Should I launch my new start-up recruitment agency amid Covid-19?
Callum Gilbert, Recruitment CRM Specialist
As a result of the recent pandemic many businesses are still in survival mode or paralysed from growth, but for others it has been an opportunity to tap into new markets or reinvent themselves. The bold are taking a leap of faith, with the view that recovery will come by launching a new venture.
The disruption caused by Covid-19 has regrettably led to numerous layoffs in recruitment, with great talent being let go. However, for many this has been a positive catalyst for change and motivation to start up their own business.
But building a profitable recruitment agency is no small task, it takes courage and determination and a network to support you. So given the current economic landscape is now a good time to start-up your new recruitment agency?
Speaking to our clients and leaders in the market, here’s a round-up of thoughts and considerations. And for more practical guidance and quick tips our Start-Up Recruitment Agency Toolkit is packed full of helpful advice to support you along the way.
Great companies are born from downturns
As Schroeder recently wrote for Forbes start-ups that launch during a downturn tend to be far more durable and resilient than those who started in more positive economic times. He goes on to say: “If you look back over other recessions or downturns in our economy, great companies have been born in this time. The pandemic will spawn some amazing start-ups.”
Ann Swain, CEO from APSCo also attests to this having seen “the last big upsurge of start-ups straight after the global financial crisis, so history would suggest that it is a good time.”
Strong signs already
We can’t pretend that Covid-19 hasn’t impacted the economy or had a knock-on effect on the recruitment market, but we do know that recovery will come, hiring will pick up and our industry will be back.
We can also take comfort in recent data telling us that nearly 800 new recruitment businesses were registered with Companies House – all just in the month of March.
Availability of first-rate candidates
With the slowing down of recruitment in so many sectors there’s been a clear shift from the candidate-driven market we were experiencing just a few months ago to a power shift to employers.
As a new recruitment agency the opportunity is there for you to make great first impressions on your clients with available talent to meet their needs.
Many have made pointed remarks about the Covid-19 crisis putting more pressure than usual on employees, making it hard for staff to carve out reasonable time for personal life and downtime. Whilst the shift to remote working has been good to eliminate the time and hassle of travelling, the lines between work and home have never been blurrier.
With staff working from home you never quite leave the office. The morning commute has reduced to shuffling to the next room and there’s nothing compelling to leave the desk for and have a clear break from the ‘office’. Staff are working longer and harder – whether to prove their worth for fear of redundancy, or it being a matter of necessity. But this all takes its toll on mental and physical health and achieving a decent balance.
If the recent lockdown has taught us anything it’s the importance of health, family and friends. But set up your own agency and you become master of your home life-balance, your hours, rules and destiny.
Reduced risk working for yourself
When launching a new venture, many are understandably concerned about the potential financial risk of going solo, rather than staying in a salaried role.
But research from the Haas Finance Group discovered that it is actually not such a big risk after all. In fact, with many concerned with job security right now, if ever there was a time to try a new adventure, it’s now, and here’s why:
“Would-be entrepreneurs may think they have a huge chance of failure and will be sacrificing earnings for the rest of their lives, but it’s not true, even if the business fails, entrepreneurs don’t suffer as much since they are able to quickly transition to the salaried workforce.”
Those who stayed as entrepreneurs could earn substantially more than their less adventurous peers, and furthermore you’ll be able to keep costs low. Looking around the marketplace today there’s a plethora of offers all geared towards helping start-up businesses. Whether it’s time-bound deals as a result of Covid-19, or the government giving new businesses a boost. With the new-found cultural acceptance of remote working proving that businesses can keep operating virtually, few would argue that a physical office (and overhead) is a necessity.
Focus on your niche to add value
With the increased number of new recruitment agencies expected to start-up this year, in addition to the existing 39 thousand agencies already trading in the UK, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd.
Setting up on your own gives you the opportunity to focus on what you know best, as you’ll want to be seen as a specialist in your chosen field. If you have years of experience in construction for example, use this to your advantage. You can always diversify at a later stage. To boost your knowledge of a certain sector, start swotting up on the latest specific trends, regulations and identify the right trade bodies.
Alongside this, be absolutely clear about the persona of your target clients – their size and potentially how many hires they may make. Then you’ll need to find the best way of reaching these types of candidates. Many agencies begin by focusing on perm and contract recruitment, before expanding into temp placements as they grow.
Perhaps you were previously stretched across multiple sectors or types of roles – if so, now is the time to stay hyper focused to ensure you can add real value.
So with the confident expectation that the market will bounce back, and that out of the pandemic will rise the most resilient, agile and motivated new recruitment businesses with candidates knocking on their door, why not make 2020 the year to start your own recruitment business?
Looking for more advice to get off to a flying start?
Whether you’re looking for advice about the absolute essentials before you launch or need to know the next steps if you’re set up already, download our Start-Up Agency Toolkit, which is packed full of practical tips to support you along the way.
Or get in touch to chat with us about how we’re helping new start-up agencies get set for success with our combined ready to go CRM and website package, Access Accelerator.
With Access Accelerator, you’ll have everything you need to attract, search, manage and place candidates with minimal fuss and no compromise on quality. It’s perfect for start-ups who need to get off to a flying start, be up running fast whilst supported by online training. And to give new agencies the boost they need over the next three months, we’ll provide remote on-boarding and set up all for free.