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What motivates recruiters to set up their own business?

by Laura Mould / Thursday, 4th June 2015

Recruiters are an entrepreneurial bunch! With over 4000 new recruitment businesses launched in 2014 (according to research by Sonnovate), and 2015 set to surpass that, not only is the sector booming, but more recruiters than ever are making that leap to ‘go it alone’.

Why? What is inspiring these experienced recruiters to want to run their own business? Well, having launched over 200 new recruitment businesses since 2003, We Are SSG have a unique insight into just what motivates them.

Of course, the motivations are very individual, but generally tend to fall into 3 distinct areas – money; work/life blend; autonomy. Money – it makes the world go round (according to John Kander and Fred Ebb, who penned the song Money,

Money for the musical Cabaret in the 1960’s – little bit of pub quiz trivia for you!)

It’s simple really, most recruiters know that they would earn far more working for themselves than they do working for someone else. Why take a commission of maybe 10%, 15% or 20%, when you could be earning 3, 4 or 5 times that (or more!) Why work so hard simply to line someone else’s pocket?

Money is a big motivator and often the increase in income for a recruiter running their own business can help them achieve their dreams in other aspects of life – maybe it’s a brand new Porsche, maybe it’s a new house, maybe it’s a nest egg for the kids…..let’s face it, that extra cash can certainly be useful. We’re not saying it will happen overnight – any new venture inevitably suffers through the ‘baked bean period’ (to clarify that’s the three months where you will be making no money and surviving on a tin of beans for dinner!) But, work hard, make placements and you will be better off.

Of course, it’s not all about money. Many of our recruiters want to achieve that dream work/life blend. Sometimes an 8am start followed by a 7pm finish 6 days a week just doesn’t fit in with what life has to throw at you. You might want to have the flexibility to pick your kids up from school at 3pm, then work later into the evening when they’ve nodded off. You might want to play golf on a Wednesday afternoon with the boys and chip in a few extra hours on a Saturday instead.

Running your own recruitment business gives you the flexibility to work when you want and blend your work seamlessly into your life. We’re not saying it’s easy – far from it in fact! You will have to work, and work hard, to be successful, but the advantage is you can adjust your schedule to suit you and your life.

Not only do you have the autonomy to choose your own working hours, you also build the culture of your own company. No more working to unrealistic KPIs, set by a manager who hasn’t experienced ‘hands on’ recruitment for years. No more wasting hours in irrelevant meetings. No more working with clients you really don’t believe in. Running your own recruitment business gives you the opportunity to call the shots, to make the decisions, and to build a brand and culture that reflects your values.

We know the reasons why recruiters might want to start their own business, but what about the when? Next time, we cover how you can identify the right time for you to start working for yourself.