For someone who’s always worked for someone else, making the switch to owning their own agency can be a huge change. The early days of the agency will be filled by different challenges and new difficulties – all the aspects of the business a recruiter working for someone else doesn’t need to know.
We’ve watched many new agencies start up and offered what advice we can to prevent everyone from making the same mistakes, but some still come up, over and over again.
Here are five things you should be ready for when you start up your own recruitment agency:
Raising Your Own Contracts
As a recruiter who came up through someone else’s agency, there’s a good chance that you’ve been used to a back office and administration team who handle contracts and compliance for all your placements.
When doing it for yourself it’s surprisingly easy to fail to check all clauses are correct and make sure contracts are signed ahead of the placement beginning. You can buy contract templates from reputable suppliers, but make sure you know what each clause means and that you have a process in place to get them signed before the contractor arrives on site.
A New Take on Time Management
Even if your old director gave you targets, KPIs, and didn’t watch your clock at all, the transition is a major one. Working alone and on your own takes a lot of self-control and you need to be motivated – and you’ll need to factor in all the other jobs your agency needs, in order to start making a profit as quickly as possible.
Keeping an Eye on Cashflow
If you’re used to a regular salary and commission on placements made you have some adjustments to make. Income to your agency comes when payments are received, and for a while you’re going to be watching when money enters your bank account before you can spend it – and have to juggle which suppliers are up to what.
Say Goodbye to Non-Performers
It’s not as easy as many recruiters believe to manage a team of staff. Balancing personal and HR needs, watching for staff members to meet their targets, and assessing when someone’s having a bad run and when someone’s a non-performer is a source of stress of its own – and many directors aren’t comfortable cutting those who can’t measure up to begin with, to their own cost.
Staying Covered for Tax
There are tax implications to every payment you take from a client – PAYE for salaries, VAT on the amount paid, corporation tax on profits made. Keep a close eye on each of these and set the amount needed aside to make sure you don’t fall behind.
We recommend using separate accounts for tax monies and keeping up to date management figures so you’re always aware of your obligations.
These five are all skills that need to be mastered, and it will take time – but the faster you start to learn them, the better off you’ll be.