Starting A Recruitment Agency: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

16 Jul 2019

New Start Business

If you’ve never run a business before or haven’t set one up from scratch then you’ll be wondering what exactly you can expect from the mammoth journey you’re about to embark on.  As with any transformational journey, there will be highs and lows and challenges and triumphs along the way, so surely a little insight into what these might be could help you to prepare yourself before you get started, right?

From our vast experience working with startup recruitment agencies, we have pulled together ‘the good the bad and the ugly’ of starting a recruitment agency so, you can equip yourself with the information you need as you develop your business plans.

The Good

Time Management

You are the core of the company, the one setting timelines and workloads, responsible for managing your own time, but remember that you need to keep to the demands of your clients too!  While working with other companies, you may have had this flexibility to a certain extent, however here, as the owner and founder of your startup recruitment agency, you manage your own time in the most productive structure for you.

Sense Of Achievement & Pride

In starting a business of your own, the successes that you experience and achieve are yours to feel pride in.  You planned, worked and hustled to reach those successful moments, so the sense of pride and achievement when it all goes right is a definite ‘good’ point for starting a recruitment agency.

Choosing Your Niche

Another of the perks is that you’ll get to make the choice about where you base your business, we don’t mean physically (although you get to do that too!) but where in the industry.  Picking your niche, the section of the industry where you already know that you thrive, where there is the best market for what you do or where you can make the biggest impact; whatever your reasoning, the freedom to make this decision goes on our good list!

Building The Business You Want

If you’re starting a recruitment agency, it’s likely that you have already gained experience working in recruitment, which means you’ll be familiar with and have experienced the pitfalls and mistakes which your previous employers may have made. From this you can take what you need to build a progressive business which is conscious of the changing needs in recruitment.  You can develop your own values and aims and build the business around them.

The Bad

Don’t Expect The Money Straight Away

You’ll have to spend spend spend before you can reap the rewards of your investments and hard work.  While the money and profits you make will eventually be yours, until your making enough to pay yourself a wage, you’ll likely be operating from business loans and ensuring your small number of staff are paid before you are.  Remember most businesses don’t make anything in the first few years, and many make a loss, so just be prepared!

The Risk Is All Yours

In taking on the exciting challenge of your own business, you’re also taking on the responsibility of the risk. Any loans or investment that you secure will be waiting for the returns or the repayment from the success of the business.  The decisions to take a business loan or to add to a team who needs paying, are up to you, it’s your call and therefore your risk should your decisions not work out as planned.

The Losses Are Too

Any losses made due to unsatisfied clients or late delivery are your losses now.  While you may have cared deeply in your previous role in recruitment, the loss of a customer or account due to in-house mistakes will now be felt personally as it lays at your feet for you to rectify.


Competition in recruitment is high, which, with experience in the industry and research for your business proposals, you’ll know.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed but it means that you’ll have to push a little harder and navigate smartly, this is where your choice of a niche recruitment agency will come to your aid.

The Ugly

What do we mean by the ugly? Well, this is the stuff that isn’t necessarily bad, but you’ll want to consider; the harder parts of starting a recruitment agency.

Back Office

The back office of a recruitment agency can get a little ugly! This can be time-consuming and easily become unorganised and confusing.  No matter how your team grows, in the beginning, there will be more than enough work for all parties involved already, so outsourcing back office operations might be a sensible idea if feasible; New Millennia’s payroll management and processing assistance can make it much more manageable.

It’s Hard Work

You may expect this, but the long hours, the stressful planning sessions, the setbacks and reruns that you’ll encounter along the way will be incredibly hard work; while character building and full of valuable lessons, they may feel never ending at the time!  Hard work is not always a negative ordeal but it is on the ugly side of growing the business you desire.

Try New Millennia today!

Call us on 0161 337 9882 to get started

Get In Touch