Starting a recruitment agency in 2018

04 Apr 2018

Starting Your Own Recruitment Agency

Here at New Millennia, we often discuss topics surrounding setting up your own recruitment agency, how to’s, do’s and don’ts and so on, to give as much honest assistance as we can to startups and small businesses. As our economy changes so swiftly, and erratically of late, the recruitment industry needs to react promptly to the economic changes we experience, for example, slow sector growth or rising and falling levels of unemployment. If you’re looking to set up your own recruitment agency now, you need to know just how easy or challenging that job is going to be and what the obstacles you may have to face are likely to be.

Is Recruitment On The Up?

2018 brings us a new landscape for building the foundations of a recruitment agency; the Brexit vote was announced almost 2 years ago now and enough time has passed for much of the dust to settle. The attitude within the whole recruitment industry has been categorised as a positive one, post-Brexit vote “The dramatic rise in new agencies being started over the last year is testament to the overwhelmingly positive mood within the recruitment industry.” (Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, MD of ClearlyPR), but how positive does this new landscape really look for a startup recruitment agency?

Well, roles which have historically attracted EU nationals are feeling a drop in interest from this demographic, which means there should be less competition for these roles, not a positive for recruiters but good news for job seekers.

In contrast and considering the overall recruitment industry, TotalJobs reported that there were 54,000 jobs listed in the first week of 2018, that’s 20% more than the first week in 2016.

Employers are looking to close the skills gap, so welcoming new skills in the shape of new employees is definitely on their list of to-dos.

Brexit has thrown quite a few hurdles and bumps in road for the recruiter over the last year, and we wait to see what else is in store, however, for now, the outlook appears positive for the recruitment industry and recruitment agency startups, as we saw a rise in the number of both temporary and permanent positions being filled at the end of 2017.


Since the Brexit vote, there has been a particularly high amount of recruitment agencies founded in the UK, growing throughout 2016 and 2017. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) predicted, at the end of 2017, that 56% of vacancies over the following 12 months will be filled by agencies.

Employers had been ‘putting off’ making hiring decisions but now the REC reports that:

  • Only 20% of employers said that they were unsure about hiring temporary workers over the next 4 to 12 months, 12% less than a month ago.
  • The percentage of employers looking to increase their headcount of temporary workers is 22%, up from 11% the previous month.
  • 15% of employers responded that they are planning to increase their permanent staff.

So, it seems that uncertainty may be waning and employers have indeed come to a point where ‘they can’t put off making hiring plans any longer’. (Tom Hadley, REC director of policy)


Which industries will you want to watch as you embark on your recruitment agency journey?

Recruitment specialist Robert Walters stated that the areas of recruitment that have shown an increase in hiring include ‘Technology, legal, financial services’.

The technology industry reached record highs of investment in 2017, attracting almost £3 billion. This level of investment and industry growth will indicate a naturally subsequent rise in recruitment in this industry.

Construction is also pegged as one to watch following the collapse of construction giant Carillion. The CITB also reported that “overall construction output is set to grow at an annual average rate of 1.8 per cent per year for the period 2018 to 2022′.

However, starting a recruitment agency does take some planning too, so while you’re monitoring the industry and preparing your entry into it as a start up recruitment agency, take a look at our ‘How To Start A Recruitment Agency’ blog post for a little help, some advice and some pointers.

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