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Business has been tough in recent years, largely because of the 2008 credit crunch and subsequent banking crisis. However, signs of economic recovery look positive, and many SMEs - including recruitment businesses - are starting to see a positive upswing in business orders.

If you are looking for ways to secure and grow your business in 2014, then now is the time to take action by developing a systematic and planned approach that considers each opportunity and challenge facing your recruitment business and implementing steps to either mitigate or respond to each.

Key Focus Areas

There is usually a range of standard business areas that every recruiter will need to be mindful of. These include financial management, pipeline business and sales, staff recruitment and talent management, marketing, business risk management and compliance and so forth. Each recruitment agency or business will also have its own specific focus areas for the year ahead, guided by its business plan. Some typical focus areas include:


For smaller recruitment businesses, the impact of delayed client invoice payments can damage cash flow and the successful running of the business. They might have problems paying staff and other suppliers. In such instances, it is valuable to have a contingency plan or service in place, such as recruitment factoring. Recruitment factoring removes the risk of cash-flow issues by providing interim funding in the short term. This is also useful if you need to allocate a sum of money towards pitching for a new business account, which will leave another bill otherwise left unpaid. Such a service can offer flexibility and scalability, ensuring that your business is never left short. Find out more at


For most modern businesses, sustainable growth is a pressing concern. Business mentoring can be a vital means of building internal knowledge and capability for growth planning and delivery, particularly if the mentor is a more experienced senior person within the recruitment field. Mentoring schemes exist nationwide and many are subsidised via local economic partnerships and other public funding sources. You can find out more about the benefits from the Federation of Small Businesses.


Recruitment businesses require strong pools of internal talent at all levels. From your entry-level and graduate trainee recruiters through to your specialist and niche recruiters and right up to director level, your talent needs to be nurtured, developed and stretched in line with your business objectives and goals. For example, you might be keen to extend your offer into executive search, which means that you'll need to assess your current internal talent pool for the right skill sets or factor in external recruitment. Look for training options and continuous learning via a blended approach of targeted skills training, on the job learning, qualifications, coaching and mentoring. Apprenticeship schemes can also be a great way to get fresh young talent into the business and develop young people on the job whilst they gain nationally recognised qualifications. This approach can also help to boost your corporate social responsibility agenda and standing within the market place.

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