When do you know it is the right time to expand a recruitment agency? Even once you have answered this question and you have decided this is the route for you to take, how do you know how to expand a recruitment agency?
Looking at when startups might want to think about expanding and what steps they can take when they reach this point
Have you ever considered starting your own recruitment agency? Perhaps you have stacks of experience in recruitment but just aren’t sure if you’re ready to go it alone, or can’t shake those recurring concerns; sound familiar?
Wondering how to start a recruitment agency? What do you need? And where do you start?
We have 6 tips to get you on the right path to building your own recruitment business.
- Know your skill set, knowledge and recruitment experience
- Plan which services your recruitment business will offer
- Know and follow the legalities, rules and regulations that you need to.
- Funding - how will you fund your recruitment business?
- Set up your company and create your identity
- Run a smooth back office
Starting your own recruiting agency will require you to tap into your own experience. Know your skill set, what are your strengths and weaknesses in recruiting and where does your knowledge and experience lie? Your skill set may need support in certain areas but identifying this means you can build the perfect core team to balance your own strength. Knowing, for example which areas you have great experience in and which you have little experience in will be helpful when deciding what your startup will offer.
2) Plan Your Services
Plan which services you will be offering as a staffing agency based on your analysis of number 1. If you have experience in a certain sector or niche then this is obviously a good place to start. This could be that you concentrate on being a temp agency or industry specific employment agency perhaps. Alternatively, if you have identified a gap in the market where there is a specific demand for specific recruitment services, this may be another good place to start. If this is, however, an area you do not have much or any experience in then you may want to partner with a recruitment professional who does have experience here.
3) Know the Rules
Legalities, it's not an exciting one, but it's so important for recruitment businesses, and especially startups, to get right. As the owner of a staffing company you have many rules and regulations that you need to be aware of and keep on top of.
Knowing all you can about agency worker regulations (AWR), and equality in the workplace and insurance means you are not only well informed yourself, but can also offer helpful advice to professionals you recruit and keep a well-run startup! Take a look at the Gov.uk guidelines for a starting point.
How will you fund your recruitment business? Do you need to consider a loan or other financing methods? Most startup recruitment businesses will need some kind of financial support; by the nature of the agency you are starting there will be money coming both in and out of the company and this may not always coincide with the business's needs. Your workers may need to be paid before your client pays you. There are bank loans, but there are also companies that specialise in funding for recruitment startups and temp agencies.
5) Setting up
Setting up your company. It can be a little daunting wondering how to create one from scratch. Well, you'll likely be starting your employment agency from home, so don't think you have to rush to source a work space. Start by choosing a name and check that you can register it at companies' house. Create yourself a marketing plan, you need to know via which mediums you will be advertising and from where you will be bringing in business, if you work in recruitment already you may well have your own contacts. You will also need to set yourself up online; if you've decided you're going to be a purely online recruitment agency, this will be a given but even if you're not and, you need to make your services clear to those searching for them online. Creating your company's identity starts here!
6) Back office
Consider your running practices. How will you run your back office, payroll and invoicing, will you plan to do this in house or outsource? In house, it may take you awhile to get a smooth system running, even if you have experience working in recruitment businesses already. Payroll, timesheets, invoicing and more all need to be processed regularly, on time and in an organised fashion. Again you may look at outsourcing this.
So, the answer to 'how can I set up a recruitment agency?' start by working through these 6 steps as and go from there.
You can find much more help on getting your startup staffing agency right in our other blog posts too.
Having worked with recruitment agency startups for over 15 years means we really understand how much work goes into getting a business off the ground and how much work goes into a startup business plan. Writing a business plan is often a baffling task, especially if you have never faced it before, and figuring out what to include in a recruitment business plan can get confusing.
We also understand that any help offered is usually gratefully received. There's increasing amounts of assistance being offered to startups and we would love to be able to offer our help to new startups or entrepreneurs, especially recruitment consultants. With this in mind we've put some top tips together to help you on your way, what to include in your business plan and how to approach writing it.
Why Have a Business Plan?
Your business plan is a base from which you can grow your recruitment agency. This is where you ensure you know the product you are bringing to market or the service that you will be offering, how it works, it's every step from the first step onwards. This is what investors will use to decide if they want to invest or not, so it needs to be fairly comprehensive and this doesn't necessarily mean lengthy. Informative and concise it the aim here.
You know your business and often putting all of your knowledge and plans into words can be tricky but assume that those reading this have no idea about your business or the market, they are not the recruitment consultant here, you are, they need you to break it down clearly.
Know it inside out: You might think you know every detail already but you'll get to know every inch of your business plan while writing it, there shouldn't be one point in there that you aren't sure of by the end, forecasting figures isn't always easy or accurate for startups but it should be educated and reasonable. As for everything else, the market positioning, strategy and aims for the recruitment agency should be well thought out and logically and realistically planned.
What to Include in Your Startup Business Plan
Introduce your Business
What is your idea, product or service? Introduce it, what do you do? Include here the problem that it will solve or the gap in the market and how you will fill this gap. The plan needs to portray why this is a good idea, and why customers will be interested in it; the features and benefits of the product.
Your recruitment agency goals really need to plan out where the startup might end up. Where are you heading and what are the core values? Again this is needed to understand your vision of the company, including this section will also mean that going forward you will be able to keep track of how you are progressing toward those goals. Your goals might be financial, staff based, sales based or around customer service, they can range greatly but they are what you aim for going forward and if they are easily measurable, then they're all the easier to track.
Where do you aim to be in X amount of years or even Y? A breakdown of the process from start to finish will show that, as an experienced recruitment consultant, you know your business, the market and the industry well. How many staff will you have and when, how will the product be manufactured and what will be needed when for this to happen?
The plan need not give in depth technical detail but evidence that you are aware of every action that needs to take place with each small step is the aim.
A business plan should be aware of the competition already in the market, of any other startups along similar lines, it should also be able to pinpoint what this startup has that they do not, your USP. Your USP(s) sets you apart from your competition and ensures that you can offer your customers a solution, experience, price or something else that none of your competitors are currently able to offer.
Finance and Budget Forecasting
Everything in your financial section needs to be as accurate as possible and include expenses, overheads, revenue and a forecast for the next 5 years. This may realistically show periods where the recruitment agency is not making money, not uncommon in the beginning, or not making much money, but stick with honesty and fact here.
You have already identified that there is a market out there for your recruitment agency, now identify who this market is. Why is the sector is ready for your startup what benefits will it bring to the industry? Market segmentation and defining your customer base is important to understand those who you are marketing your product to. Include the main demographics that have been identified as your core customer base.
How will you market your startup recruitment agency to the market and your customer base, covered above? Advertising and sales strategy needs to be explained. What will your message be and how will you present yourself as an experienced recruitment professional?
Are you aware of your potential shortcomings? Outside influences can be great risk factors to any business, they can also be blessings but you need to analyse your outside influencers to know how, if and when they could potentially harm your recruitment agency. These factors can be social, economic, political or legal, anything that could alter and change your projections or your industry as a whole are things you need to be aware of and include in your business plan.
However your business plan is going to be used, if you can get it all down at the start then growing your startup business should be a little more straight forward with your own tailored recruitment business plan to follow.