Starting a Recruitment Business with No Money

The recruitment industry is all about networking and connecting people with businesses. It is one of the best-paid jobs to have if you get the industry right, so here is how you can reap the rewards by starting a recruitment business. Before you embark on this journey, you need to ensure your strong skills are, communication, maths, and sales. If you don’t have these, then you need to look for someone who will embark on this journey with you for free.

Starting a Recruitment Business with No Money
Recruitment Business Insights


What is your industry? You will be screening candidates in this industry so make sure you know what the current news is and who the thought leaders are. When you focus on one industry, it will become easier for word-of-mouth marketing. Someone is more likely to answer to an employer who is looking for a junior developer “this recruitment agency specializes in IT recruitment” instead of “go on total jobs and put an ad on”. So find an industry, learn every type of role going in it and start planning.



When you start, you will need to have three key areas of interest:


  • Where to find candidates
  • Businesses looking for candidates
  • Candidates looking for work

The third point will overwhelm you when you start, so make sure you take your time to screen candidates that want to be registered with your recruitment business. It’s not just about experience; it's people skills etc. so only keep the best of the best on file.

The third point will also help you get started on your second point. When you screen candidates look at their work history and ask how they were employed in their previous role, if they say agency, you know the company can afford the talent commission.

By having two excel workbooks to cross-reference data, you will soon start building profiles and getting a better understanding of who the key players are in the industry.


Now comes the difficult part, where to advertise in order for you to capture both the second and third focus points. If you put an advert up on LinkedIn it will cost you around £200, Gumtree will cost you £50 max but a lot of your time and a job site can be anywhere between £29.99 to £900 depending on the industry. Other classified websites where you can find candidates include CV Libary, Reed, etc in fact job post websites where you can post your requirements without disclosing all information. Grab their CV according to your client's requirements, call them, and pitch, book an interview. 


To get this for free, you will require to think slightly outside the box. If you are targeting the fashion industry, make sure you attend fashion networking events, fashion shows, and fashion university lectures. By immersing yourself in the industry, you might be spending more time at events, but you will be cutting out the initial interview process as you will be meeting people straight away and can start with the filtering process.


Another area where you can get free attention is by playing on your new business venture theme. Reach out to business magazines and online publications and tell your story. Why are you doing this job, why do you think there is a market for it? The key demographic for these publications are business owners. If you catch their attention, they will remember your business when looking for new candidates.


In order to run a successful recruitment business, you essentially need to have a huge log on every business and talent. keeping tabs on when positions become available and when candidates want to leave is fundamental.


If at any point any of the areas are struggling, offer promotions. Hire one candidate with us and the next one will be half-price or get your CV checked by professionals when you register with us.


When you land your first employment, make sure to follow up with both the business and the employee throughout the course of their employment to ensure everything is ok (it also gives you a good chance to snoop if any other potential positions are opening up in the company).

By keeping your finger on both of these areas, ideally, you will know about positions opening up before the rest of the recruitment industry. Make sure you also keep an eye out on small companies that have just gone through serious funding rounds, it will probably be the first time they will work with a recruiter, so you want to ensure it’s your business.


Use the commission you earn to automate your daily tasks so you can take on more candidates and businesses. Whether it’s re-designing your website so potential candidates add more information about themselves when they join or creating automated emails to send to both business owners and candidates to capture their feedback.


Once you have the basic day-to-day running of recruitment, look at the startup business checklist to ensure you have everything else you need for business growth.