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I can set up my own recruitment business without any experience in recruitment…..can’t I?!

by LAURA MOULD / Thursday, 13th October 2016


You’d be surprised at how often I get asked that question!  Or maybe you wouldn’t…..after all, we’ve all seen those adverts: ‘No money, no experience, no problem!  Start your own guinea pig grooming business now’

But in reality, we all know that starting your own business in an arena you have no experience or knowledge of is a huge risk, especially when that business makes money from selling a service, like recruitment.  It’s not just Tufty the guinea pigs mohawk at stake here, it’s potentially someone’s career, your professional integrity, considerable sums of money and more. 

Having set up over 300 recruitment businesses since we first launched in 2003, SSG are uniquely placed to understand the role that recruitment experience plays in successfully starting a recruitment business. 

And we believe, unequivocally, it’s an important one!  Why? 

You’ve got to know it, to love it
A passion for the role and the industry is so important – without passion, you won’t ride out those inevitable highs and lows; you won’t ignite your clients and candidates with your enthusiasm; you won’t truly believe in your service (and therefore the value it can add to your clients).  Without the experience of working in recruitment, how can you know you’ll love it?  It is, after all, a unique beast.

Understanding the market
An understanding of the nuances of any job market in any sector are hard to learn.  Now, we do speak to a lot of people who have worked within their sector (not in recruitment) for many years and who have an established network of contacts and an understanding of how supply/demand of jobs in their industry ebbs and flows.  We also speak to people who have dealt with a number of recruiters in their market and recognised how they could improve on the service they received.  All of this counts for something, of course it does. 

But it’s not comparable to the credibility you will bring to clients, candidates, suppliers and so on with years of solid recruitment experience behind you.  It’s like going to the dentist and the man in the white coat says ‘I’ve had loads of dental treatment in my lifetime, so just sit back, relax and let me do my thing.  Experience?  Oh no, I’ve never worked as a dentist before!’  I’d be running a mile!

If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it
Sounds daft, but recruitment really isn’t as easy as it looks.  And it does look easy….it must, as I’ve heard countless people say it is and that they could easily do it, despite no experience.  On the permanent recruitment side, agreeing terms of business; taking a good brief; writing engaging adverts; using the job boards and social media to proactively source candidates; managing the interview and feedback process; dealing with counter offers; and so on are all challenges recruiters face on a day to day basis.  And for temporary recruiters, you’re likely to have contracts and paperwork coming out of your ears, as well as needing to understand AWR (that’s Agency Workers Regulations, for those of you without experience), funding options, payroll and the new pension auto-enrolment scheme.    

The moral of the story then….

Save Tufty’s mohawk, avoid inexperienced dentists like the plague and, if you want to start your own recruitment business, get a couple of years of solid experience under your belt first – trust us, it will be worth it in the long run!

About us
At SSG we provide sound advice based on extensive experience of providing financial backing, recruitment support, legal and compliance, back office services, branding, marketing communications and business mentoring.  Since forming in 2003 we’ve supported the launch of over 300 recruitment agencies across 29 sectors.

Interested in setting up? Talk to us…
From pre-launch to launch and beyond, we’ll help you every step of the way to getting your business noticed and recommended. 

Expert SSG support is just one call away on 01442 937 774 or, to take our free quiz to find out if you’re ready to start your own recruitment business, click here.