If 2013 is the year you will start a recruiting business, here is a very high level look at some things to consider. The steps may be spelled out for you if you are buying a recruitment franchise. I would strongly suggest you consider formal and informal network membership as an alternative to purchasing a recruitment franchise. Here are the high level actions required to get going with your business:
1. Pick a name
Think ahead. Maybe someday after you start your recruiting business you will want to sell it and retire. Do not name the recruitment business after yourself. There is less value to a business called “John Jones Recruiting” when there is no John Jones in the business. At the same time, don’t let name selection paralyze you. The name might help, but look at Google: who would have picked that name? I think they are doing just fine with a crazy name.
Make sure your company name is not already taken with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the appropriate service in your location.
2. Register a domain name
Make sure that the name you selected has available the domain that you want. Even better, think about how people might find you via an online search and see if there is a way you can incorporate your top keyword into your domain name (as well as your company name).
Go for the .com extension. If you must give in, consider .net or .jobs. Try to avoid the dreaded hyphen! Check domain names at Network Solutions. There is nothing worse than a thriving business working on a @gmail.com, @yahoo.com or @aol.com address.
3. Arm your recruiting business with tools
Business cards – Vistaprint.com is a great source of cheap cards.
Accounting Software – Quickbooks is a standard. Freshbooks is an online option.
Applicant Tracking System – I like PCRecruiter. They have a low-cost, highly-flexible tool to track clients and candidates. (Disclosure: Main Sequence Technology, maker of PCRecruiter, is NPA’s technology partner.)
Backup system or cloud-based storage area – Dropbox or GoogleDocs are cloud-based, or you can have a scheduled backup from a service like Carbonite.
Mailing/Marketing Service – try Constant Contact or MailChimp.
LinkedIn – buy the best package you can afford. You will be using it all day, every day, so make it your friend.
4. Set up a website
There are many low-cost tools, including godaddy.com, Network Solutions, and Vistaprint. A word of caution: You don’t want your next-door-neighbor’s-kid’s-best-friend to build you a website, unless that person REALLY knows about websites, responsive design, search engine optimization, mobile interfaces, etc. Economical is smart. Cheap is not.
5. Get connected to the industry
Join the industry trade association – NAPS (National Association of Personnel Services) is in the US.
6. Get trained
Look into a service like Next Level Exchange. They provide training on recruiting from many of the masters of industry.
7. Expand your capabilities/make more money/connect to a peer group
Once established, join NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network to enable global coverage to your prospects and clients, do more deals, and gain access to fellow entrepreneurs for ideas and coaching.
It is a great time to be a recruiter. It is difficult work, but the demographics are on your side. With millions of boomers retiring each year and companies back into a growth mode, good employees will be hard to find. That’s where you can benefit. Happy New Year and best of luck for a successfully starting a recruiting business.