'Knowledge, Awareness and Support are key', says David Simons
Starting out on your own in any industry is daunting, but the recruitment market is so closely linked to the country’s economic pulse that to launch into it requires certain essential strategies.
The first of these is industry knowledge. People do change career, and certainly those with a marketing background can, in theory, apply their skills to any sector. But recruitment is a place where the fittest survive. And that fitness comes from in depth knowledge of how the business works. From the increasingly diverse range of media available to attract candidates and customers, to the details of temporary driver documentation; from knowing how an HR department functions, to being able to find five fork lift drivers by tomorrow, the recruiter needs to be able to think and work at several levels, and be wholly proficient in all them.
Recruitment professionals are by nature entrepreneurial, which has helped fuel the rise in start-ups. Those that have succeeded have typically had industry knowledge. In truth, it’s difficult to imagine being able to hold your own in the recruitment sector without it.
Knowledge of the industry is different however to awareness of the market. If you’re operating as a recruitment consultant, and certainly if you’re planning to go it alone, it’s essential that you know the market you’re planning to operate in. In market terms you’ll need to know what sectors you can expect to obtain business from. Geographically you’ll need to ‘know your patch’. Plainly the two are linked. In a rural area the agricultural sector will be more important to you for example. But more than that, you’ll need to know the businesses in your sphere of operation. You’ll need to know the HR managers of the more corporate organisations and who does the hiring for the smaller, but no less important companies. Developing those relationships, and being aware of your market, only happens when you understand recruitment.
If you do understand recruitment and you want to do it your way, by starting up on your own, you need the best deal to support you. We’re all familiar with the attitude of the banks. They often if not mostly say no. If they say yes, they’re expensive. You can try other avenues for borrowing, but even in these days of relatively low interest rates you could find yourself with a hefty overhead before you start, and a ‘business partner’ who neither understands your market nor wants to provide any support.
Franchising is an option. But if you’re attempting to fly solo, and stamp your own identity on a business do you really want a complicated financial arrangement and still be working under someone else’s brand?
The three key strategic issues then for a recruitment start up to consider before launching are:
-Industry Knowledge. There’s a big market out there and room for you to take a slice of it. But in reality you need to know your way around it.
-Market Awareness. If you are already working in recruitment you’ll know where the business is, and who to talk to. You’ll know your patch, both geographically and demographically. Who would start up without knowing about where they operate?
-Business Support. When you launch you need the maximum support, and maximum management of overheads. You need systems and stability. You need income and the cash flow to carry it. And you need your autonomy. In short you need business support from someone who understands your business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Simons has extensive recruitment knowledge and experience having worked in the industry for over 20 years. He is currently Managing Director of Recruit Ventures where he works closely with joint venture partners, assisting and advising them on their start-up businesses.
You can contact David or find out more about Recruit Ventures via:
01362 8825 85 / 07900 26 30 43
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