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How can I build a scalable and highly profitable recruitment agency?

Turn Your Recruitment Team into a Data-Driven Machine and Reap the Revenue Rewards

How to increase profit for a recruitment agency

Russell Clements CEO SThree

“The reason we were able to scale, is because from the early stages, we had systems. We had a modus operandi. We took a scientific approach. We were KPI driven.  We knew the order of importance of those metrics.” -- Russell Clements

Russell Clements (former CEO, SThree) helped grow SThree from a four-person “band of brothers” operation into a recruitment firm that went public in 2005 at a valuation of 276m GBP on turnover of ~290m and profit of 18m


The difference between high performing recruitment firms and everyone else, is their ability to make the right decisions at the right time. They turn higher profits, they attract and retain excellent employees, and they keep the best clients.

How do they do this?

In short, they have better data, they use it to guide their judgement, and they apply it systematically throughout each layer of their business.

If you’re a CEO, MD, Owner, Senior Decision Maker, or Recruiter who wants to improve performance and profit, read on.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting articles describing the five categories of recruitment industry metrics which you should be paying attention to, and discussing in detail how to use them to grow your business.

If you want everything now, these metrics categories (and much, MUCH more) are covered in The Managing Directors’ Guide to building a scalable recruitment company with Business Intelligence, which includes research data and interviews with 10+ thought-leaders and successful recruitment MDs. You’ll probably like it.

Top Metrics for Recruitment

So what are the basics?

  • Build a scalable and repeatable business. This requires a scalable and repeatable process.
  • Develop the ability to predict revenue.
  • Clearly visualize the connections between front line activities and top line results - so that you can drive the activities that achieve your goals.

How to Build a Scalable and Repeatable Process for a Recruitment Firm

  1. Map the process that your teams currently use

Is it ideal? Are there easy-to-identify improvements? Will your infrastructure allow you to capture data at the right places?

How to scale your recruitment company

  1. Understand the metrics that drive success

Every niche is different, as are the benchmarks and metrics that really drive success. Do you know which are appropriate for your business? Can you analyse your data to identify success factors? How do you categorise your metrics and use them to improve your process?

  1. Find a recruitment analytics solution that fits the specific requirements of your recruitment firm.
  1. Motivate both individuals and teams to engage in the activities that drive success.

Set their activities to highly visible benchmarks. Display those targets and progress on dashboards. Hold people accountable and reward performance. Train the middle-of-the-road employees into highly successful employees.

  1. Continually test and refine your process to systematically accelerate your growth and profit.

Fortunately, in today’s world of recruitment-specific cloud software, you can set up enterprise-level analytics and business intelligence for a recruiting agency in under 2 weeks. This means that you could be more profitable within one month if you get started today.


Coming up next: The Top 5 Recruitment Metrics Series: Metric Categories


Posted by David Booth on Jun 9, 2016 4:17:26 PM
David Booth
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Topics: Business Intelligence, Recruitment and Staffing Analytics, Performance Management, Business Model, Data Quality