Starting a Recruitment Agency

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: July 2015
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Recruitment agencies represent employers (usually referred to as their clients), typically from the private, public and voluntary sectors, acting as intermediaries to help them fill job vacancies. Agencies source, vet and introduce potential candidates to employers, who then employ their chosen candidate directly. This is known as permanent recruitment, although many recruitment agencies also provide a temporary worker recruitment service which is covered in depth in BOP 226, Temping Agency.

Some recruitment agencies specialise in a particular type of permanent recruitment, for example graduate or executive recruitment, or in a particular sector, such as IT or construction. Start-up recruitment agencies are often operated by individuals working from home, who are frequently referred to as recruitment consultants.

Recruitment agencies are defined as 'employment' agencies under the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (as amended). The regulations set out requirements such as the statutory information that should be included in agencies' contracts with both candidates and clients, and the circumstances in which candidates may and may not be charged fees by the agency.

This profile provides information about starting a recruitment agency. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

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