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7 start-up recruitment agencies in 1 day: what they have in common, and the sectors they’re in

As unlikely as it may seem, it’s a booming time for recruitment start-ups. Today I’ve spoken with 7 recruiters planning to start up their own agencies. Who are they, where are they targeting, and what do they have in common?

It might seem surprising in the midst of a global economic downturn, but it’s a busy time for recruiters who see opportunity shining through an otherwise murky outlook.  

For those who may also have starting up on their minds, I wanted to share some of the similarities across the conversations I’ve had, as well as shedding some light on the sectors the start-up founder are in. 

So here you have it – 7 start-ups in a day, and what ties them together… 


They’re all veteran recruiters who are planning for Q3

Every one of the future founders I spoke with had a strong track record in the recruitment or staffing sector, and was targeting Q3 as their potential launch date. 

These aren’t necessarily branch managers or leadership figures from big agencies – several are experienced consultants with the market knowledge and personal network to build a practice around their skills. 

Each of them was taking the time to plan their launch in full, developing a detailed budget and a brand strategy, looking at Q3 as the perfect time to pick up on an anticipated rebound to the current market dip. 


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They work across a range of sectors

The desire to go solo isn’t driven by a rush of activity in a particular sector.  

My founder chats covered Teaching, Marketing, Beauty, Finance, Construction, Trade & Labour and Executive Search – each of them with a diverse range of clients and a business model to suit. 

Over the years Voyager has helped launch recruitment agencies in a huge range of disciplines, from permanent and contingent staffing to exec search and boutique headhunting.  


They’re launching lean

The 7 recruiters planning to start up their own agencies I spoke with weren’t thinking of budget-bloating city-centre offices or complex headcount from the start. 

Instead, they’re concentrating their focus on a strong CRM system and technology platform, branding and communications.  

Financial barriers to launching recruitment businesses are extremely low, especially compared with other sectors. There’s no physical product, no warehousing, no R&D…  

It’s one of the reasons almost 8,000 new agencies launched in 2019 – while 2020 might not match those numbers, there’s a strong indication that plenty of talented recruiters are opting to take the plunge.  



They hold the relationships – and they’re going to last longer than Covid-19!

Each of the recruiters I chatted with had a deep network within their sectors that will withstand the current market disruption. 

The business and communities they serve, though temporarily impacted, will still be there on the other side of the pandemic, and these recruiters were getting in position to be able to serve them without delay when momentum picks back up. 

Weighing risk and opportunity in the balance, they’d each opted to get ready now rather than launch late and miss the uptick.  


They’re not getting distracted – perm to start, adding in temp

Cash is king for any young company, and recruitment is definitely no exception. 

Each of the companies I spoke with had an initial focus on getting cash in the coffers via permanent recruitment before turning the focus to building in temporary or contract revenue streams. 

Even those whose long-term business model is built around contract workers were committed to getting in a strong cash position before putting their foot on the gas with short-term staffing.  


Recruitment software for your perm or temp recruiting agency.


They’re talking to professional suppliers who know how to help them grow

Even though recruitment may at times seem extremely simple, each of the founders knew the value of the right partners in place to help them build their companies.  

The temptation for recruiters to monetise their networks with a LinkedIn account and an Excel sheet can lead quickly to a business built on foundations of sand – at risk not only of failing to grow, but of collapse. 

Partners and suppliers who play an active role in company development not only free up founder time, but provide ongoing contributions to help their businesses stay competitive, grow and thrive.  

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).

7 start-up recruitment agencies in 1 day