Starting up a recruitment business

1.     Find your niche

What is your unique selling point? There are around 23,980 recruitment agencies* in the UK – so you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. It is vital new agencies pick a target audience and offer a unique service to clients, whether it be by skill, region or sector. Use the REC’s regular jobs market data and research to gain an insight to recruitment industry trends, to help you decide which direction to travel.   

*Recruitment industry trends 2016/17

2.     Plan

Develop a clear plan that is simple and realistic. Set easy, clear and timely targets and goals, but be prepared to be agile and flexible to change. As part of our start-up your own agency course, you will learn how to develop a clear and realistic business plan, following tried and tested methods.

 Top tip: Plan!

3.      Develop a sustainable business model 

Recruitment businesses can take a wide range of models, and each come with different overheads. Are you going to set up a traditional high street model or low-cost online start-up? Either way you will need to have a clear and transparent pricing structure that considers your business running costs.  

The two most common structures are flat rate fee and commission fee, which is based on a percentage of the candidate's salary. Our start-up course covers this in depth.


4.     How do you fund a recruitment business?

It is sensible to have enough cash to cover six months of costs. Any loans or investment needs to be legally documented and all parties aware of risks. It may help to use invoice discounting from one of the main banks to help with your cash flow, especially if you are recruiting temps, contractors or interim hires.

Financial advice from qualified financial professional would also be a wise step. As part of our start-up course you will learn about financial matters and receive a FREE guide to financial outsourcing. We also have a number of business partners who offer start-up services. You can find all exclusively negotiated benefits here.  

 Startup tip - marketing plan

5.      Developing a marketing plan

Taking a planned approach to marketing will make sure your business is seen and heard in a busy and noisy marketplace. Not every method of communication can be right for your business,and the methods you use can change as your business grows, but the six main tools to consider are: public relations, advertising, online marketing, direct marketing, sales promotion, and face-to-face selling.   

Some promotional activities are expensive, and the tactics chosen should be informed by your objectives. REC members have access to a comprehensive bank of resources such as a guide to the marketing your business, to help you make the right decisions.


Read the next 5 tips on the next page > 


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