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How to build a recruitment agency: our top tips

Building a recruitment agency seems like the easiest thing in the world, until you have one that is. Then suddenly what seemed like such a simple process of picking up the phone, conducting interviews, making placements and collecting payments turns into a horribly complicated affair. To help you on your journey to building your recruitment empire, here are a few things to start thinking about.

Company Profile

The Access Group

Cash is always king

One of the biggest mistakes agencies make in their early days is not factoring in cash flow. Remember that recruitment is a game of patience. If you’ve made a placement you’re are then going to have to wait until for a period before invoicing your client. Then you need to wait for your payment terms, and as we all know getting cash from your customers can be tricky. If your candidate doesn’t stick you’re looking at rebate fees, and if you happen to be recruiting contractors, you’ll need cash in advance to payroll your candidates in the first place. You can run an agency without a lot of things, but cash isn’t one of them.

Be an expert

Employ an inch-wide mile-deep methodology to your agency and become the best in your area. No one wants a jack of all trades, and the business world favours specialists. In the early days of building your business, it’s tempting to take on job roles outside your expertise to make up the monthly placements, but it will distract your consultants and do more harm than good in the long run. Candidates and clients will also be more inclined to talk to a business who specialises in their area, who clearly know what they’re talking about and who have an interest in their interests.

Invest in marketing, but don’t worry

Marketing is important, and you need to make sure you’re online, cultivating a strong presence and talking to clients and candidates on social. However, so many businesses get stage fright when staring down the often overwhelming barrel of marketing and all the things that need to be done and therefore do nothing. You can spend months laboring over logo designs, colours, and perfect website layout, but do yourself a favour and don’t worry too much about it. In the first six months your agency is evolving so much as you grow and get comfortable with who you are, and so your marketing will no doubt change dramatically as well. How you look on day one will be remarkably different to year one, and you’ll have to constantly change your online image so therefore don’t put too much money or stress into it in the early days.

Know your legal

Legal documents, legislation and tax regulations can seem like a chore, but be vigilant with it. Know your stuff and protect your agency, and your candidates. If you really can’t piece through it all, invest your money wisely and pay an expert to keep you on the right side of the law.

Use tech

That’s not to say you need to buy the most expensive recruitment software on day one, but you do need to invest in technology that will help your business operate more efficiently. Use it to add value to your recruitment agency - to refine processes, take admin tasks away from your consultants and grow your candidate pools. Ultimately to free up your team's time to spend more time doing what they do best. Work smarter not harder.