The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

How to Grow your Recruitment Business


Retaining current employees creates a stable foundation to underpin your business, and is necessary for growth.

Replacing a member of staff who leaves a role can cost up to twice their annual salary, depending on seniority. Holding on to high-performing talent is a business necessity, and is something clients expect. If we recruit for a role and the new hire leaves rapidly, our reputation with that client is damaged.

Recruiters understand the negative impact of high employee turnover for their clients, but the economic impact is just the same for roles within recruitment. Half of surveyed recruitment companies thought that the difficulty of attracting and retaining top employees was the main barrier to growth (BDO, Recruitment Industry Snapshot, 2016). This is because retention is a huge problem for the industry; recruiter churn (the percentage of employees leaving) within 12 months of hiring was 24% in 2015/16 (APSCo and Deloitte, The UK Recruitment Index, 2016).

Progress can feel out of reach if you must continually replace one in four hires. So how can you retain your recruiters and grow your business?

  • Have a great onboarding process. Create a process that involves regular, open and honest feedback and appraisals. This enables the new hire to reflect upon their performance and make changes to improve, as well as feel appreciated when they pick something up quickly.
  • Set clear objectives. No one can do well in a role if they don’t know what that role is, or how to succeed at it. Unclear objectives mean that the employee is doomed to fail before they begin and, if they’re failing, they won’t be enjoying their role or wanting to stick around. New hires need to have clear objectives so that they have a standard to measure against and know when they are being successful. Lack of clarity also damages the relationship between recruiter and manager.
  • Hire the best people. This may not be as simple as it sounds, but don’t just hire people like you, or people you like. You won’t find the best people for the role, and those who aren’t suited won’t hang around for long. A diverse team produces better business results.
  • Assess candidates as part of the recruitment process. Assessing candidates before they start ensures that they have the right profile for the role and are intrinsically suited to its demands. This means that they’ll be less likely to move on due to dissatisfaction. Insights from assessments can also be used to create individualised onboarding and motivational strategies.
  • Create the right culture. All organisations have different quirks, but your culture needs to be helpful and cooperative so that employees feel able to show their weaknesses and ask questions about how to improve. Creating a taboo around failure doesn’t stop people failing, it just makes them good at hiding it, scared of asking for help to progress and more likely to look for opportunities elsewhere.
  • Have career progression plans. Some recruiters want to become managers. Some recruiters want to stay recruiters because it’s what they love. Progression doesn’t have to mean a change of job title; consider how to reward your employees for establishing and developing their client base, or taking on more responsibility. Be open to internal mobility so that staff can be challenged in new sectors. If employees can see how they’ll be challenged and reach goals within the company, they’ll be less likely to look elsewhere for a new role.

For more information about how to stand out as a recruitment company, especially through the use of assessment, contact