Building a recruitment business from scratch can be a challenging task, with the industry being so competitive. As entrepreneurs who did exactly that back in 2012, we want to share the ‘ingredients’ for our recipe for success in the recruitment industry.
The most important part when building a recruitment business is to identify the target market and your specialism. This may be decided by your current knowledge of a particular market or you may want to identify a gap in the market. In our case, we initially identified a gap in the market for a recruitment company to specialise in finance roles within recruitment.
The key to ensuring your business has the best possible success rate is to have a great team to do it with. If you can get on board one or two key people that are knowledgeable and experienced in the field you are going into, then you’re going to have a decent number of contacts and the experience to help you get your feet off the ground.
It is important for a recruitment business to have access to good advertising platforms and CV databases. Also, from a commercial perspective, running your business in the cloud is crucial as you are always going to be working in different places, meeting new advisors, candidates and clients. An up-to-date, easy-to-use (recruitment specific) CRM is essential, as is having a modern, online accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks accounting application. When you already have a million other things to worry about, it’s nice to know that you can take control of your money quickly and monitor cash flow easily. Also, consider having a data analytics software plug-in (such as Cube 19) to the CRM that allows you to have real-time KPIs at your fingertips.
Join a respected and industry-relevant trade body such as APSCo http://www.apsco.org/ or the REC https://www.rec.uk.com/ who can act as your support system and will be great at keeping you up to date with the latest recruitment news and legislation. They will be able to also act as a sounding-board, training-provider and will probably run regular events for you to attend and meet like-minded entrepreneurs. Also, clients are going to look for the REC and APSCo membership for peace of mind that they are using a trusted company and so paying out a few hundred pounds is really going to be worth the money to get you up and running.
Know where you want to go, how you want to get there and in what timeframe and then regularly track progress. Then, create a closely aligned marketing strategy to help support your goals.
Recruitment is an extremely competitive market to do business in and as the years have passed, technology has changed dramatically and having a strong positive online presence is crucial. Getting the right branding and website presence is essential to stand out in the crowded market.
Once the business begins to gain some traction, you need to ensure that you have a strong support function in place. Have key milestones in place that trigger the hiring of non-fee earning professionals who will ensure that your business has a scalable platform for growth. Early hires should include an Office / Operations Manager, Financial Controller and Marketing Executive.