and candidates, and it is a case of being around when the right candidate is available which will often be after work.

Plus, finding that right candidate can be a real struggle in itself and takes serious hard work, sometimes without any reward if they decide to not accept the position.

Then there’s the back office functions to consider, such as invoicing and payroll, however New Millennia can handle all of this for you.

4) You Need to Market Yourself Effectively

You have to look closely at how you market your business to help you stand out in this saturated market. Clients and candidates will of course expect you to have a website and social media channels, however the message and look of your business has to be unique.

Cold calling is part and parcel of recruitment life, however think of other ways to bring clients to your door. If you work with a marketing agency you’ll be offered just about every possible digital

service, so take the time to consider how people are typically recruited in your industry to help you invest in the right places.

Networking becomes more important than ever, both online and offline, to help build your reputation as a professional and insightful industry recruiter.

5) Consider All Regulations

There are a number of different regulations you need to be compliant with that you might not have considered. Of course you need insurance, but depending on your sector you need the right one for your business. For example those starting a healthcare recruitment agency will typically need higher insurance due to the nature of the work.

Then you need to register your business with the HMRC and decide whether to set up as a sole trader or a limited company. Working with an accountant can be invaluable initially to help you understand the implications of your decision.

Then of course there’s GDPR and how you manage the data of your clients and candidates. It doesn’t need to be overwhelming and if you’ve worked in recruitment for many years there’ll be things you’ll likely have come across before.

6) Consider All Costs

When you start out you need to set your pricing model. It can be tempting initially to simply ‘get what you can’ when it comes to fee agreements. However establishing a pricing model helps you identify your worth and balance off other costs.

Expect clients to want to know exactly what they’re investing in. So sell not only your experience and track record, but also the range of traditional and digital tools you’ll use to get their vacancy seen by the right people.

Then of course there are the costs of the job boards and other membership fees and subscriptions to consider. Before committing long term to a job board you haven’t used before be sure to ask for a trial as it allows you to assess if it will attract the type of candidates that you’re looking for.

7) It Can Be Expensive to Establish (but it doesn’t have to be!)

Inevitably when establishing a recruitment agency you’ll need to spend money before you’ve made any! Even once placed you’ll likely need to pay your staff and for other services before you receive payment from your client.

Your first consideration might be to use your own savings, however many people avoid doing this as it makes their decision to go solo even riskier. Then of course there’s a bank loan to consider, however banks have notoriously stringent methods to judge whether you’re suitable. They will expect you to have experience in your industry and a good understanding of the numbers.

Here at New Millennia we specialise in the financing and management of new recruitment agency start ups. We offer a 100% financing option for invoicing, and unlike the banks it’s a very straight forward process.

If you’re interested in how New Millennia could help your business get going then call our team on 0161 337 9882 to find out more or email enq@nmgroup.co.uk.

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