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5 Simple Ways To Grow Your Independent Recruitment Agency

Posted by Nicky Coffin

When you left the warm comfort of the mother ship, aka your previous recruitment company, did you plan your exit?

Had you thought through what would be involved and specifically how you might grow your agency to support you and your business dream?

Yes? No? Maybe?

The truth is most new independent recruiters have rarely looked at all the detail involved in developing a new agency from scratch.

The first few months are often a whirl of excitement and blind panic. Soon followed by the stark realisation that maintaining billings, finding new clients (yes that pesky agreement you signed that means you can’t contact all your lovely clients for 6 months!) and dealing with all the back office bumf that someone else took care of for you, can make you reconsider if running your own business was a good idea after all?

I know many of our clients that join our 750k billing blueprint are in this position when they arrive.

Great billers and recruiters who haven’t quite got all their ducks in a row; yet.

What can help you get through this bumpy patch? Here are a few of my proven strategies to get you started.


1. Hone your niche

Niche recruitment is the way forward. It’s easier to establish yourself as an authority and to increase your fees, something that’s often a challenge for independents.



If you are in an agreement with you previous employer that prevents you approaching past clients, perhaps there is an option to look at a narrower niche where you can get started and establish your own authority position.


2. Plan your cash flow and profit

Though I am sure when you first started you had a cashflow plan? Over the first year or so this might have slipped, I see this happen a lot. If it has, face into it, and plan out your cash flow forecast.

The good news is if you have delivered revenues consistently before you can do it again. It’s funny how creating a worst case scenario and a best case scenario sends out a rocket of desire, that will give you increased motivation and pep up your mojo to get back on the horse again.


3. Establish your value offer and increase your fees

I have referred to these topics many times on this blog and will continue to do so; because it is imperative to your ongoing success.

I know this is a generalisation and I will say it anyway. Most independent recruiters I come across don’t understand how to communicate their offer and value and most don’t charge enough for their service.

In our programme the first thing we do is teach our students how to create their value offer and increase their prices. Then Boom! Suddenly everything starts to shift.



Stuck? Groaning that you don’t know where to start?

Hint: What is important to your clients and candidates? How can you help them? What evidence have you got? It doesn’t matter if it was in your past organisation.




Now drum roll, communicate this in all your marketing materials, emails, website etc.


4. Set your KPIs and do the work

This is a biggie. Most people when they leave an organisation ditch the KPIs.

DON’T PLEASE! Focus on what works.

The challenge when you are on your own is there isn’t anyone to compete against or hold your feet to the fire. Remember you are human and it’s a natural trait to let things slip; who hasn’t given up on a diet on more than one occasion, because of lack of accountability or encouragement.

There is a great book called the compound effect by Darren Hardy who developed a $50million business at age 28. He puts it down to doing specific activities consistently over time ( think BD calls CVs out, emails out, networking, cold calls) to create a compounding effect. You know it works and it’s probably why you were successful when you worked for someone else.


5. Get a mentor or support group

I can track throughout my business life the times I have up levelled and taken profit and growth to a new level.



This is both within my own recruitment company as a director and now in my own performance development organisation here at centredexcellence.

Each time it has been when I have reached out to get support from a mentor. It’s a strategy that works, that’s why many successful recruitment organisations invest heavily in training and mentoring.

In our 750k group we have multiple examples where folks have joined us and within a matter of months they have increased fees, moved to new offices, doubled revenues and added 1,2,3,4, + members to their team. Like many things in life its straight forward when you get advice from someone who has done it before and you get support to keep moving forward.


Warm regards




If you would like a personal conversation about how we can help you then fill in the contact form here and lets set up a time to talk.

High performing consultants are the lifeblood of any successful recruitment organisation. The challenge starts when your recruiters underperform. There is a solution and I cover it in-depth in my latest ebook; How to Convert Your under Performers to Consistent Billers in 14 Days or less. You can download it here.