6 of the most important traits common to successful recruitment entrepreneurs

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One of the most remarkable things about the recruitment sector is its ability to constantly defy the odds. The recession knocked the stuffing out of it yet less than two years after the recovery process began the industry was already on course to achieving record growth.

Today, the sector is worth over £34 billion and while the rate of growth we have enjoyed over the last few years will inevitably slow down, the worse it will do is level out.

So it is hardly surprising that the number of ambitious recruiters eager to start up their own recruitment agency is increasing at a rate of knots. In fact, the number of new recruitment businesses that registered with Companies House averaged around 380 each month in 2016.

But the question is, do you have what it takes to become a successful recruitment entrepreneur?

The transition from biller to boss can be a big step for many recruiters and to ‘make it’ takes more than simply being great at sales – you also need to possess certain traits.

1. Drive

Mike Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Media and former New York mayor, said: “To get anywhere, you’ve got to work hard…there is always someone else who can do what you can do, so you’ve got to make sure you do it first”. A lot of people talk about wanting to set up their own business, but fewer actually get up and do it.

2. Passion

It is also a matter of passion. Richard Branson talks often about this and in an interview with Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Smoothies, he said: “People talk about work and play as if they are separate things…but all of life is precious. Don’t waste any of it doing something you don’t want to do.”

3. Grit

This is a tough industry to work in, but the rewards are there for those who persevere. We worked with many aspiring recruitment business owners who started their agencies at the height of the recession and have continued to grow and be successful.

It’s about staying the course even when the idea seems ludicrous to those around you – something that Baroness Martha Lane Fox, founder of LastMinute.com, describes wonderfully: “Be bold. If you’re bold you might royally screw up, but you can also achieve much more…It’s much better to strive for something that seems impossible.”

4. Humility

The old adage that people buy from people is as true today as it has been ever since the phrase was coined way back when. The way you treat and speak to people, at all levels, can influence both the perception that people have of you and the likelihood of you winning business from that client you’re pitching.

Treat every interaction and every meeting as an opportunity to raise your personal brand. As Bill Clinton succinctly puts it: “Make everyone feel important….the person who opens the door for you, the person who pours your coffee. Acknowledge them. Show them respect.”

5. Self-awareness

Starting your own business introduces you to a whole new way of working. Now you have to not only bring in the money to keep the business running, you also need to manage the everyday tasks that are essential to keeping the business moving.

Those leading successful recruitment business recognise the things they are great at doing and the things they know that others may be better at than them, so they will actively seek external or internal support from specialist providers to manage those functions. They have an ego, but it is used in a positive way that benefits the business.

6. Self-improvement

Successful recruitment business leaders realise that although they are now running their own show, that doesn’t mean that their personal development should stop. On the contrary, it continues – even steps up a gear.

For years, Andy Murray was trying to break into the big time but when fate came calling it did so at a time when three of the greatest tennis players the game has ever seen were at the peak of their careers.

To compete on a level playing field, Murray’s mantra is to “Always believe that when you apply yourself, you can do anything…don’t forget, natural ability will only get you so far, there is no substitute for practice.”

Running a successful recruitment business is not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. At Simplicity, we offer a unique portfolio of services for ambitious recruiters looking to set up on their own. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you achieve your goal. 

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