Recent figures from the Office for National statistics show that employment levels are at their highest in 40 years, while demand for top talent shows little or no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Against this backdrop, the services of recruiters have never been more sought after.
On one hand, growth can and should be a game-changer for an agency. However, on the other hand, if the business is unable to satisfy the increase in demand it could find itself not only lagging behind its competitors. But there is also a real risk to the long-term reputation and prospects of the agency.
So, how can recruitment business leaders ensure they are perfectly placed to take full advantage of positive trading conditions and drive growth over the coming year and beyond?
Here we take a look at the key barriers to agency growth and provide an overview on how they can (easily) be overcome.
Be clear on what you do
According to recent figures, there are around 40,000 recruitment agencies currently operating in the UK – a three-fold increase since 2012. The challenge for each agency is in how to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Identify the reasons why your clients opt to work with you and use this to ‘sell’ your value proposition – what’s the one thing about you that sets you apart from your competition?
Know your audience and ‘speak’ to them
Employers have a particular challenge that they need your help with. They also have a wide choice of agencies to choose from. So, to position your agency as front of mind and the recruiter of choice you need to demonstrate that you understand their pain points and, crucially, have the possible solutions too. Use your agency’s blog to draw on you and your team’s experience to share your insights, not forgetting whitepapers and short-form video, too.
Have the right financial support in place
Cash is, as we all know, king. So why doesn’t it rule? In a perfect world, the agency will make a successful placement, invoice the client and see the funds hit their account within 30 days. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and experience shows that it typically takes 60-80 days before payment is made. Meanwhile, bills and salaries still need to be paid.
This is where having the right recruitment finance solution in place is essential for maintaining a healthy cash flow. For instance, Simplicity provides 100% funding which is ideal for temp/contractor agencies as it enables recruiters to pay their workers on time, every time.
So, whether the agency wins a contract to provide 1, 10, 100 or more workers who all need to be paid at the end of each week, the funding is in place to make these payments. In doing so, recruitment business leaders can scale their agencies in line with the growth in demand for their services and can avoid the frustrating scenario of turning work away due to a lack of access to funds.
Reinvest profit smartly
While it may be tempting to invest in new, larger premises or take on more consultants on the back of a number of recent client wins, doing so could be detrimental to growth if the revenues generated are not contractual and long-term. But if they are, this is when you need to arrange proper financial support for your cash flow forecasts.
Finally, focus on the business not the processes
Time is a precious commodity for recruitment business leaders, yet we see too many of them spending so much of it performing tasks that don’t necessarily add to the bottom line. While organising contracts, raising and chasing invoices, for example are vital, they eat away at the hours that could – should – be spent on driving sales. So, it makes sense to play to your strengths as a new business developer and outsource those administrative duties to those experts who can look after that for you.
Growth has been the buzzword in recruitment over the last 12 months and will continue to be for the year ahead. By implementing the five points highlighted above, the only barrier to scaling your business will be the limits to your own ambition.