Hundreds of new recruitment businesses open every month – implying they’re easy to get up and running as barriers to entry in the market remain low. The real challenge is growing your agency and remaining competitive in the market so that you can grow and expand your business. Growing pains in any business are always difficult, but in an industry like recruitment it can sometimes seem like one impossible hurdle after another. So, for all of the smaller players out there, here is our advice on creating a successful recruitment business that will thrive:

  1. Know your niche

We’re sure at this point you already do, but it’s important to identify your niche, know what type of clients you’re targeting, and know what service you’ll offer to meet their needs. Become a specialist in a certain area, rather than trying to stretch your expertise too thin.

One of the many reasons a lot of agencies don’t grow is simply because they haven’t found their niche. If you focus on building your expertise in one area and become known for that speciality, you’ll become the agency of choice whenever the need arises for those types of roles. You need to carve your own space in the market to stand out, otherwise you’ll not be able to compete.

  1. Set clear KPIs and metrics

In a recruitment business, data is your best friend. If you’re measuring the right things, you’ll have access to a boatload of data that can help you make informed, strategic decisions to grow your business.

The results of your KPIs will show you with strategies are working and adding value, and which ones need changing. Measuring the efficiencies of different sourcing channels, offer acceptance rate, days to offer, and submit-to-hire ratio all create a great foundation for measuring the success of your efforts.

  1. Create a positive culture

If recent trends have taught us anything, it’s that a positive organisational culture is the key to success in any industry. When you create a positive organisational culture that promotes learning and well-being amongst your employees, employee retention improves, and productivity is much higher.

A negative culture can turn toxic very quickly, and this can have a negative impact on your recruitment business. Ensure that when you’re growing, you’re encapsulating the culture you want and try not to stray from that path. It can be easy to forget aspects like these when you’re focused on expanding, but you’ll be more successful in the long run if a lot of your focus goes into organisational culture during growth.

Basically, a negative culture will detract productivity and cause your employees to look for opportunities elsewhere – and nothing stunts growth like high employee turnover.

  1. Invest in tech

Just like data, technology is one of the driving forces in the recruitment industry today. There’s no room left to do things the traditional way – not if you want to grow. There are so many different tools out there for recruiters, like CRM and ATS systems, all aimed at making your workflows easier.

Technology can optimise every stage in your recruitment business, and there’s something to suit every budget. From job boards, social media, and cv screening, to video interviewing, mobile recruiting, and artificial intelligence. Recruitment tech is always changing, and there’s so many available tools out there that you can craft your own strategy using what works for you, within your budget.

Investing in tech can seem daunting, especially when it’s early days, as there’s always the concern that there’s just not enough room in the budget. But investing in tech does exactly what it says – it’s an investment so It’s likely that what ever you implement will show a positive ROI.

  1. Marketing focus

Marketing your agency can be one of your biggest tools when you don’t have the resources that a lot of other players in the industry do.

If you can the basics right, then you’re off to a really good start. Always consider keeping an up-to-date, easy to use website – all of your prospective clients will come into contact with your website at some point during the decision-making process, so it’s important that it’s informative, engaging, and easy to navigate. You should also be aiming to boost SEO for your website, to help increase your visibility on search engines.

Then there are the mostly-free aspects of marketing, like creating content and pushing it on social media and email. Then, when your budget allows, you can expand this to aspects like PPC campaigns or video campaigns. Overall, it covers different strategies that you can use to attract talent, but when used correctly can help you to attract clients too. It’s all about promoting your brand and getting your USP out there for everyone to see.

Above all else, you have to make sure that you’re ready for growth. It’s better to do this in smaller steps and grow gradually, than it is to go all in and hope for the best. You need to make sure that you have the correct resources and processes in place for new hires, that you have sufficient budget for salaries. Take into consideration aspects like how many retained clients you currently have, to ensure there’s steady income to support your growth. It can be a tricky process, but the industry provides a lot of potential for your agency to thrive when done right.