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  • Make your Dreams a Reality

    Do you Dream of Starting

    Your Own Recruitment Business?

How to set up a recruitment agency

So, you’re looking to find out how to set up a recruitment agency? Firstly, well done for taking the first step, doing some research and getting organised.

There are eight things you will certainly need when starting up your own recruitment business, ranging from the correct mind-set and corporate accounting to digital marketing and technical support.

Discover each of these by matching the images, or by skipping to the list below.


No one has ever achieved anything without a degree of determination and this is something each of us can affect with 100% certainty. Understand and channel your motivations, whatever they may be. Perhaps you are considering how to start a recruitment business because you want to be a high-flying recruitment entrepreneur, or maybe you are looking to find a better work/life balance? Whatever your reasons, tap into your dreams to unleash the fire of determination and entrepreneurial spirit.


All recruiters are used to dealing with targets. Placing a certain number of candidates per month or building your client portfolio are the objectives all recruitment consultants use to define success. Add to this expansion into your chosen market and mastering your expertise in the recruitment industry and you’ll be getting closer to where you need to be. When it comes to starting a recruitment agency, you’ll be constantly looking to set yourself new challenges and realistic objectives to accomplish.

Moral Support

Moral Support
Everyone has difficult days; the trick is to not let them derail your plans. If you are doing something as significant as starting up a recruitment agency, you’ll need a team of friends, family and professionals around you to support you through the dark times. Professional support is especially important, as it can often easily resolve a challenging situation with a client or candidate. Make sure you have access to expertise in accounting, technical support, creative/branding and employment law.


Branding and Marketing
When you are setting up a recruitment agency it’s important to get the branding just right. Speak regularly with a creative advisor to help you capture your target candidates and clients. Discuss colour schemes and website SEO, consider your digital presence and don’t disregard social media as an optional extra. Make sure you are getting the right advice when it comes to building your personal and company brand, so you reach the most (and the right) people. Don’t forget to register your company name, and trademark any intellectual property you’d like to retain exclusive use of.

Management Accounts

Management Accounts
Measure every penny which comes into your business, and every penny which leaves. Manage your cash flow and calculate your corporation tax bills and fees. Finding a management accounts expert to do this work for you would be invaluable, as the technical aspects of accounting can put most people’s head in a spin. Running a month by month Accounts pack which provides a detailed breakdown of your company figures including tax, NI, VAT, dividends, total invoices raised and most importantly calculating the profits in your business you can draw.


Back Office Support
If you want to start a recruitment business, you’d better make sure you can make money! Enlist an accounts specialist to oversee your client invoicing, and ensuring that those invoices get paid. Credit control is crucial for any business, and having someone keeping an eye on any unpaid invoices will save you time, effort and stress. If you are running temps, you’ll also need to make sure you have provision for paying your candidates, with a secure and robust payroll process. Keep on top of paying your VAT bills, CT bills, self-assessments and more.

Digital Security

Digital Security
Building trust with your clients and candidates goes a long way to starting a recruitment agency successfully. The businesses and individuals you deal with need to know their information is safe in your hands, and that it can’t be compromised. Make sure your new recruitment business conforms to the new GDPR guidelines, and seek advice if you aren’t sure of the implications. Further to data protection, you need to make sure your systems and website is secure by taking the guidance of technical professionals.


Analysis ties almost every process together when it comes to starting a recruitment business. Use analytical tools to measure your success online by configuring conversion goals and reaching the clients and candidates your recruitment agency needs. Be objective when looking at your cash flow and deciding how best to manage your time. Setting up a recruitment business isn’t without challenges, and you need to be able to take stock, see what is working and what isn’t, and revise your strategy if necessary.


The Solution
Whether you have been considering your options for a long time, or if you are only now looking into how to set up a recruitment business, SSG have a solution for you. SSG have dedicated professionals in accounting, creative, technical and marketing – meaning we have someone to help you regardless of your specific challenges. We have set up recruitment agencies for over 300 recruiters, and have seen all of the potential difficulties you may come across. We can help you build your brand, make your first placement, ensure your data is secure and manage your accounts. All of this with no upfront costs.

Get in touch with SSG today for a confidential chat about your new business!


1. What experience do I need to set up a recruitment business?

"Ideally, you will need at least 3 years’ experience within a 360-degree consultant role in an agency environment – this will demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of the whole recruitment cycle, as you will need to be able to tackle all elements in your own recruitment business."

2. Surely there are other criteria?

"If you’ve got the experience, all we really need to know is: Have you got the drive, determination and motivation to succeed? Can we all work together?"

3. Where do I start?

"Have a read of our website. Check out our LinkedIn profiles. Watch our videos. Get to know us. Then, talk to us – we’re always happy to chat, be that via our website, over email or just on the good ol’ dog and bone. Call us on 01442 200944."

4. How long will the launch of my new recruitment business take?

"This depends on you and how quickly you want to move, but generally between 4 and 8 weeks from your Launch Day would be a reasonable estimate."

5. What support will SSG provide?

"We want you to focus on what you do best – recruiting! So, we provide support in four key areas:

Legal and Compliance – we consider all of the things you might not, to ensure your business is fully compliant.

Creative and Branding – from designing your logo on Launch Day, through the provision of stationery to building a bespoke website, our creative geniuses are on hand to make your business look beautiful!

Resource Allocation – including the key provision of job board access, as well as a raft of other services, we ensure that your new business has access to the resources it needs to trade successfully.

Accounts and Financial – we know no one wants to deal with the VAT Man and that challenging area of ‘the books’, so we ensure that your business’s back office runs smoothly.

Business – every business is different and so we respond to your specific business needs. PSL tendering, client dispute resolution, expansion, business mentoring…..the list is endless. Or it might be simply a shoulder to cry or someone to share those champagne moments!"

6. What does all of this cost me?

"SSG will launch your new recruitment business absolutely free of charge – no fixed costs, no upfront fees, no weird and wonderful loan agreements.

We then provide comprehensive ongoing support in exchange for a percentage of what you bill – never more than 30%."

7. When do I pay you?

"Only when you bill and only when you receive cleared funds against an invoice. No cash flow issues, just a simple and effective ‘pay us when you get paid’ provision."

8. What risks are there for me?

"As with every new venture, you’re taking a step into the unknown and, of course, there is a risk involved. Working with SSG allows you to mitigate those risks by not handing over your hard-earned cash up-front and by surrounding yourself with a team of experts, allowing you to focus on what you do best – recruiting.

SSG have launched over 200 new businesses and continue to support in excess of 135 of these. Our success rate is far higher than the average business start-up success rate and 4 out of 5 of the ventures we support stay with us at the end of their initial contract term. We like to think the numbers speak for themselves, but if you want to know more, call us on 01442 200944 for a no-obligation, confidential discussion."