Starting your own recruitment agency: finding your USP


If you’ve been inspired to start your own recruitment agency after reading our recent blog post, the first thing you need to consider is how to stand out from the crowd.

Recruitment is notoriously competitive, so identifying a niche in the market can help your startup agency to compete against established rivals. But how do you make sure there’s something unique about your business? Let’s look at some of the ways in which you can develop a USP for your new recruitment agency…

Know who else is out there already

When you’re starting a business, the value of market research cannot be underestimated. What, where and how you launch a new recruitment agency will depend on what competitors are doing in your area, and how you can differentiate yourself from them.

Make a list of all the existing recruitment agencies that you would consider a potential competitor. Look at the type of clients they attract, which sectors they operate across, whether they specialise in permanent, contract or temporary staff recruitment, and how they run their business model.

Putting this data into some form of list or spreadsheet will help you to identify common themes across established recruitment businesses in your local area, and make it easier to spot any gaps that you can exploit.

Play to your strengths

Most company founders decide to go solo when they’ve learned all they can from other recruitment agencies – and can see a better way of doing it themselves. You’re much more likely to succeed if you take your existing knowledge and apply it to a business plan.

Cross-reference your competitor list with the things you are good at and focus your energy on the areas of common ground. For example, if your skillset lies in recruiting temp and fixed term contract workers, but no potential rival is doing the same, that’s a perfect fit.

It’s not worth wasting your energy on a USP that doesn’t play to your strengths, such as specialising in a particular field you don’t know very well, just because nobody else is recruiting for that sector already. Work with the skills you have in-hand.

Listen to potential clients

In addition to conducting your own research, one of the most valuable things you can do before launching your own recruitment agency is interviewing potential target customers that you have a good relationship with already.

Listening to recruiting companies will help you to understand the struggles they are currently facing and create a way of solving them. If existing recruitment agencies haven’t mastered the problem then you have an opportunity to swoop in, rectify the issue, and secure a new customer in the process.

Do things better

Even if there is no obvious gap in the market, many start-up recruitment agencies take business from their competitors purely by delivering stronger results. Recruitment agencies in general have a negative reputation and a desire to do things better for your clients can make a real difference.

For example, one common issue that drives many recruiters to start their own agency is the drain of admin. A lot of existing recruitment businesses are weighed down with the day-to-day burden of processing timesheets and expense forms, creating invoices and securing payments. This means that they are focussed on operational demands rather than nurturing client relationships.

By looking at ways to reduce the demands of daily operations – such as using back office software that automatically checks and approves timesheets and expense claims, before converting the data to invoices – you can spend less time on internal tasks, and more time building up your client base.

Affordable back office software from ETZ

Whatever the USP of your new business, ETZ can make sure that admin does not detract from your company goals. Our software automates essential operational tasks surrounding timesheets, expense claims and invoicing, so you can focus on your staff and customers.

And to help your business get off the ground, we’ve launched Startup 20/20 – an affordable back office platform for startup recruitment agencies. It offers the same great features as our big agency software, but at a fraction of the price.

Let technology take care of your recruitment back office: book a free ETZ demonstration to find out how our Startup 20/20 software works.

What our customers say

“If we had stuck with the system we used 2 years ago we would have needed 4 or 5 extra staff to deal with the extra administration that comes with..."

Glyn Lloyd

“ETZ‘s capability of syncing to our other cloud based products we use, Xero and Keypay, has made the task of processing timesheets, exporting invoices and payroll to Xero and Keypay..."

Brett Bedwell | Director

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