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How to Scale your Recruitment Business Faster in 2018 with Sonovate

How to Scale your Recruitment Business Faster in 2018 with Sonovate

Written by James Osborne

Last edited May 3, 2023

How to Scale your Recruitment Business Faster in 2018 with Sonovate

Door 19 of our #TRN Advent Calendar we hear from Sonovate on How to Scale your Recruitment Business Faster in 2018Recruitment businesses are operating in the tightest labour market on record*. Retaining a core of focus of headcount and financial growth is challenging when fighting increased competition on all fronts. We’ve outlined five areas we believe are central to developing strategies to pursue effective scale.

1. Build collaborations

One way to scale your recruitment business is to not only add value to your agency, but to offer added value to others. Rather than focusing solely on marketing strategies, you can achieve this any of the following ways:


● Set up more events, whether they are networking or knowledge-sharing opportunities ● Decide how you want your business to be portrayed in your industry

    ○ What expertise do you have?
    ○ What industry speakers would be beneficial to work with?
    ○ What suppliers should you partner with?

Social media also plays such a key role in building collaborations. The potential reach you can get from disseminating your content across your social channels is high, and it’s an easy way to penetrate existing audiences and engage new ones. Through social, you can build up stronger collaborative relationships with:


● Your candidate network ● Your client network ● Suppliers ● Industry peers

2. Maximise your margins

Rather than focusing your time and effort on topline growth alone, a key way to improve your profitability is through a number of strategies have one shared focal point: margin.


There are a number of ways to do this:

● Evaluate your pricing structure ● Focus your best efforts, talent, and attention on selling in your most profitable channels ● Look for ways to increase value to clients and customers ● Review your client list to determine several things:

    ○ Who are your high value customers?
    ○ Who has the most growth potential?
    ○ Who is isn’t making your money?

And here’s how to lower your customer acquisition costs and cut any unnecessary costs:


● Review your customer acquisitions costs:

    ○ What is the attributable ROI?
    ○ What mechanisms are you putting in place to evaluate spend?
    ○ How many acquisitions were already in your CRM?

● Redesign workflows and systems for greater efficiency:

    ○ Could your back office be streamlined?
    ○ Does it efficiently manage your workload?
    ○ Do your suppliers exceed your requirements and expectations?
    ○ Can you eliminate any non-strategic expenses that aren’t adding value to the business?
    ○ Can you reduce your IT costs, by moving to a cloud-based solution?

This article shares some insights on techniques to do more contract deals.

3. Outsourcing and cut waste

Assess all of your outgoing costs, with the aim of finding areas where time and finances can be optimised.


Evaluate the money you’re spending and what it is bringing into your business:

● When was the last time you negotiated with your suppliers? ● Are your job boards providing ROI? ● Are they providing your with high value placements? ● Do they actively engage with your business? ● What’s their product roadmap? ● What’s their candidate acquisition strategy? ● What’s their stance on GDPR and data processing? ● When was the last time you reviewed your database?

    ○ How many candidates have you placed from it?
    ○ How many were on there before you placed a candidate from a job board, i.e. did you really need to advertise?
    ○ How are your consultants using the database? Are they working efficiently to extract value?

If you find that your suppliers are too expensive, or the job boards you pay to use aren’t converting, look for alternative options – there are so many competitors for these functions out there that you’ll be certain to find the best deal for your business.


Look at the processes in your business as a two-way street.

Are there any processes you’ve outsourced that aren’t as efficient and/or cost effective as you need them to be? If yes, you can look at the possibility of bringing them back in-house, or you can look for alternative external solutions.

In the same respect, are there any processes that are being done in-house that are costing you more money than they’re bringing in?

4. Attract the best staff

David Oglivy, renowned advertising expert, once said:


“If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”

It’s worth bearing this idea in mind when recruiting whilst you’re trying to scale. Employees can become vital cogs in the machinery of a business, so developing a smart recruitment strategy is critical to finding the most capable individuals for your business. Here are four points to consider when increasing your headcount to help scale:

● Conduct in-depth onboarding and training with every new employee ● Look beyond core competencies and find additional potential ● Create and commit to a your company culture ● Hire experts and listen to them

5. Automate workflows

Strip back the workload completed internally, so that the time and effort of your team can be solely focused on networking and doing more deals.


Marketing automation is designed specifically to streamline the workflows of key processes, including:

● Onboarding ● Customer care ● Lead generation ● Candidate marketing

Before speaking to providers, determine what success looks like for each process and then set objectives, e.g. if you want to engage with your lapsed candidates, determine what engagement is. It might be an email reply or a completion of a goal (web page visit). Then set an objective against the measurement, e.g. achieve >20% engagement.

This way you will be able to choose the solution that is perfect for your business requirements, which will avoid any unnecessary disruption further down the line if the provider you chose doesn’t deliver as expected.

Put the above into practice at your recruitment agency and you’ll find it easier to scale your business faster in 2018. And, whilst you’re going through these processes, look at the granular details and ask the right questions to ensure the best results:

About Sonovate Sonovate is the UK’s leading provider of contract recruitment finance. They provide recruitment businesses with unrestricted finance, an award-winning cloud back office and dedicated support, so they can place more contractors and grow their business. To learn more about Sonovate, click here.

*ONS: UK employment rate is the highest on record at 74.9%.

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