In the last decade, the UK recruitment industry has seen a three-fold increase in the number of agencies operating within it – up from 12,500 in 2012 to 40,000 today. Despite Brexit, demand for staff remains high as employers increasingly look to recruiters to help them find the talent they need to maintain and grow their businesses. As a recruiter, the idea of being your own boss may have its appeal. So, if you’re thinking of starting your own agency, here are some of the things you need to consider:
Find your niche
Competition within the industry is high and employers have a greater choice of agencies to work with. Take a look at your competition; look at what makes them good and identify areas where you can be better than them. Be clear on what makes you different and the value that you can add. For instance, perhaps you are a tech recruiter but you specialise in a niche, such as ERP, SAP or Big Data.
Think about your start-up costs
One of the great things about starting a recruitment business is the relatively low barrier to entry – if you’re a great biller there’s every chance you’ll build strong revenues for your own agency. However, there will be certain outgoings you will need to factor before your first client pays their invoice. Consider whether you will work from home at first, or take a small space in a shared or serviced office. Other costs include: laptop, website development, mobile phone, marketing costs such as advertising and business cards.
Create your plan
There is a belief that all new business owners must have a five-year plan in place. This may not be necessary, but you do need to put pen to paper and map out where you see the business within the next 12, 24 and 36 months at the very least. As the saying goes, if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Business plans do not need to be complicated; they just need to clarify the goals that are both realistic and responsive to change. After all, if (and when) your recruitment business performs better than expected, the plan will need to be flexible to change.
Funding for your business
Unless you have a rainy-day fund to dip into, chances are you will need some financial support to ensure there is enough cash in the bank to cover your costs until the money starts coming in. There is a plethora of options available to choose from and the traditional forms of funding (banks, large finance houses) are no longer the first – or best – choice for start-ups. They may help in the short term but for long term they can be costly, not to mention restrictive. Alternative finance providers, especially those who specialise in working with recruitment start-ups, can offer so much more – 100% funding, debt protection and even back office support to name but a few key benefits.
Know what technology you will need
In your fervour to get going, it is sometimes easy to overlook some of the key tools you will need to ensure you can work as effectively as possible. Central to this is technology. From CRM and invoicing, to payroll management and reporting, there are a number of functions that the tech solution you opt for will need to perform and the costs do vary from one provider to another. That said, one solution, GEMS, combines all of the above and is provided at no cost to all Simplicity partners. So, do your research and see what solution works best for you.