So you’re starting a recruitment agency, and you’re thinking of making it an IT-specific recruitment agency. We have discussed the more general advantages and disadvantages of building an industry-specific, niche, recruitment agency, in our blog ‘Benefits Of Making Your Startup Recruitment Agency Industry Specific’. However, let’s explore the pros and cons, and the ins and outs of specialising your agency and focusing down on starting an IT recruitment agency.
We’ve worked with startup recruitment agencies, just beginning their journey for many years now, and we’ve experienced, with them, the good and the bad, the struggles and the triumphs. Choosing to build a niche agency can mean a narrower audience; however, it can also mean that your audience and customer base is more concentrated. You’re targeting only those in need of IT recruitment services, not all companies who need all kinds of roles filling, which means that you’re more likely to be considered by IT firms looking to expand as you specialise in their field; you can express yourselves as industry experts.
Increasingly, businesses are also looking for digitally literate candidates even for non-IT roles. Since we use technology in most areas of the workplace, companies need their workforce to be capable of operating and utilising the technology and software the firm uses. In fact, only ‘25% of digital leaders in the UK believe their workforce has sufficient knowledge and expertise to execute their digital strategy’ Deloitte. This shows the demand for skill in this area of industry. Let us express the opportunity that you are capitalising on in starting an IT recruitment agency; the IT and technology industries are only set to grow, moving at an almost unmatchable pace. The speed at which staff are being trained cannot keep up with the speed and constant flow of opportunities opening up and of new job titles develop to match the introduction of new technology; we know this phenomenon as the digital skills gap. The industry is booming, so it’s a great place to be positioning your agency.
The basics of starting an IT recruitment agency align with those of starting any recruitment agency, and are broken down in this Recruitment Agency Startup Checklist. You’ll need to build a solid business plan, including financial forecasts and a marketing plan to get you up and running, register your business and develop your brand, secure the appropriate insurances and your back office solutions. Aside from all of these checkpoints, however, there are a few other things to consider when starting an IT recruitment agency.
You will need first to possess an understanding of the industry. You will be unable to successfully establish your IT recruitment agency as industry experts if you do not showcase your expertise. This understanding and knowledge might come from you personally or a business partner, but to operate within the IT industry, you will need to understand the IT and technology industry to some degree to fully appreciate the skills required from candidates. So, whether it’s yours or through some form of collaboration, experience in the IT industry or working with IT professionals will be highly beneficial.
If your choice of communication does not match the up to date technologically savvy image you are creating, recruits might not take you or the opportunities you’re presenting to them sincerely. So pick your communication channels to match the industry you’re recruiting for, most communications are digital these days, even if it’s just an email, but, do your research and if it’s appropriate to use messaging services like Slack or even WhatsApp to communicate with clients then jump onboard. It all helps to create the right image.
Can you focus your niche even further? Look at the areas which are in highest demand currently and weigh up whether you’d feel comfortable narrowing your field of expertise to coders or systems analysts.
One step beyond establishing the recruitment agency as one which understands the IT industry, immerse yourself further into this industry. Attend networking events and get involved online too, perhaps publishing your own useful blog articles. In a fast-paced industry, there are always developments to be discussed! Can you establish your dominance in the field by speaking at an event or even hosting some yourself?