What to Consider When Starting Up a Recruitment Agency
If you’ve been working as a recruiter for any length of time you already have a lot of specialised knowledge. You know, for example,
- What to say to companies
You know how to approach potential clients and win their confidence. You know how to become a part of their culture, someone they can rely on when they need to bring someone in. You know how to show that you understand their way of doing business.
- How to listen to what companies tell you
Just as importantly, you know how to understand their way of doing business. You know what they mean when they list their requirements. You know what questions to ask to bring out the answers you need, and how to anticipate their needs while they’re still trying to find the words.
- How to read a CV or a potential recruit
You know how to assess the candidates in front of you, to read their suitability for any given job, and to see the potential they may have to fill roles they wouldn’t have thought about.
- What to say to that candidate
And, of course, you know how to explain that potential to a candidate and encourage them. You know how to prepare them for their time with the company and to present themselves in the way the company wants.
Spell out the skills involved in working for a recruitment agency like that and it’s clear just how much you need to know. But when you set up an agency of your own – even if you already have your network of contacts, even if you already have those skills, even if you already have candidates willing to go onto your books – you encounter a whole new suite of challenges.
So what else do you need to consider?
- Setting up and maintaining your invoicing process to client companies
As an agency, the work can’t end with simply placing the candidate. You’ve got to invoice for all relevant fees, making sure that records are kept.
- Overseeing cashflow and making sure you can always pay your recruits on time
Invoices need to be sent in a timely fashion, allowing for bank holidays and other delays, to ensure there’s enough money to pay wages, taxes, and other business costs on time, every time.
- Managing timesheets
For some clients this will be easier than others, but in all cases you need a clear record of hours worked, pay earned, and taxes incurred, not just as a record for compliance but also to ensure your invoicing is accurate. This may involve chasing your recruits or their supervisors for the timesheets, and doing so well enough ahead of time to process them.
- Staying in compliance with all statutory requirements – VAT, PAYE, year end accounting and the like
We can only give a partial guide here as there are a great many requirements to bear in mind and more when working with companies in specialist sectors. However, it’s vital that you know what you must comply with and that you take all actions necessary to do so!
Needless to say, that’s a lot of additional work, and none of it involves the same skills you’ve already been developing. Some of it will be so far away from what you’ve been doing that you may not have realised it was a factor before now, while other tasks may be ones you’ve thought about, but not in any detail.
And, of course, you have to do all of this while still doing the job of actually recruiting for companies.
Helping fledgling and experienced recruitment agencies alike is the top priority here at TBOS. We can serve as your entire back office, ensuring that all of these essential jobs are taken care of and leaving you free to do what you do best.
If you’d like to discuss either our TBOS Complete or TBOS Freedom packages, or just have some questions to ask, why not get in touch?