Date: 23 August 2018 All the signs tell you that there has never been a better time to start or grow your recruitment business. Job vacancies are at their highest and we have record employment in the UK at 75.8%, the joint highest figure since comparable estimates began in 1971*. The jobs and recruitment market is practically fizzing with excitement at the moment. Taking the next step should be a piece of cake right? Not necessarily. When you are ready to build your business and recruit colleagues to join you, either consultants or support staff, it can feel like you are letting go. You’re preparing to let someone into your inner circle, share your goals and help make them happen. So how do you get it right? What can you do to attract and retain talent to your growing business? Start with your why It’s human nature that we are driven by our emotions. Hearts often lead, with heads following (and justifying our decisions). Increasingly you will see businesses going for the empathetic approach – think about the John Lewis or Boots ads for example and the enormous impact they have. The focus is not on the what, it’s on the why. As Simon Sinek, the recognised leadership speaker tells us, start with the why! Be clear on your goals Know what you want to achieve, with who and by when. By not having clarity you risk saying yes to everything, making poor margins and spreading yourself too thin. Define your business goals, not just in terms of the bottom line but in regards to how you are going to achieve each milestone, through which partners or clients and by when. The ability to share this with future colleagues means they can picture achieving your successes with you and buy into the end goal. You’ll win their commitment. Get the tech right You don’t have to invest in every bit of kit from the word ‘go’ but get the basics in place. It is essential for the recruitment and retention of staff that you give colleagues the necessary technology to do their job. Try not to scrimp on what you invest in too. Using budget or clunky technology creates rocks in the road for everyone. Choose a CRM system that fits your business model. Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations. And look at what value-adds or time savers there are. For example, does it integrate to a skills testing platform that enables you to assess each candidate, or how about social media links for your job ads? We’ve worked hard at ISV to ensure our skills testing can fit smoothly inside leading CRM systems like Voyager’s Infinity product or RDB ProNet. Join a trade association Being part of a recognised industry body gives you weight. Not only does it show you have passed the registration and reference process to join (if they have one) but it opens up a wealth of extras. At ISV Software, we work with TEAM and the REC and enjoy enormous value from both. From employment advice and contracts to discounts on services and picking up leads through networking. For anyone thinking of joining your business, it shows you take recruitment and business growth seriously. Create new talent As the recruitment industry grows, talented consultants are becoming rare. The REC estimated that to keep pace with market growth we need to recruit around 30,000 new consultants. At the moment we’re just shifting the problem around. So why not create the talent and pay the goodwill forward? Internships like those offered by APSCo or recruitment apprenticeships from the REC are a great place to start. We are big fans of apprenticeships at ISV, having successfully taken candidates in sales and marketing roles in the last 2 years who are still flourishing with us today. Offering graduates or school leavers an opportunity to learn, carve a career path and be exposed to aspects of a growing business they may not usually get to see is invaluable. Typically they will stay with you for a good tenure as well. On top of the tips above, never lose sight of your goal and why you were determined to start a recruitment business in the first place. Reminders of this will keep your company on track and you able to find the energy to press on. No-one said it was going to be easy, if it was, everyone would do it! *UK Employment hits another record high - BBC News This article appeared in print in the Recruitment International Start Up Supplement in 2015.