How to Start a Recruitment Agency in 2024: 7 + 1 Essential Steps

Updated May 13, 20248 min read

The rapid growth of the global economy is fueling the creation of new businesses and the expansion of existing ones, presenting a significant surge in new business opportunities for the recruitment industry. People are taking the bold step and turning their visions into reality, launching startups or establishing their own recruitment agency. This surge of business expansion provides a great opportunity for the recruitment industry as companies and organizations have an exponentially growing need for new talent.

With empty positions waiting to be filled while many candidates are looking for better career opportunities, it is safe to say that recruitment agencies are more crucial than ever. For those of you willing to take the step and launch your recruitment agency, we have developed a complete guide to maximize your chances of success.

Without further ado, here are eight key steps in order to start your recruitment agency.

Step 1: Choose your recruitment agency niche

Choosing the right niche for your recruitment agency is crucial for standing out in the market and attracting clients. Emphasizing the importance of selecting the right 'recruitment agency niche' cannot be overstated, as it significantly contributes to the success of the agency by targeting a specific market or industry based on knowledge, network, and expertise. Here are some steps to help you decide on a niche:

Assess Your Interests and Expertise

Reflect on your own background, skills, and passions. What industries or job functions do you have experience in? What areas are you most knowledgeable about? Your personal expertise and interests can guide you toward a niche where you can add the most value.

Research Market Demand

Conduct thorough market research to understand the growth and potential of the recruitment market, identifying industries or job sectors with high demand for recruitment services. Look for sectors experiencing growth, talent shortages, or specific hiring challenges. Analyze industry reports, job market data, and trends to assess the viability of different niches.

Evaluate Competition

Consider the level of competition in potential niches. Are there already established recruitment agencies dominating certain sectors? Look for underserved niches or areas where you can differentiate your agency from competitors based on your unique value proposition.

Identify Client Needs

Understand the pain points and hiring challenges faced by employers in different industries. What specific skills or qualifications are in high demand? What recruitment solutions are currently lacking in the market? Tailor your niche selection to address these client needs effectively.

Consider Long-Term Viability

Choose a niche with long-term growth potential and stability. Avoid niches that are overly dependent on seasonal or cyclical trends unless you have a strategy to mitigate risks. Look for industries or job functions that are essential to the economy and less susceptible to fluctuations.

Think About Candidate Availability

Availability of qualified candidates in your chosen niche is one of the most important factors. Are there enough candidates with the skills and experience sought by employers? Have you spoken to them before? What channels would you use to find and engage with them?

Factor in Profitability

Evaluate the revenue that you can make (and profit too) based on factors such as

  • average placement value
  • your service fees
  • number of hires
  • team size you would be need to capture 1% of the market

Test and Iterate:

Don't be afraid to experiment with different target markets initially. Start by focusing on a few key industries or job functions and test the waters to see which yields the best results. Monitor your progress, gather feedback from clients and candidates, and be prepared to pivot if necessary.

Ultimately, the ideal niche for your recruitment agency should align with your interests, expertise, market demand, and long-term business goals. By carefully considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can make an informed decision that sets your agency up for success in the competitive world of recruitment.

Step 2: Assess your finances

Do you strive to go big? – That’s a great spirit, but objectivity is the key.

A successful staffing agency relies on positive experiences and a large number of candidates but also clear business goals. Adopt a comprehensive yet flexible business model for your agency.

Establish short and long-term goals to motivate yourself (and later your team) and give them direction. For example, you could strive to increase stable clients by ten percent in two months. Or, maybe you’d like to expand your service area during the next half year.

There are two aspects to look at - how much you are going to spend and how much you can make. It's essential to have a detailed business plan to guide the financial and strategic decisions of the recruitment agency.


Regardless of how passionate you are about starting your recruitment agency, expenses often dictate how realistic your plans are and whether you have all it takes. Because of that, we’re sharing what costs you should consider in the beginning:

  • Recruitment agency business registration
  • Buying or renting an office space
  • Mobile phone and an affordable plan for calls and internet
  • The recruitment agency insurance, professional indemnity, and liability
  • Website domain name
  • Website development and maintenance
  • HR Software (e.g., ATS, CRM)
  • PC or laptop and printer
  • Logo creation and other branding content
  • Relevant certificates, partnership agreements, etc.

Funding Requirements:

Determine how much funding you need to launch and operate your recruitment agency until it becomes profitable.

Identify potential sources of funding, such as personal savings, loans, investors, or grants.

Explain how you plan to use the funds and provide a repayment strategy for investors or lenders. Discussing funding requirements and financial planning with a business partner can also offer significant benefits, including shared financial responsibility and enhanced decision-making.

Step 3: Decide on name

How to decide on a name for your recruitment agency:

  • consider words that reflect professionalism, expertise, and your recruitment agency's unique value proposition.
  • ensure the name is easy to read and easy to say, bonus points if it's memorable.
  • check website domain availability and legal trademarks.
  • Finally, solicit feedback from colleagues and potential clients for validation.

