Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

How to start a recruitment company

Recruitment is the process that affects the amount and type of people who apply for a job. The process also influences a person's decision about a job offer. Recruitment activities include writing the content of job advertisements, deciding where to place advertisements and managing advertising budgets.

The purpose of a recruitment company is to use these activities to help an organisation find the right person for a job. Although previous industry experience is useful, starting a recruitment company requires above all the ability to sell candidates to employers.

Take a training course with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The REC is the trade body that represents UK recruitment companies. REC courses aim to provide a new recruitment company with skills and guidance.

Read the regulations that govern the recruitment industry. The main legislation is the Employment Agencies Act 1973.

Decide on the type of industry and candidates the recruitment company will handle. Some recruitment companies focus on specific industry sectors such as education. Other companies take a generic approach and deal with recruitment for all sectors of the economy.

Work out the costs of the recruitment company. A basic recruitment company that operates on the Internet needs a computer, a website and access to an online job board that contains CV's. A high street recruitment company is a more traditional but also more expensive option.

Decide on the level of the recruitment company's fees for successful job placements. Options include charging an organisation between 20 and 30 per cent of a post's annual salary or imposing a set fee. The Employment Agencies Act 1973 prevents a recruitment company from charging a fee to most people who are seeking work. The exceptions are au pairs who take jobs abroad, entertainers and models.

Consider joining the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. Membership gives candidates and employers confidence in the credibility of a recruitment company.