Advice for Contractors who would like to start your own recruitment agency. Is it tongue in cheek?
How to start your own recruitment agency
Whenever I worry about how I shall earn a crust when my mental powers start failing, I always console myself with the thought that you can always go and start your own recruitment agency.
Many before me have set up their own agency. It is remarkably easy, as the profession of “Employment Agent” seems to be almost free of regulation. We have all used agencies before so we know how they work.
There are only really two steps involved in setting up your own agency:
1. Gather Lots of CVs
The best way of accumulating CVs used to be to advertise entirely fictitious jobs in the IT press, something like this:
“A Developer with good interpersonal skills is required. No qualifications necessary – all training provided. Highly competitive salary. An excellent employer with offices throughout the South East of England.”
I’ve never met anyone who doubted the quality of his own interpersonal skills, so the agency should be swamped with CVs from hopefuls.
Nowadays, of course, you can get as many CVs as you want just by buying them from one of the major job sites.
Nevertheless, it is always best to do a few “fishing trips” so as to build up a pool of fresh potential candidates.
These adverts are a nuisance because the people who don’t realise that they are fake subsequently acquire completely unrealistic expectations about potential salaries in the industry, and of the effort required to find a decent job.
Unfortunately, this practice still goes on; the same bland adverts promising employment nirvana keep reappearing, with the wording changed only slightly.
2. Find and contact companies that are recruiting
One might assume that the easiest method is to poach the client list of other agencies by poaching their agents.
Agents seem to regard the contacts they make during their salaried employment as their own personal property.
To expect otherwise would be like expecting crocodiles to be vegetarian.
The worst problem with this approach is that an agent who would do that to their previous employer is likely to pull the same stunt on you.
Also it is unnecessarily expensive.
There are much easier and cheaper ways of building the client list.
IT Contractor CVs a Rich Source
The “Employment History” sections of the CVs garnered from your spoof adverts provide you with a directory of potential employers.
Now all you need is some contacts within these companies.
The Referees sections on the same CVs are a joy in this regard: a ready made list of people (usually managers) to whom you can sell your services!
Try This For Size
If you think I’m being wicked and cynical, then plant a CV on one of the major job sites quoting, as a referee, a spoof person with a real contact phone number in a registered company.
Then sit back and see how many phone calls that number gets from agents touting for custom.
Still need more contacts?
Then, once again, your potential job candidate will often prove an excellent, if unwitting, accomplice.
The Technique Needed
The technique goes as follows: you phone up each candidate and tell them what magnificent CVs they have and how hopeful you are at getting them one of the splendid jobs you have in the offing.
You then go through each candidate’s recent jobs saying something like “Ah, I see you worked for the Kamikaze Laxative Company. I used to know the head of IT there – Bob what’s his name? Err, Bob Weasel. Is he still there?”
The candidate, soothed into a state of placidity by the unexpected compliments about his CV, generally lets slip “No, it is Arthur Stoat now”.
He may even provide you with a phone number although failing that there’s always the company switchboard.
So setting up your own agency is a piece of cake really.
See Confessions of an Agent – Stealing Leads.
See Also First Time Contractors – Why Agencies Love Them.
by Phil Factor.
Has anyone considered setting up their own agency? Indeed have you attempted to start your own recruitment agency? If so let us know what happened.