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Recruiters wanting to expand their business heard from three experts at a recent Director’s Networking event hosted by HB RIDA, the private equity vehicle that supports growing recruitment businesses.

Graeme Read, Managing Director of Antal International addressed the issue of expanding overseas and advised recruiters to follow their clients. “It’s no good trying to trailblaze in a completely new and unknown market,” he said. “Look at where your clients are going and follow them. Additionally, make sure you have a robust model and process – whatever country you are going into people will always try and tell you that recruitment is different over here – it won’t be.” Read also advised recruiters to have a subs bench of talent so that you don’t have to rely on strangers opening up in new markets.

Tristan Ramus from Hamilton Bradshaw agreed that a robust process was vital. “When you are expanding a team, it’s really important to get those people into a process. If your hiring relies purely on commission and bonus then they will always be able to better that package elsewhere.” He also emphasised the importance of communicating the vision of the company to staff. “If you think you have communicated regularly then think again – when was the last you really addressed the whole of the business – and how many people have joined since then?”

“Expanding your recruitment business is a bit like teenage sex – everyone wants to do it, but hardly anyone has any idea of how to go about it.” These were the opening words of Greg Savage, CEO of Firebrand Talent Search who advised recruiters to think carefully about geographical diversification. “It can distract you from the main game and suck up money. But if you are going to do it then make sure you go on at least ten client visits first and find out what they want – and run an ad for recruiters – what better way to find out about the local market?”

Commenting on the presentations, Helen Reynolds, Managing Director of HB RIDA said: “The feedback from Directors was very positive. Growth is at the top of the agenda for many owner managers – as is creating value. And while many recruitment firms would like to offer the carrot of equity in order to attract and retain good staff, people will only get excited about that if the equity has some value. These networking events give an ideal opportunity for recruiters to hear from people who have been there, done it and got the t-shirt.”


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