Hiring and retaining good recruiters has been a real challenge since the pandemic. How can you expect to grow your recruitment business when you don’t have the top billers you need behind you?
The good news is, growing your agency doesn’t always have to involve hiring the best 360 recruiters on the market. There are other ways you can grow – here’s what they are:
1. Outsource strategically
It’s easy to think the only reliable way to grow is through hiring onto your team, but sometimes outsourcing to fill skill gaps is a smarter and more cost-effective solution.
If you’re concerned that outsourcing might lower the quality of your service, this should never be an issue if you’re strategic about it. It’s also worth knowing that outsourcing options have greatly improved in the last decade or so.
The beauty of outsourcing is that there’s no commitment so you can be strategic and outsource based on the specific needs of your business at that particular time.
Here are a few areas you could outsource strategically:
- Virtual assistants: Some of the most successful start-up recruitment agencies use virtual assistants to get all their admin done so they can free up time to spend nurturing relationships with candidates and clients. Watch this video to find out how outsourcing could save you a whole lot of admin.
- Freelance Resourcers: When the market is candidate-short, outsourcing a freelance Resourcer could be the best decision you make. You can simply hire them on a contractual basis to source a pool of niche candidates and when your talent pools are filled up with the candidates you need, you can close the project.
- Use a freelancer marketplace: Sites like Fiverr, Upwork and Udrafter (intern focussed) are all project-based outsourcing platforms where you can commission a freelancer to work on a particular project for a really reasonable fee. We’ve had loads of great experiences working with designers on Fiverr – here’s a guide on how to do it.
2. Hire a marketer, not a recruiter
If your recruiters are wasting precious recruitment time on trying to craft the perfect job ads or posting it across various channels to get the best reach, you need support from a marketer, not another recruiter.
Hiring an experienced Recruitment Marketer who can manage role communication will free up your recruiters’ time to focus on recruitment. While it’s true that recruitment is marketing in a lot of ways, it’s unlikely anyone in your team got into recruitment because they’re a great writer or a designer, so why burden them with marketing tasks that don’t play to their strengths?
The important thing is to hire an experienced marketer in this situation, not a junior. You need someone who can own and drive all their own projects without needing any support from you and your team.
3. Run a self-service model
Self-service models are like the Uber of the recruitment world: You invest in some great technology and cut out the middleman effort (aka the recruitment manpower) and transfer the graft over to the client. That way, the client handles more of the hiring process themselves and only pay for the services they use with you.
So in this set-up your clients can post their own job ads, but you charge them for access to your available talent. To make this work, you’d just need your recruiters to focus on pulling in a steady stream of clients to keep the model profitable.
4. Consider a recruitment franchise
If you’re not familiar with how a recruitment franchise model works, you essentially have a number of solo recruiters working under your brand name and gaining access to your database. Rather than pay these solo recruiters a salary, you pay them a share of the deal value (say, 60% for example).
Recruitment franchises work similarly to how a lot of hairdressers operate – self-employed stylists hire a chair in a salon to gain access to the client database and brand promotion. The only difference is that the solo recruiter doesn’t pay any monthly rental to you, but you do take a cut of the placements they make in return for using your brand name and database to win business.
5. Collaborate with other agencies
Have you ever thought about teaming up with another agency to increase your recruitment manpower? Teaming up to fulfil a recruitment project for a client can be a quicker solution than hiring.
Split-fee partnerships have been around for decades but a lot of agencies still shy from the idea of sharing roles with their competitors - which is understandable. But what’s better – losing business because you can't keep up with workload or partnering up with another agency to get the job done for a share of the fee?
You could also consider teaming up with another agency to pitch for larger recruitment contracts if you know you’re the right agency for the project but the tender stipulates you need a certain number of recruiters to qualify for a retainer. Get just one big contract under your belt and the rest will snowball!
Download the eBook below for more information on the different recruitment agency business models that will help you grow in any job market.
Katie once headed up the Firefish blog and marketing team. She now works as a freelance copywriter and continues to contribute to our award-winning blog.