Why recruitment agencies don't grow

Why recruitment agencies don't grow
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Around 200 recruitment agencies open their doors every month, which tells us that starting a recruitment business isn’t hard. With low barriers to entry and not many overheads, anyone can start an agency as long as they have a phone and a LinkedIn license.

Two things that are not hard to acquire. However, only about 20 percent of that number manage to get above ten heads and continue on successful growth trajectories which tells us that growing and scaling your business is the hard part. It’s when things get tricky and difficult and suddenly every move you make matters so much. If you’re currently in the middle of growing pains, here’s some reasons why you might be struggling, and often why recruitment agencies don’t grow.

1. Trying to recruit too much

Which sounds like a crazy statement to make for a recruitment business, but by too much we mean across too many different sectors. Find out what your specialty is and then stick to it like glue. If you recruit across hospitality, but then come across a finance professional you know you could place, don’t do it. Although it’s tempting to step outside of your niche and grab the easy win, it will distract you and take you away from your vertical and be less productive in the long run. Stick to your arena and build within it. Once you deviate, you’ll find it easy to do it again and again, until suddenly, you’re all over the place, recruiting anything and everything and a master of none.

2. No mission or vision

Often people think your mission and vision, as well as your values, are nothing but a marketing exercise, something that needs to be done for the sake of the website. However, your vision is far more than just lip service, and instead acts as the rallying cry your employees take up and work towards and around. It gives focus and direction, as well as purpose to your employees. In short, it keeps everyone walking together in the same direction. Or singing off the same hymn sheet. Or whatever other cliché that basically says everyone is in it together. Give your people a clear direction and belief system to ensure you’re constantly moving forwards.

3. Uncomfortable culture

If the trends in business have taught us anything recently, it’s that culture is so very important to the success of your organisation and if your culture is uncomfortable, unethical or not in keeping with the people in the business, it can become jarring and very difficult to move forward. A negative culture becomes toxic very quickly and drives people away and out of your agency. This might be anything from not having meetings when they’re scheduled, to negative comments or lack of accountability.

4. No process

Process isn’t just for global businesses, but for smaller agencies too. It can be a lack of defined process and consistency when it comes to client and candidate engagement that can prevent growth and stagnate your agency. Small consistencies equal marginal gains and those small movements will matter so much for the smaller businesses. Input as much as you can, as early on as possible to set your business up for the growth you want.

5. Lack of technology

It doesn’t have to be huge CRM systems or thousands of pounds spent on an ATS, but there is so much technology that could be making your workflows easier, and more efficient. It might be technology that helps with scheduling calendar invites or something as simple as email marketing. Whatever is going to help you, use it to optimize everything you do in your business so you can grow instead of staying stagnant.

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