If you are interested in starting a recruiting agency of your own, below is a basic introduction that will get you started down the right path.
The first thing you will need is a solid understanding of just what that entails. What does starting a recruiting agency mean and what are the steps you will need to take to get there?
If you are starting a recruiting agency, it simply means you are an Independent Recruiter (which is someone who finds “employees” for “employers”) and you work for your self (as opposed to being a recruiter for a specific company or agency – which would be a corporate recruiter or perhaps a military recruiter). As an Independent Recruiter, you will pick up you own clients (employers) and find candidates (employees) for those clients who need help filling their job openings.
There are many advantages (and some disadvantages) to starting a recruiting agency and being an Independent Recruiter. On the advantage side, you are self-employed so you can make more money and work when you want to. On the disadvantage side, you are self-employed so you will pay more taxes and you will work more hours even when you don’t want too, so you can make more money. In other words, the positives can be negative and the reverse is also true depending on how you look at it.
Starting a recruiting agency and being an Independent Recruiter is not a “get rich quick” scheme. Although the process is fairly simple, it does require several hours of work each day and, as with most things, the more time and effort you put into it, the more success you will have. However, for those who are willing to “do the time”, being a Recruiter can be very rewarding both financially and personally. There is nothing better then knowing you helped someone land their dream job while at the same time making $10,000 $20,000 or even $30,000 dollars in cash. No, that is not an exaggeration.
First thing you need to think about when starting a recruiting agency of your own is where are you going to do this? Ideally, you need a quiet location with some privacy so when you are talking to clients, you are not getting interrupted by noisy pets or family members (mine is dogs and grandchildren). You will need at least enough space for a laptop but if you can setup a space with a regular and a comfortable chair, that is even better. Remember, the more you enjoy your work space and the more comfortable you are spending time in it, the easier it is to discipline yourself to put in the hours you will need to be successful working at home on a computer. This is great advice for anything you choose to do online, not just recruiting.
Next, let’s go over some of the very basics you will need as far as equipment.
The ‘Must Have’ Equipment List
Working desktop or laptop computer with internet access and email. For the computer, the “faster the better” of course but don’t feel like you have to go buy a new computer when starting a recruiting agency. Honestly, my wife normally gets the new computers in my home (and I use the ones she gets rid of). Internet connection is another thing however, and while a dial-up connection will work to start with, high-speed internet is highly recommended. Also, I use Microsoft Word for almost every document (and resume) I send out and I use Outlook for my email client. While neither is necessarily required for starting your own recruiting agency, I very much recommend them since both have spell check and every client you work with will have them as well and because of that, won’t have any problem opening up the candidates resumes you send them.
Inkjet or Laser Printer & Scanner. Any good quality printer/scanner combination will work fine. There will be times when you have to print out contracts or forms that must be scanned and faxed back.
Dedicated Phone Number (land line or cell phone) As far as a phone line goes, it is very important that you have a separate phone number when starting a recruiting agency. If you don’t want to add another land line to your current residence or office, you are, at the very least, going to need to have a cell phone that you can dedicate to recruiting. In other words, you need a number that when candidates and clients call you, they get you personally with a professional greeting like “good afternoon, this is Jane Doe with ACME Agency, how may I help you”. Another big plus when starting a recruiting agency is an 800 number. If you shop around, you can usually get one pretty cheap and it will enable candidates to contact you from work. One other inexpensive alternative is signing up for a VoIP number (internet phone number) such as through Vonage or Skype. The only requirement with those is you must have a high speed internet connection and you will want to test the service to be sure you are getting a quality signal.
Answering Machine or Voice Mail When you are not able to answer your business line, you will need a voice mail system or answering machine/service.
Efax Number (Fax number that uses your email) You must have an Efax number if you are seriously considering starting a recruiting agency (or, if you have a fax machine, feel free to continue to go ‘old school’). Many of your clients still use fax machines and will want to fax you the signed fee agreement. I currently use fax.com which provides me with a toll-free fax number (which comes to my email in PDF format) and also allows me to send faxes using my email program. At the time I wrote this, the service was just $9.95 month.
Agency Name (what are you going to call yourself?) This may seem to be an easy matter but you may be surprised. When I was starting a recruiting agency of my own, I wanted American Engineering Corp to be the name of my company, and indeed, that is what I go by in my email and dealings with my clients. However, when I went to register myself as an LLC with my state, I was told the name was already taken (by a Japanese company of all things!), so I ended up having to add USA to the beginning of my name to get registered.
Another thing to consider when starting a recruiting agency is whether you can use certain words in your name. I found out later that there are many states (fortunately not mine) that require you to have a licensed PE (professional engineer) working for the company to be able to have the word “engineering” in the name.
If you don’t want to go with engineering at all, some common add-on names include; associates, staffing, enterprises, solutions, group, etc.
Once you have your office setup, you are ready to get started. 95% of what I do is online and through email. If you can cut & paste and have at least a basic understanding of the internet and using email and programs like Word, starting a recruiting agency should not be difficult or even cost much money to get started.