With Covid cases on the rise again and yet more government–enforced restrictions on the way, would you believe me if I said this is the perfect time to start planning for your own Recruitment business?
As I fast approach my 24th year supplying Recruitment Software solutions to Recruitment and Search consultancies, you’ll not be surprised to learn I’ve seen my fair share of sectors peak and dive, and niche markets come and go.
But let’s remember the constantly evolving recruitment market gives plenty of opportunities for those willing to look below the surface where it’s not so turbulent.
Planning for your own recruitment business: difficult, but worth it
You can’t argue that the global downturn has left many businesses floundering. No one was prepared for the extensive impact of this pandemic. Yet, individuals with passion and vision for their work, armed with research and patience will achieve new heights once more.
Whilst taking financial risks with any business start-up isn’t for the faint–hearted, the start-up costs for a recruitment firm are next to nothing. Some may even be able to soften the burden, with a well-timed redundancy pay-out.
Recruiters have always been great at spotting new opportunities, especially when the market is tight. So, for many, the next few weeks and months will be used to research and prepare for 2021.
2021 will see a wave of experienced recruiters launching well planned start-ups who’ll hit the ground running with efficient systems and processes that will give more traditional brands a good run for their money.
Understand current market complexities
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of REC, shared during the virtual Recruitment Agency Expo that job postings have been on the slow path to recovery since as far back as June. And although a 1% drop in the week commencing 5 October was noted, the focus surely remains on the 1.28 million that still needed to be posted – there is still huge demand for top talent.
Another thing noted was that Temp recruitment typically fares better during a recession and while hospitality is being hit hard with some significant drops for roles such as bar staff, chefs, and catering falling -17.3%, -10.8%, -7.2%, and -6.7%, respectively, other sectors are likely to do far better. Look out for increased roles in Teaching, Logistics, Care and wider Medical markets.
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, made some valid points highlighting that entrepreneurs understand the market before proceeding. It’s really all about the planning, and many recruiters now have that time to plan.
Ann also added that those with low-cost and low-risk ideas have a better prospect of succeeding and gradually progressing to bigger business ideas – especially the start-ups.
One low-cost/low-risk idea would be to begin with temp recruitment. Though it’s quite the opposite of how things typically start, there’s no time like now to try a new approach. Why not think outside the box instead of just carrying on like usual?
Temp recruitment businesses are currently well placed to make the most of the current situation. At the same time, they’re also perfectly placed to increase volume in the long-term and fill permanent recruitment opportunities. As soon as the market bounces back these businesses will be well placed to flourish.
The current market certainly leans towards the 360-degree recruitment strategy. It is a favourable model if you’re starting as a one-person business who will be responsible for everything from writing job adverts to selecting candidates. It is the perfect time to utilise your experience to develop a reputation as an expert in your industry.
We’ll see an increased number of 360-degree recruitment business models entering the market and making the most of their early successes as the market recovers.
Recruitment has always been about the speed at which we can spot opportunities and make the most of them – typically larger firms are slower to react.
As larger firms take time trying to implement change to complicated IT systems, office rents and employment challenges, I believe early successes and growth will be feasible for the modest, nimbler SMEs.
I predict 2021 will be the year of the Recruiter Start-up, looking for good data, with good CRM and levels of automation.
Recruitment – it’s all about people, data and delivering a good service
One positive about the global scale pandemic is that people are more welcoming to chats and discussions than ever before. Many recruiters can attest to having a lot of meaningful conversations in the last few months, and it’s the ‘personal relationship’, rather than the business one that’s grown the fastest.
Personally, I‘ve learned more about my staff, customers and prospects than ever before.
“How are you?” means so much more now and conversations are deeper and more meaningful. Even from a business development perspective, access to head honchos is easier than ever as they’re working from home, too.
Essentially, all of us are open to conversation.
And everyone is keen to know what you’re going to do differently in the new market!
The collective consensus is that recruitment technology has been a great ally this year.
There’s the ease with which phone calls have turned into video calls – everyone has adapted really quickly. Cloud–based software solutions have also allowed those who invest in technology to transition to the reality of working from home. Remote work has been a major paradigm shift for the nationwide workforce. It would have been rather challenging and chaotic without modern technology.
The research for your start-up is incomplete without an investigation into suitable technology partners. Be aware that a substantial investment is required to onboard recruitment software though the ROI is quick and substantial. Recruitment software goes beyond performing like a ‘database’ – its function is not just to record and store data. It is a technology collaborator. Good software partners are crucial for pushing productivity and enabling recruiters to work effectively. Recruitment software is essential precisely because it automates all the repetitive admin tasks that always demand a chunk of a recruiter’s time. This encourages recruiters to focus on cultivating stronger relationships with candidates and hiring managers.
While we’re on the subject of recruitment software, allow me to suggest Voyager Infinity as a leading choice. While we might not be the cheapest solution in the market, we’ve always prided ourselves on our product and the quality of service we offer.
Planning for your own recruitment business opens up endless possibilities. If you’re contemplating the retained versus contingency recruitment path then go forth boldly by opting for retained executive search. This is a growing market. Apply your talent mapping skill, be proactive about market surveys, and package them as services to client companies. Present evidence-backed skills test data about candidates’ suitability. Voyager Infinity offers free ISV online skills testing for all new Voyager clients.
5 key takeaways
- Don’t let the second wave of Covid infections make you too apprehensive about planning your own recruitment business. Organisations are now better prepared. Everyone is following safety guidelines and most have adapted to new ways of doing business.
- Unfortunately, many recruiters were made redundant in the first half of the year. But to put a positive spin on things, prospective entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to pick some stellar recruiters.
- Temps recruitment has traditionally always proven to be more resilient. August saw an increase in temporary vacancies as well as in temps billing. Make temps hiring your low-cost/low-risk idea.
- Start-ups must make smart investments regarding their recruitment assets. Choose the best recruitment software. According to the Xerox Future of Work Survey by the independent research firm Vanson Bourne, 56% of companies are preparing to increase technology budgets. The research reached out to 600 IT decision makers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany and France.
- Smaller, flexible firms will enjoy timely success while larger organisations are still struggling to navigate change. It is reported that a decade after the US financial crisis, small businesses generated about 62% of all new jobs.
2021 – a year of start-ups?
Take heed from businesses that have done well despite this crisis. McKinsey & Company discovered that the relative success of some leading UK organisations could be attributed to agility. An agile business is one that is dynamic and open to innovation but with a stable backbone.
No one can exactly predict how 2021 is going to be. But a synthesis of people-led and technology-enabled business approach seems to be the way forward. Smart technology, top-notch professional skills with a dash of humanity remains at the heart of a successful recruitment agency.
Potential entrepreneurs planning their own Recruitment business who understand all this can start to position themselves for a major new beginning after the pandemic – or during it.
Voyager Infinity and Voyager Mid-Office are software solutions that make Recruiters’ lives easier. Voyager Infinity is a CRM used by thousands of recruiters globally to source, nurture and maintain the relationships with their clients and candidates, and Mid-Office manages the entire Pay and Bill process (IR35 ready).