On Your Marks…..Get Set…..Go
Competition in the recruitment sector is spiralling, with recruiters spreading their entrepreneurial wings preparing to take flight. The UK recruitment industry is said to be worth almost £31.5 billion annually, a rise of 9.7% from 2014, creating huge competition in the UK.
The smaller recruiter will always find it easier to bend and flex to meet the client’s needs as well as offering the personal service that clients and candidates need to feel value in any engagement or exchange. And, whilst it’s important to have some differentiators, there are a number of things that both new businesses and seasoned SME’s can do to grow your recruitment business and take it beyond a lifestyle business to achieve your entrepreneurial dream. Here I touch on a few of them.
Choose Your Niche(s)…
In 2015, a whopping 5,000 + UK recruitment businesses were founded in the UK, a 144% increase from 2,092 in 2010. The vast majority of them were started by highly-experienced and motivated individuals. However, it’s not just down to attitude and drive; a lot depends on the sector you’re in. The biggest recruitment growth areas of 2015 were IT, construction, engineering, financial services, marketing and healthcare, so having experience in any of these sectors means the time is ripe for you to capitalise on your knowledge.
Spread Your Risks….
The uncertainty of Brexit may bring with it some potential risks, but there will undoubtedly be opportunity too. It’s equally sensible to look at spreading your expertise and offering as it is to spread risk across clients (debtors). Niche is good, but more than one niche is better. Think about diversifying your offering with a spread of complimentary specialisms. This offers clients greater value, as well as offering you the increased opportunity to profit and ride any potential storm ahead, should a specific sector start to suffer. In addition, having the ability to offer both Perms and Temp (including Interim/Contract) roles will also allow you to capitalise on opportunities, maximise your return and go some way to ‘future-proof’ your business.
The internet is your friend and one of your most powerful allies in the effort to gain clients and recruit the best people for them. Over three-quarters of the population of the UK now have a smartphone – data shows us that AB households, aged 25-34, have a take up of 95%. Your website should be optimised for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, as well as tablets, in addition to PCs and Macs. Make sure your SEO is spot on and really engage with platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as well as LinkedIn - not simply posting job opportunities, but formulating discussions, displaying your industry knowledge and connecting with your followers. Remember, potential clients as well as candidates will check out your social media output so be clear about your objectives and remain professional at all times.
You Can’t Do Everything…
Managing growth is tricky, whatever stage of your business plan you are at. You’ll be time-pressed, stressed and under a great deal of internal pressure. It’s important to realise, that you simply cannot do everything yourself. In order to concentrate on what you’re best at, it makes sense to outsource some functions of your business to those who specialise in those areas and offer value added services. Back office support will be vital if you are to maximise your time performing recruitment functions rather than paperwork; areas such as payroll, timesheets, invoicing and credit control can be outsourced. Understanding the potential risks and rewards of providing interim/contract/temps is vital. It’s important that you have transparency through your supply chain and business partnerships built on honesty, clarity and compliancy.
Gear up for growth…
It’s is a balancing act to ensure you have the cash-flow you need to pay your staff and any contractors on your books, whilst growing your business. Don’t be put off by getting the right kind of funding for your business, as this will help you manage the exponential growth. With the right kind of funding, at the right time in your growth cycle, borrowing is a sensible and safe option. There are different kinds of funding available, from Factoring, Confidential Finance, Invoice Discounting and Spot Finance (Selective Invoicing). It is sensible to use a specialist who understands the sector and the nuances within your sector(s).
If you are just setting out, or looking to support the continued growth of your business and keeping your business in good shape, you can contact me direct on 07887 499 862 or email email@example.com for a free, honest, no obligation chat.
Business Development Director (North)
M: 07887 499 862
T: 0330 100 8695