How a Recruitment Agency is Valued (and ways to increase it!)

14 May 2024

Recruitment Industry

Have you ever wondered how much your recruitment business could be worth if you decided to sell?


Whether you’re keen to get moving or building your business with a future sale in mind, it’s good to know what’s important in the valuation process.


In this article we’ll explore how recruitment agencies are valued and ways you can make your business more appealing to a prospective buyer.


How a Recruitment Agency is Valued


It’s worth mentioning upfront that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, however, here are the common methods used to determine the value of a recruitment business:


  1. Revenue and Profits


The first thing any prospective buyer will want to do is look at the agency’s financial performance, including where your revenue comes from, profit margins and historical earnings.


EBITDA is a commonly used financial metric to assess the profitability and overall financial health of a business.


In the context of a valuation, EBITDA serves as a key indicator of the agency’s operational efficiency and earning potential.


Additionally, it allows for an easier comparison between different recruitment businesses.


Strategies for Improvement: Diverse your service offerings, expand into new markets or upsell additional services to your existing clients. Considering recruitment finance, from a reputable company like New Millennia, could also help improve your cashflow.


  1. Strength of Client Base


Your client portfolio plays a significant role in how your agency is valued. A diverse client base with long-term contracts or recurring revenue streams demonstrates stability and the potential for future growth. 


Essentially a buyer is checking if you have all your eggs in one basket and rely too heavily on one or two contracts, or whether your revenue is more evenly spread.


Strategies for Improvement: Ensure your client base is diverse. Aim for long-term contracts or exclusivity deals.


  1. Quality of Candidate Database


The size, quality and relevance of your candidate database is key.


A large, active pool of qualified candidates, where information is up to date and complete, is appealing to a potential buyer.


Strategies for Improvement: Ensure candidate data is organised and segmented effectively, and that systems comply with GDPR guidelines. Consider using AI tools for talent acquisition to speed up the sourcing process. Offer value-added services to candidates, such as career coaching, to build long term relationships.


  1. Reputation and Brand


The reputation of your recruitment agency within your specialist sector is crucial.

A strong reputation for professionalism, reliability and delivering a high-quality service, is what a potential buyer wants to see.


Strategies for Improvement: Invest in marketing to increase the visibility of your agency in places relevant to your audience. Create a brand that differentiates your agency from your competitors. Highlight client testimonials, case studies and any meaningful industry awards to reinforce your agency’s credibility.


  1. Market Demand and Industry Trends


Where you’ve positioned your agency in the market, and the industries you specialise in will be under scrutiny during the valuation process.


Essentially any buyer would want to see that you recruit within a growing sector where there is a high demand for skilled talent.


Strategies for Improvement: Keep your ear to the ground when it comes to what is going on within your sector, so you can adapt accordingly. Align your agency with emerging trends to capitalise on growth opportunities.


  1. Technology and Infrastructure


Take a close look at the IT infrastructure and processes you have in place. Any professional conducting a valuation will want to review your systems, CRM and any automation tools that you use to help your agency run more efficiently.


Leveraging AI to improve the candidate experience, and speed up the process from brief to placement, may also be looked on favourably.


Strategies for Improvement: Keep up to date with the latest technologies and establish clear processes. Implement AI-driven recruitment tools where appropriate to speed up your workflows.


  1. Team and Talent


The track record, expertise and qualifications of your team members, both recruiters and management, are so important.


That’s because a potential buyer knows that a skilled and motivated team can drive growth and boost an agency’s reputation.


Strategies for Improvement: Find and retain the best industry talent by offering a competitive salary, benefits and career development opportunities. Create an environment where people want to work, that values innovation. Provide ongoing training and support to staff on industry best practices and emerging trends.


  1. Growth Potential


The potential for future growth and expansion is a critical factor when a business is being valued. 


Factors such as new service offerings and diversification into niche sectors can increase the agency’s value.


Strategies for Improvement: Develop a clear growth strategy with measurable goals and timelines. Continuously monitor market dynamics and adjust strategies to capitalise on emerging opportunities and offset risks.


  1. Market Comparisons


Your valuation could also be influenced by comparable recent sales in the market. A valuer will use these to get a realistic perspective on the price you can expect.


Strategies for Improvement: Source transaction data on recruitment businesses that have sold recently or speak to industry contacts who can share their experiences. Use your learnings to identify areas for improvement in your own agency and opportunities for differentiation.


  1. Economic and Regulatory Factors


Changes in legislation, economic downturns, or shifts in hiring trends will also come into play.


These shifts in the market are unfortunately out of your control, however there are ways you can reduce the risk.


Strategies for Improvement: Stay informed about legislative changes and regulatory developments that may impact the sectors you specialise in. Maintain the flexibility needed to guide your agency through economic uncertainties and challenges.


Ultimately, valuing your recruitment business is a complex process that requires careful analysis of multiple factors to arrive at a fair and accurate assessment of its worth. Using a professional valuation service is advised.


Here at New Millennia, we can help your agency improve your cashflow and streamline your processes.

We work with start-up recruitment agencies and established SMEs to provide 100% risk-free funding and back office support.

For an informal chat about our services, get in touch.


Try New Millennia today!

Call us on 0161 337 9882 to get started

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