Step 4: Register your new recruitment agency

Research Laws and Regulations

Just as much as you should research the market and competition, you should also know the law and regulations of the industry you choose. Without that, you risk breaching the law unwillingly or missing critical steps. For instance, recruitment agencies in EU should strictly follow GDPR regulations focusing on data protection.

Most recruitment agencies depend on lawyers and counsel to take care of legal business. You could also try speaking to other founders in your industry for advice.

Step 5: Setup your online presence

Most clients and candidates would do some kind online research before deciding on whether to speak to you. Having a great and differentiated web could

Buy the domain and create a website

Your website is your online storefront and one of the most important tools for marketing your recruitment agency. You don't really need too much here but the website should have the following components:

  • create a professional and user-friendly,
  • Search engine optimized (SEO)
  • showcases your services
  • has testimonials from clients and candidates
  • your business address contact details.

You can use a website builder like or hire a web developer to help you with this.

Update your own social media profile

You are going to be the face of your business. Setting up social media profiles for your recruitment business is vital. They boost brand visibility, engage clients, and attract candidates. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook offer extensive networking opportunities, showcasing your expertise and expanding your reach. This strengthens your reputation, attracting both clients and top talent for sustained growth.

List your company in online directories

Listing your recruitment business in online directories is crucial for visibility. These search engine friendly pages ensure that you get found people in need of your recruitment agency.

It improves your online presence, boosts credibility, and increases chances of being found by those in need of recruitment assistance.

Some of these websites are, google maps for business and facebook for business.

Step 6: Develop a marketing plan

The goal of this marketing plan is to build a successful recruitment agency through strategic online and offline marketing efforts, emphasizing recruitment marketing, branding, and team building for long-term success. Before launching your recruitment agency, it’s essential to have a well-thought-out marketing plan and ensure people can discover your business. Otherwise, you’ll find it hard to reach people and land clients.

Because of that, you should establish an online presence that aligns with your company culture, values, and mission. That includes creating a logo and marketing material that embodies your agency’s style and qualities.

Develop a website, set social media channels, create relevant content, and leverage SEO and AdWords. Think about whether you’ll use organic or paid marketing, and establish a consistent and efficient strategy. Alongside social media, incorporating online job boards into your strategy is crucial for reaching potential candidates and showcasing your organizational culture effectively.

The visual, content, and advertising efforts should align with the tools and skills you can use. For instance, you can use various graphic design tools for creating images.

You should also determine your target audience and decide how to reach out to them and spark their interest. For example, you could use LinkedIn or organize webinars and attract your first clients.

Thus, consider company diversity, equity, and inclusion when establishing agency policies and procedures. Leverage your website to express your commitment to DE&I values, and make most of your career pages to highlight your employer branding and perpetuate a company culture that people would want to work in.

Ensure you pay attention to detail and present yourself well because it takes 0.05 seconds for people to form an opinion about your website. But if you follow these steps, you’ll be surprised at the number of quality candidates that will attract.

Step 7: Invest in People

Finally, think about the appropriate amount of recruiters you should hire for the scope of your business. This goes back to the consideration for your cost before launching a business. When the number of your staff is settled, the next step is to calculate your cost for how much each of your staff would be paid per month.

Additionally, consider the option of outsourcing the entire recruitment process to an external party as a strategic move for new recruitment agencies. This can offer a comprehensive solution encompassing the full-cycle recruitment, beyond just specific tasks.

Finally, when you hire stellar recruiters, continuously invest in their development and knowledge. Spot each recruiter's strength and help them thrive, as that way, you're also doing a huge favor to yourself. Having the right people on board will help you tie together your entire recruitment system, and you'll reap the rewards faster than you know it.

Extra: Invest in the right recruitment tools

Recruitment agencies and technology have an interconnected relationship nowadays. Because of that, you should invest in the right tools, as that way, you’ll end up saving a great deal of time and money. Embracing recruitment technology, including applicant tracking systems (ATS), recruiting CRM, recruitment chrome extensions, and AI for resume screening, is crucial for streamlining the recruitment process and enhancing the efficiency of recruitment agencies. This investment not only automates various recruiting tasks but also positions agencies to stay competitive by saving costs and improving operational efficiency. Additionally, partnering with staffing agencies can further streamline the recruitment process, offering a strategic approach to sourcing candidates and leveraging their expertise to enhance recruitment outcomes.

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is one of the most popular and reliable digital software recruiters use. For example, Manatal’s applicant tracking system allows you to automatically collect candidates’ LinkedIn profiles, score out the best candidate, and track candidates’ status with ease.

If you opt for this solution to accelerate your recruitment agency growth, you’ll understand how faster and simple it is to manage your talented applicants and organize work. Furthermore, Manatal has dual functionalities, encompassing a reliable recruitment CRM.

That way, you’ll also get to continuously communicate with clients and generate more sales for overall company success.


In conclusion, starting your recruitment agency can prove to be a highly successful and fulfilling endeavor when done well. Not without risk, but with careful planning, the right technology to support your agency, and a well-crafted strategy it is possible to maximize your probability of success.

Once you have everything ready, it’s time to start your agency. To find out how Longlist can support you and your team at managing leads, clients and candidates, book a demo.