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5 Ways to Grow a Start-up Recruitment Business


Starting your own business can be a daunting task in any industry, and recruitment is no different.  Perhaps you’re an experienced recruiter that’s has been used to the comfort of working for an established agency, and now you’re looking to grow a start up recruitment business of your own.

Here we get some great advice from our Company Director, Katie Armstrong, who has more than ten years of experience in the health care and recruitment industries.  She gives us five practical ways to start and grow a recruitment business.

5 ways to grow your recruitment business

  1. Find your niche and stick to it

At Safehands Recruitment, we are a specialist recruitment division of the wider RE Recruitment group, which is multi-sector – the UK’s fastest-growing, independently-owned recruiter (The Recruiter Fast 50 League Table, 2021).  We realised the need for health care recruitment to be a differentiated brand due to the nature of the clients we recruit for.  The niche health and social care environment that we work exclusively in, brings more significant challenges and the need for a deeper understanding of our clients’ businesses.

We have become influential experts by avoiding the temptation to stray into other areas and staying focused on this specialist sector. We have concentrated our efforts on the care sector – and this means all our team members are trained in this niche market. Having a dedicated team of specialists really does pay off.


  1. Lay the right foundations

We grew very quickly when we started Safehands, but we could have improved our organisation at times.  I quickly realised that we needed to structure our work better, to grow safely and protect the reputation that we had created.  Having the right systems and processes in place and ones that evolve and update to reflect changes in legislation are critical. The right infrastructure and technology to support your growth means that your new business will be more structured and data-driven.

Less time will be wasted on managing data entry and other time-consuming processes.  This will allow your team members to focus on the things that are important to growing a recruitment business: managing client relationships and attracting candidates.  With the strong foundations, the right technology, highly efficient processes and systems, your consultants will be even more successful at building these key relationships.


  1. Invest in your people

When growing a recruitment business, it’s vital to invest in your team.  In the recruitment business, many forget about the importance of their own talent attraction and retention.  In the current climate, your business’s culture is critical in maintaining a collaborative team and ensuring employee wellbeing.  It’s important to hire new team members that fit the company culture and not just because of their excellent track record.  Consider the longer-term role they could play in helping your recruitment business to grow.  New hires shouldn’t just be plugging a gap in the here and now.

This also goes for promoting people. The best revenue-generating consultants don’t always make the best leaders.  Promoting people on leadership qualities and management styles that fit your culture will ensure you maintain the right working environment to help grow your recruitment business.  Empower your team members and make them comfortable taking risks and making decisions.  As a business owner, one of the biggest blockers to growth is someone who makes everyone in the business dependent on them.  It might feel nice to be needed, but if your team can’t make decisions without you, they will be terrified and unable to perform when you’re busy or not around.


  1. Find great partners to work with

Finding great partners to work with is essential when starting out and even more critical when you are growing any business.  In a recruitment business, there are some things that you will need support with.  There can be considerable benefits to outsourcing some of your functions, for example, IT, Marketing and Training.  It can often be a more cost-effective option to quickly outsource some or all of these and access skillsets when you’re trying to grow.

You and your team can then focus on growing your recruitment business by only working on the important task: building relationships.  While experts in their field can complete tasks that you or your team might be capable of, they will waste their precious time and money.


  1. Find a great mentor or support groups

Reaching out and getting help from a mentor is a strategy that works. Getting advice from someone who has done it before and succeeded or made mistakes is invaluable.  They can be a great person to help you network and expand your contacts.

Mentors can give constructive criticism on something you have done or a different perspective on a decision you need to take.  They can help you set goals and encourage you to achieve these goals.


Franchising offers a great solution.

Here at Safehands, we have a franchise package that would easily encompass everything I have talked about.  You gain access to our fantastic IT and software system – an excellent foundation for your new business. We also have a list of franchise FAQ’s that aim to answer any questions you might have

We offer great initial and ongoing training for you and your team, and you will be supported with all of the back-office functions required to grow.  And finally, the mentoring, support and guidance from a diverse and highly experienced senior leadership team that really has seen and done it all.

We have made some mistakes in the past (and learnt from them!), so you don’t have to.  If you would like to know more about our franchise opportunity, then please get in touch using the form below.

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Katie Armstrong Safehands Managing Director

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