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According to Company House data, over 6,000 recruitment businesses were registered in 2021 which is a 3% increase on 2020. Could now be an ideal time to go it alone in the recruitment world and make your own mark?

1. Commitment

  • Attention to detail is a must - meeting candidates and reviewing CV's thoroughly
  • Be prepared for long working hours, dealing with both candidates and clients, at mutually convenient times 
  • Have a drive to succeed - it's a competitive and fast moving market
  • Love sales based work - this is essential for starting a recruitment agency, you need to both sell candidates to employers and sell jobs to candidates

2. Establish Your USP

  • Research, explore and know your Unique Selling Proposition
  • Find your niche - offer a clear service that sets you apart
  • Decide on your business model 
  • Decide on your business name and logo for use on your promotional areas, building a brand

Thinking about setting up your own recruitment agency?

3. Stay Legal

  • Become accustomed with the external bodies that regulate the industry such as the REC (The Recruitment & Employment Confederation) as well as your those that are specific to your sector

  • Remain compliant with regards to industry controls such as data protection and Agency Worker Regulations (AWR)

  • Know the relevant legislation that applies to your specific industry 

  • Establish objective working practices within your recruitment agency - including confidentiality and anti-discrimination policies


4. Costs and Cash

  • Have a realistic financial plan and strategies in place
  • A credit facility accommodating invoicing periods is in most cases needed, even if initial capital is available
  • Decide on your recruitment agency approach - commission or 'flat rate' based 
  • Register the company promptly with both Companies House and HMRC

5. Talent Appeal

  • Consider how to attract the right candidates and clients you want to work with
  • Don't underestimate how challenging it can be hiring for yourself - you are competing with other start up and established recruitment agencies 
  • Be pro-active, motivated and focus on relationship building 
  • Refer back regularly to your long term vision

Recruitment isn't a breeze but it's brimming with opportunity - good luck!


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