How Do You Know If Entrepreneurship Is Right For You?

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Is entrepreneurship right for you? Have you been thinking about starting a recruitment business? It’s a common thing to consider after having some success as a recruiter. You’ve built up a successful practice inside a recruitment agency and things are great but you’ve always had an itch or notion to jump out on your own.

The decision to branch out is a significant one to make. There is no doubt it's a scary jump to leave the security of your current situation. You never know for sure if the grass is greener. 

There is a big difference between being a recruiter and running a recruitment business. It takes a certain entrepreneurial skill set. Below we’ll talk about some of the characteristics that make a great recruitment entrepreneur, how to know if you have the right skills and if now is the right time to branch out.

What characteristics make a great recruitment entrepreneur?

Do you have the makeup of an entrepreneur? Could you run a successful recruiting agency? You’ll need these characteristics to improve your chances of success:     

1. Passion for recruitment:

Being a good recruiter is one thing but having a passion for the recruitment industry and your work is necessary, especially in the early days of your agency when you put in long hours and build up your client base.


2. You have a clear vision of what you want to create:

Successful businesspeople have a crystal clear vision of the type of business they want to create. What do you want to accomplish? What industry do you want to focus on? What services?


3. You aren’t afraid to fail:

Failure is always part of any startup. There will be things you get wrong. As the founder of Recruitment Entrepreneur, James Caan says, "My most important lessons have come from my mistakes." Mistakes give you the opportunity to assess what went wrong and learn.


4. You take calculated risks:

Successful entrepreneurs take risks – calculated ones. They consider all variables and considerations before deciding to move forward. There’s a reason for everything they do. This approach will help you minimize potential mistakes.


5. You don’t give up

Starting a recruitment agency is not easy. You’ll be faced with many hurdles and you’ll need to make many sacrifices to make it work. You’ll be faced with unforeseen problems, many of which you’ve never dealt with before. Successful entrepreneurs don’t give up, they push forward and figure out a resolution.


6. You never stop growing

Entrepreneurs have a thirst to learn and evolve. They always invest in themselves. They constantly seek to add new skills and knowledge to become better.


7. You get things done

Do you have a knack for getting things done? Sometimes you just have to put your head down and push through. Having good ideas is one thing but being able to execute them and make things happen is a key success factor for a startup. Anyone can come up with great ideas, but few take action.  


8. You know when and how to ask for help

You can’t do it all by yourself. While you may be an expert at recruiting, you’re likely new to running a business. There will be knowledge and skill gaps you’ll need to fill. This means you’ll need to understand the things you don’t know and when to ask for help. Fortunately, there are many great resources for startups. For example, Recruitment Entrepreneur offers financial and back-end support to give you the greatest chance of success in your venture.


How to know if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? A checklist of important qualities

Do you have what it takes to run a successful recruitment agency? Not sure? Do you think so? Well, it’s not a simple question to answer yourself. Fortunately, Recruitment Entrepreneur has a list of qualities they look for in recruiting business partners. Use the list below as a checklist to see if you have what it takes:

  1. A strong track record of attracting top talent – 10 or more years of recruitment experience
  2. You are a market expert in your specialist area
  3. Leadership skills with a strong vision of running your own business
  4. Management skills and previous team management experience – coaching and mentorship experience
  5. A track record of profitability – Strong and consistent billing track record
  6. Commercial and business acumen
  7. Good finance skills – cash flow management, budgeting, invoice collection
  8. The ability to attract a diverse client base
  9. Understanding of budgets and governance
  10. Awareness of the importance of HR practices
  11. Awareness of both contract and permanent recruitment
  12. Ability to write bid proposals
  13. Strong performance management skills
  14. Willing to create a learning and development culture
  15. Can create an attractive remuneration structure to attract the right people
  16. Ability to develop a strong social media presence
  17. Appreciation of good policies and procedures
  18. You can make tough decisions


Is now the right time to branch out?

Even if you possess most if not all above characteristics, there is still the question of timing. Is now the best time to take a career risk? Are you personally ready to take a leap of faith? What about the upcoming recession? Are the market conditions ideal?

The reality is there will never be a perfect time to branch out and start a recruitment business. The best time is when you are personally ready for the challenge. You’ve built a strong base of clients, you’ve acquired the necessary industry experience, you’re financially prepared, and you have a strong business plan


Recruitment Entrepreneur is a private equity firm with 30+ recruitment companies in its portfolio, covering numerous recruitment sectors, at various stages of growth. Founded by international businessman, James Caan CBE, it provides talented individuals with funding, best-in-class operational infrastructure, coaching and management advice. Its success lies in its ability to provide the knowledge and hands-on know-how to help start-ups and scale-ups grow, scale, and materially increase profit - ensuring that its portfolio partners can achieve a high equity value on exit.