Recruiters are natural entrepreneurs. You have to be; recruitment is tough and that’s why an estimated 80% who try it fail. Of those that remain, the recruiters at the top of their game are the go-getters, networkers, market specialists and growth leaders. As you climb the ladder of the recruitment industry you’ve no doubt built up a strong client base. Referrals and recommendations become a way of life and business comes to you as you have the expertise to attract the best talent. You begin to manage a team of talented professionals, nurturing them whilst keeping your finger in, dealing with only the most fruitful of clients. Why then does it often feel like there’s something missing? A niggling thought tucked away at the back of your mind that threatens to spill over and disrupt your day. How far can I go as an employed recruiter?
If this sounds like you, you’ve probably thought about setting up on your own. You have the market knowledge, the contacts and the drive. The problem is how on earth can you get to the stage where you can go it alone? Starting a business, like any new venture, can be both exciting and daunting in equal measure. The financial implications and the business side of things – marketing, accounting, HR, operations and office management can often seem like a step too far. At Recruit Ventures, our business is focused on helping recruiters set up on their own so we wanted to share our experience of the 4 essentials for starting a successful recruitment business.
A brand is more than just a logo; a brand is a set of associations that individuals make about your company. The starting point of those associations lies in the visual; the logo, the website, the business cards and social presence - get these elements right and clients/candidates will believe in you, understand your mission and want to utilise your services.
This is unlikely to be an area that you have much experience in, although you probably have some firm ideas about what you want your company to stand for. Recruiters working with us have access to our designers, writers and technical staff who work with them to establish their identity from legal incorporation to online presence. One of our clients, Barry Griffiths from Barr Personnel, explains how this was key to him; “I had my own ideas about my brand of course, but the team at Recruit Ventures developed my name into an identity. They showed me how it would work on letterheads and literature, and ensured that it was compatible with online activity.”
In our experience the number one ‘spanner in the works’ for those looking to set up shop is financial backing. Unless you’re sitting on a veritable mountain of cash, the financial hit of transitioning from a well-paid job to a start-up can feel insurmountable. Securing financing has traditionally meant taking a bank loan or re-mortgaging, inevitably putting your home at risk. At Recruit Ventures we can provide the type of backing that will allow you the creative freedom to mould your business to match your vision, whilst eliminating the need for personal outlay or bank loans.
Upon strong foundations, a successful business shall grow. Not only will you need premises but you’ll need the office solutions to ensure that your business runs smoothly. From phone systems to operational administration, it all needs to be in place to ensure you and your recruiters can offer a seamless and integrated service. Joanne Gooch and Laura Barber, who we worked with to set up Resolve Personnel Ltd, felt that this was the area that most helped them get off to a successful start; “Behind it all was the back up. Road tested, industry compatible back office systems that meant we could operate quickly, accurately, and profitably!”
With the branding, backing and back-up in place the final piece of the puzzle is the dedication and freedom to drive the business forward. You’ll need to invest the time and effort to help your business grow but a least with the other elements taken care of, you can focus on your area of expertise – recruitment.
Those looking to escape the shackles of long hours need not apply. The first five years of a business is hard work. The difference is, all that work is going towards nurturing your business and the future you. There’s nothing better than seeing your business grow and with the right commitment you’ll be able to do just that.
About The Author
David Simons has extensive recruitment knowledge and experience having worked in the industry for over 20 years. He is currently Managing Director of Recruit Ventures where he works closely with joint venture partners, assisting and advising them on their start-up businesses. You can contact David or find out more about Recruit Ventures via:
01362 8825 85 | 0790026 30 43
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