Starting your own Recruiting Company??

I am at an fork in the road.  I have been very successful at a larger recruiting firm for 11 years.  However, we have just been purchased.  Without explaining all the detail, lets just say that the way I recruit will be changing drastically.  So drastically that it feels that it is going to completely change my compensation near term and long term.

Now, I could stick around and work hard to regain some of the things I feel I have lost in other areas.  Or, I could go somewhere that allows me to keep doing it how I do it (and deal with a non-compete).  Or, I could use that hard work to build up and make something for myself?

Either way, hard work is inevitable and rebuild is inevitable.  The question is, where do I focus my energy.  I know this is a very brief explanation, but I would love some thoughts.  Also, has anyone recently done a business plan for recruiting?  Do you have thoughts?

Views: 2657

Comment by Ronald on March 9, 2012 at 3:08pm

One thing I wanted to mention is that I am still young and seem to have enough financial backing to make a go at it.  So, in some ways the answer seems like a no-brainer.  Yet, I will be walking away from 11 years of built relationships. 

Comment by Amber on March 9, 2012 at 4:56pm

Did you already sign a non-compete, or is the acquiring company going to ask everyone to sign one? That piece could have a lot of impact on your decisions and business plan, if you decide to go out on your own. I know in many states they are not always totally enforceable, but that would be one of the first things I would want to know before I decided what to do. Non-competes vary widely, so the details could be really impactful.

I came into this 3 years ago, after working for a large corporation for almost 20 years. And I had the fortune (although at first it sometimes seemed a curse!) to be able to come and work at the agency my husband had established. There were of course many financial considerations when I made the decision, but some of the things that I did not fully anticipate were:

Flexible hours, whoo-hoo! I could work when I "felt" like it. Sure could, but consequences were fully on my shoulders if the cash flow got affected!

I don't need constant praise, but it was sort of nice to get bonuses, awards, prizes, and atta-boys other then from the guy who is hoping maybe I'll make a nice dinner tonight.


We do have an actual office away from our house - THANK GOD! If you are thinking about working from home, be prepared - some people do not find it conducive for them. Although I rarely meet clients or candidates in person, I have a place if I do. And it makes it easier to have some seperation of work and life when needed. (Yes, I can fully function work-wise from home but I can focus on real life stuff when I'm there because it's HOME)


All the annoying co-workers and customers I had to deal with daily were people. It can sometimes get lonely and/or boring when there are not many people to interact with. But, I guess I don't need to say there are obviously lots of advatages to it as well!


11 years has probably given you a good idea of what you're good at, and hopefully a realistic view of what the operational sides of the business are. Start writing it down, any way you can and about as many things as you can think of. Try to look at the main rewards and hazards, and see what comes out on top. And if you have a spouse, significant other, etc., be sure the discussions and considerations are in depth and added into the equation.


Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 9, 2012 at 8:11pm

Take the existing non-compete along with any language in the buyout agreement that addresses existing non-competes previously signed to an attorney and get a professional opinion on what the non-compete will mean in terms of time, expense and litigation.  With the purchase of your firm the previous non-compete may be null.  If you are asked to sign a new one, don't until you speak with an attorney.  It might be possible to buy your way out of the non-compete by agreeing to pay the firm a % of first year billings.  But a great deal depends on the terms of the non compete as to reasonable in time and distance or if it is restricted to not being able to do business with current accounts you are working with.  That would be my first step to decide whether to open my own firm or not.


If you place only temps and your non compete restricts you from placing temps and it is enforceable that is a bigger decision.  Attorney time.


  Unless you plan to borrow money to start your own firm you don't need a business plan.  You need an office, a phone, a computer and the necessary licensure, insurance.and an outside CPA to advise you on setting up your business and accounting format.

Comment by Bill Schultz on March 9, 2012 at 8:44pm

Let's hope your new bosses don't read this rag.  (only kidding, Tim ;-) 

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 9, 2012 at 10:06pm

Cat is out of the bag now isn't it Bill.  LOL

Comment by Ronald on March 12, 2012 at 8:54am

Bill, I did think about my bosses being able to see this.  But it is a long shot that they would as I know none of them are on this sight.  You never know, but I figured if it did happen to leak, not the end of the world.  But it was a consideration.  LOL

Comment by Shirish Morab on March 12, 2012 at 10:56am
You should look deeper into your network to ponder over such a move. Your client list or people who can drive business your way will form the basis while making that decision. Once on your own you will have to be a good sales guy too not just a great recruiter.
Comment by Ellen Clark on March 12, 2012 at 11:14am

I started my own company in 1997 and haven't looked back once. I am a self driver and I don't need a boss looking over my shoulder to increase productivity. But running a small business is not for everyone. I wrote about my experiences setting up my company in two posts:  and

Hope this helps and good luck!

Comment by Ronald on March 12, 2012 at 2:59pm

Carson...much appreciated.  Can you tell me how to find those payrolling companies?  I knew they were out there.  I have no clue who they are.


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