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How to prosper in all the stages of recruitment agency life

by LAURA MOULD / Monday, 1st August 2016


What’s the meaning of life? The number 4? That’s the number of life stages we go through, according to ancient beliefs.  First, there’s the preliminary stage, then the development stage, the flowering or blossoming stage, and the final fruitful stage.
This philosophical train of thought mirrors life’s journey when you start your own recruitment agency. Breaking these down in four steps is a helpful way of guiding your business through life’s trials and tribulations and making a success of it all.

Stage 1: Forming

Like any new business start-up you’re no doubt buzzing with fun ideas to get your business seen. But before you rush headstrong into doing all the creative stuff like creating your logo, marketing material and website take a breather.

The watchword here is preparation. Think of getting the best professional advice on board first. This is a crucial stage of development and will pay dividends in the future if you start from the best footing.

Business strategy and market awareness are both vital components. Experience of how the sector ticks will put you at the best advantage when hunting down new clients.  

Before you launch be sure to: 

  • Build up a clear picture of the local market you’ll operate in
  • Set financial targets
  • Plan hiring dates
  • Consider your ongoing cash flow
  • Build your website and marketing strategy
  • Consider the legal and compliance aspects of the set up to avoid issues later down the line

Stage 2: Funding

Even if you have the funds on hand to launch, you should still create a watertight business plan to keep your spending on track ascash flow could be an issue at first.  There are the essential start-up costs for furniture, IT, corporate identity and marketing to shell out, as well as ongoing costs for tools such as job board access. 

Another burden to your cash flow issues is the hiring of your team, which you should anticipate and manage. So be prepared for paying weekly salaries for temporary staff whilst you play the waiting game to get ‘monthly’ income from client companies.  

Stage 3: Friending

When you’re starting up you need to shake a lot of hands and forge relationships that have staying power.  Banks and business advisors offer support but what you need most is someone who understands the ins and outs of the recruitment game. Having a business partner on board from the very start is a great boon. They are a soundboard throughout the highs and lows, can give you ideas to grow the business and can cover you during meetings and holidays. And of course having a stake in the business they also won’t be scared to tell it like it is. Also remember having someone experienced in the mix will save you time and money on training.

You also need to factor in all the back office support you’ll need with industry compliant IT systems and software up, service support and back up.


Among many things, you’ll have to get your business noticed, seek funding, introduce fail-safe IT systems from the get-go and hire the right mix of capable people.  And at the same time drum up the business that feeds your survival in this competitive industry. You’re going to have to be on more than just one ball. But then no-one said that life for recruitment start-ups is easy!
 But in time when everything has fallen naturally into place and your business pains have been managed, you’ll be able to focus on wowing clients with your amazing service. And then the exciting part of growth can begin.
The pace of growth will be set by numerous factors including:

  • How well the sector and the wider economy is generally performing 
  • The added value of skills and experience of managers
  • The financial backing needed to support the company such as shared back office capabilities for fast-tracking growth.

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 200 recruitment agencies across 29 sectors.

Interested in setting up? Talk to us…

We’ll help you avoid the many pitfalls of starting up as a recruiter with comprehensive support in all areas:

  • Getting your business seen through highly focused branding and marketing.
  • Taking away the stresses of day to day accounting with full reliable back office support.
  • Arranging any funds you need to set up and grow.
  • Once you’re established we offer mentoring to help support business growth

For expert SSG support – from pre-launch to launch and beyond – simply call us on 01442 937 774 or for more information visit www.wearessg.com