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I Bought a Recruitment Franchise: A Case Study

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 21 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Recruitment Agency Franchise Consultant

When you decide to set up your own recruitment business there are many different paths which you can take. Some people choose to launch their recruitment agency from their spare bedroom and others get funding and spend a fortune on fancy offices before they’ve even made a placement.

Ellie Barker, 35, decided to buy a recruitment franchise rather than start up a new agency from scratch, having seen ex-colleagues struggle with the early days of their agencies.

Ellie told us, “I worked for one of the largest recruitment consultancies in the world and it was a common occurrence that senior consultants would leave to set up their own agencies. Most would go in twos and threes but I wanted to do something by myself. Although I knew I was good at my job and had earned a considerable salary, I didn’t really want to continue a working relationship with any of my colleagues. But, I also didn’t feel like I wanted to be totally alone, either, so I looked into potential franchise options.”

There are a number of recruitment franchise options available, with varying packages, start up costs and long term commitment. It is important not to just leap straight into the first opportunity you come across as you can easily get tied into a negative situation.

Research the Options

Ellie took her time to research the possibilities. She attended a franchise trade fair and spoke to a number of people that she knew had set up their own agencies to see if they had any advice for her.

Ellie continued, “I didn’t have enough money to waste any, although I was prepared to use some of my savings for the right opportunity. What I wanted to find was a recruitment franchise that gave me support and a degree of autonomy. I looked into the various options and finally settled on a company that encourages its franchisees to have their own branding, philosophy and style of working, but gives initial start up support and long term advice. I also didn’t want to sign into any long term contracts, or I may as well have stayed employed. This company offered a year-to-year sign up, with no long term costs. They didn’t charge a great deal as start up costs and would take 20 per cent of all recruitment fees for the first year, and any subsequent years.”

Although this may not sound like a great deal, after all, Ellie was expected to do the majority of the work herself, she found that simply having an expert to call and a lawyer on hand was worth the fee and the 20 per cent. The company was also able to introduce Ellie to other people that joined them, so there was a ready made network available, not to mention plenty of social activities to help her through those first few months.

At the End of the First Year

She said “I know of a few people that started their own recruitment businesses that didn’t have such a positive experience as I did – one was taken to court and another signed into a ten year deal when she didn’t read the small print – but I have to say that I have really enjoyed my franchise experience. As I come to the end of my first year I plan to sign for another year, but after that I may be ready to go it alone!”

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