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Starting a Recruitment Business - the Basics

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by Alastair Cameron

Before we get into the details, lets get this straight. Recruitment is not all about “getting people jobs” and “helping people in their careers”.

Don’t get me wrong - that is important, however those are simply the end results of lots of work, customer service (and most importantly) sales and business development.

Commercial Recruitment is hard work. Therefore if you are considering starting a recruitment business - going it alone so to speak, it would be ideal if recruitment businessyou have already had strong previous recruitment and management experience, or if not,that you are prepared to learn, and learn by your mistakes as you go along.

With this in mind, here are a few pointers (a checklist some might say) to help you along the way, to see if you are still a ‘candidate’ for this type of self employed role!

Market Research
Some of the basics you will need to consider are:

  • Where you are planning to start your recruitment Agency.
  • What are the demographics of your ‘area’ in terms of population, skillset, and business type.
  • What type of industry is key to your local economy and what types of big business exist.
  • Research trade directories, newspapers, and existing recruitment agencies. What type of roles are advertised and what type of positions do those recruitment agencies typically recruit for?
  • How many recruitment agencies are based in your ‘area’ and what do type of recruitment do they specialise in.
  • Pop into potential rival or competitor agencies as a ‘candidate’ and research how they work, how they serve you and what you are expected to do.
  • Pricing - how much do other recruitment agencies charge - what do they include in their terms of business?

Planning and Development
Based on all of the above, what can you offer that will mean you have a viable and profitable recruitment business?

  • Have you written a business plan?
  • Do you want to go it alone or set up with a co-founder? Or even employ other staff from the start?
  • Will you be a specialist or a generalist agency? Will you deal with temporary recruitment, permanent recruitment or both?
  • Is there a need for your service on top of what already exists or what can you offer that you will do better or differently?
  • How will you find your ‘candidates’?
  • What will your website do?
  • What will your call your business?
  • How will you advertise and market your business?
  • Pricing - how much will you charge?
  • Will you work from home or have a proper office? If you are opting for an office - will it be based on a high street or does location not matter?
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Published on: 23rd April 2013

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