If you asked the average person which industries have the best career prospects in 2022, they’d probably tell you finance, blockchain, or tech—but the usual suspects aren’t the only places for opportunity. Recruitment has undergone significant changes recently, and I believe there will be plenty of room for new agencies to take advantage of that in the year ahead.
After starting my recruiting agency in 2016, I realized how addressable the market was for talent acquisition. Not only that but the actual business could be fruitfully created by individuals, not just big-box talent agencies. This fueled my motivation to work toward deal after deal, scaling my agency to the point where it became my full-time business. I’m consistently thinking of ways to help others “level up,” and by creating my Recruiter Empire platform, I’ve been able to show students I work with precisely how to follow the steps that I took to get the ball rolling in recruitment.
Here’s why pursuing a business in recruiting might be worth a shot:
Recruitment is known for being a profitable industry, but not everyone realizes just how profitable it can be. If you can secure a few clients each month and get them the results they want, $30,000 a month is an achievable target—and that’s just the beginning.
It’s pretty standard for a recruiting agency to charge between 15% and 20% of a new employee’s first-year salary. You can imagine how high the commission ends up being for the best-paid positions, and there’s no limit to how much work you can take on if you really set your mind to scaling your business. The sky is the limit if you’re prepared to put the work in.
IT’S A GROWING INDUSTRY
Perhaps even more importantly, recruiting isn’t just an industry that happens to be profitable now or one that has proven to be profitable in the past. Organizations will always need recruiters to help them bring on staff, and the way I see it, recruiting is only just getting started.
The sector is in the middle of a revolution. No longer is the field led by only huge recruitment companies; smaller agencies and independent recruiters are now in the mix. If you can capitalize on this, huge profits could await you.
THERE’S A LABOR SHORTAGE
It’s not exactly a secret that 2021 massively shifted the balance of power in recruiting. Many organizations are increasing salaries and perks to attract the limited labor supply (subscription required) and fill the positions in their firms left empty after the “Great Resignation.”
Last August, there was a record number of 10 million jobs available in the U.S., and recent figures suggest that average hourly pay has risen 4.7% over the last year. By providing your recruiting services, you can help companies that are in desperate need of attracting workers.
THE BUSINESS MODEL IS SIMPLE
It’s all very well to say that the recruitment industry is profitable and the perfect sector to enter right now, but if it’s far too complicated for 99% of professionals to pull off, none of that means much. Fortunately, I’ve found recruitment to be one of the more straightforward business models.
There’s no need to rent a physical office; you won’t need any employees until you decide to scale your business, and there are practically no overheads. You’ll require a desk, a computer, Internet access, and a LinkedIn subscription—but once you have all of these, you’re pretty much sorted. This makes starting out a lot less daunting.
READY TO TAKE THE LEAP?
Starting a business will never be easy, but assuming you’ve got the work ethic needed and you’re capable of talking to people, creating a recruiting business is an achievable goal. Unlike many other sectors, it doesn’t require any specific experience or knowledge. Your job is to build professional and personal relationships with your clients, listen to their needs, and deliver on what they’re looking for.
In my experience, three of the most ideal skills for someone moving into the recruiting game are time management, organization, and sales experience. If you have all three, along with motivation, there’s no reason you shouldn’t succeed.
Time management is a must. When you’ve got 100 things in the air (clients, candidates, placements, marketing, email, meetings), you must know what to prioritize and how to do so effectively. This leads to organizational skills. If you aren’t an organized person—for instance, you don’t know how to properly put together systems and processes that create effective workflows for yourself—then you’re less likely to succeed. Recruitment requires juggling a lot of elements at once and organization is critical to success. Finally, while not a requirement, sales skills will put you ahead of anyone else in the game.
One of the first things you can do to make your mark is to establish and optimize a LinkedIn profile. People need to know who you are and what you do. So much of what you actually do in recruiting will be done on LinkedIn. I always like to say, “It’s not about who you know, but rather who knows you.” Create a network and a personal brand on LinkedIn and other channels so people can get to know you.
Finally, you will inevitably go through several common struggles when you begin. First, you’re likely to struggle to get your first client, which may cause discouragement. Don’t let it get to your head. It will take time—not years, but weeks. Another challenge is learning which types of clients to work with or finding the proper niche to be in. Oftentimes, your niche will find you, not vice versa. I tell people to step into three or four spaces and reach out to decision-makers at companies, via LinkedIn or cold email, to get their foot in the door. If you swing the bat enough times, you’ll hit a home run sooner rather than later.
Starting a company will always involve some level of risk and a good amount of hard work. That said, I believe the stars have aligned to make recruiting the go-to sector for 2022. If it appeals to you, what reason do you have to not give it a go?