Although an attractive prospect for many with experience in the industry, setting up your own recruitment agency is no mean feat. As one of the longest-standing recruitment agency factoring companies in the UK, we’ve had years of experience dealing with recruitment agencies of all sizes. As such, we’re ideally placed to offer some advice to those of you who are considering going it alone.
Here are our top tips to help set you off on the right foot.
- Choose your sector. Employers are more likely to seek recruitment support from a company that specialises in their area, so look to focus on a specific field, for example catering and hospitality, marketing or IT support. Concentrate on the area where you have existing contacts to maximise your networking opportunities, but be careful not to narrow your market too much.
- Have passion. Essentially, as a recruitment agent you are a sales person. It’s vital that you have passion for what you do, and more importantly the ability to ignite passion in others. You need to make prospective clients believe that your company is the best solution to their recruitment needs, and without that spark of enthusiasm you’ll find this very difficult in a competitive market.
- Get clued up. To avoid trouble later down the line, you’ll need to get to grips with the rules and regulations of the industry; including what insurance you’ll need to protect your business. The main piece of legislation in the recruitment industry is the Employment Agencies Act. There’s a lot to know, so make sure you’re clued up before you take the leap.
- Find a dedicated workspace. To minimise overheads, lots of new recruitment agencies begin in the home. This is great to keep costs down whilst your company is still growing and as long as you have a phone, computer and a solid Internet connection; you have everything you need to get started. It’s important however to have a clear distinction between work space and living space to maintain a good work life balance when you’re putting in long hours.
- Get online. You’ll need to have some web presence so that candidates and prospective clients can find you. Mobile optimisation is fast becoming a must, so it’s worth investing that little bit more to make sure you’re visible on the go. A web design company called Carpe Diem are worth checking out – they have access to EU funding which can pay for up to 40% of your web design, branding and marketing costs.
- Improve your credibility. Consider joining TEAM to improve your credibility with prospective clients. TEAM is the largest network of independent recruiters in the UK, and membership means that you can access start-up support, legal guidance, training and qualifications. It does come with a cost, but could give you the extra boost your new business needs.
- Ensure you have cash flow. If your recruitment agency will be supplying temp staff, you will need to make sure you have the resources to pay everyone on time. One slip can cost you your reputation, so we recommend engaging with a recruitment funding service that will take care of the whole process. This will give your business a solid and stable foundation, leaving you time to focus on growing your business.
- Minimise your risk. Enlist the help of a credit control company to minimise your risk when dealing with new clients. Bad debt when you’re just starting out could bring your new business to its knees, so it’s crucial that you take the necessary precautions and do proper credit checks to put a stop to problems before they even start.
- Be willing to work long hours. Candidates are often only available to talk outside of normal office hours – which means you might find that you’ll be working through until the evening on most weekdays. You need to be committed to putting in the hours to make your business a success.
- Don’t let admin slip. Whilst we know it’s important to dedicate time to grow your business, you mustn’t let your admin slip. Mistakes and errors in accounting or finance don’t just take time to resolve, they also chip away at your client’s confidence. This is why we recommend building a relationship with a reliable Back Office Support Service that can take away the burden of admin tasks, leaving you more time to focus on sales and making new connections.
If you’re looking for advice or more information on any of the points above, please contact us or fill out the form below and we will do our very best to help.