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Is 2020 the best time to set up a Recruitment Agency?

Is 2020 the best time to set up a Recruitment Agency?

Written by James Osborne

Last edited May 8, 2023

Is 2020 the best time to set up a Recruitment Agency?

With a global recession announced and the world in the throes of a global pandemic, some might assume 2020 is the worst time to start a business. But with unemployment rising, new markets emerging and businesses scrambling to rebuild, this may be one of the best times for entrepreneurial individuals to begin their own personal empire.

So, if you think you’ve got what it takes to start a business this year then read on as we’ll explain why this may be the best time to start, business that succeeds during recessions and some things you need to think about if you want to get started.

Why is a recession a good time to start a recruitment business?

Growing unemployment but also businesses rebuilding their teams means an opportunity for recruiters to find talent.

With layoffs and professionals in furlough, the job market has been heavily affected by COVID with the Bank of England warning unemployment will hit 2.5m after COVID-19. But with any dip the return to normalcy will need businesses to slowly rebuild and hire talented professionals in which you’ll be able to assist. But, be warned it will be highly competitive so only the most tenacious of recruiters will survive.

Talented recruiters are going to be available.

Recruitment was one of the hardest-hit industries by a collapsing job market and economy. But this means there are a wealth of talented recruiters out there in the market looking for new opportunities. This will be beneficial to you in building your new team, finding hungry recruiters who want to get back to what they do well.

Remote working is the new norm, no office costs.

COVID has taught the industry that remote working is an acceptable way of running a team. It seems that many enjoyed this new way of working, increasing their levels of productivity. An office and everything that comes with it is an expensive outlay so perhaps taking your team remote may be a great option.

More support networks than ever before.

The industry is now filled with fantastic support networks to help you and your new venture succeed. Recruitment Startups™ is one such initiative that helps new entrepreneurs set up, launch and scale their new recruitment venture. It’s a smart decision to surround yourself with experienced and knowledgeable individuals vested in your success.

Less competition

A sad fact of all of this is that many recruitment businesses have had to significantly scale back or close. But, for you this means many businesses starting from scratch or not at all. Less competition means opportunities to find clients and find candidates roles.

Successful Businesses that started amidst strive/recessions.

If you needed any proof that setting up a business in a critical time of economic downturn can be a fantastic opportunity for a business then have a look at these successful ventures that turned into huge billion/trillion dollar companies.


Microsoft set up shop in 1975 in a period of deep recession in the western world. But, despite this it grew into one of the largest technology companies in the world.


Founded in 1994 a year after the notorious dot com bubble burst a year before, in which the stock market crashed due to excessive speculation and investment into internet startups; many which failed to deliver to expectations. Regardless, founder Jeff Bezos now enjoys a 193 billion dollar net worth and runs a trillion-dollar company for his global giant Amazon.


Everyone’s favorite workplace communication app was started in the midst of the ‘great depression’ of the early 2000s. Despite this Slack has enjoyed continued growth especially due to increased demand over COVID-19.

Where there is hardship, striving and desire for change there is a wealth of opportunity for those who are prepared to put in the hard work and reap the benefits. Is this you? If so then read on we’ll give you some pointers to getting started right away!

What to think about when starting your recruitment agency?

Find a strong network to learn and grow from

Doing this alone can be tough. The smartest of leaders will find themselves mentors and support networks in which to lean on and grow. We recommend this as your first action when starting a  new recruitment business. Recruitment Startups™  is one such initiative which can give you a helping hand with your new venture.

Plan. Create a business plan and set goals for the next few years.

One of the most critical aspects of getting your business ready for the upcoming journey is to have a clear and concise plan of action, with actionable goals to reach. This gives you purpose, milestones, and vision for the next 12 months and beyond. TRN World supplies a fantastic business roadmap tool to get you started immediately.

Deciding on a name, branding, and a website.

This one can be important, it’s going to be the first interaction any business may have with you. So it’s important you decide the name of your business, phase 1 of our recruitment startup plan has a perfect section on this.

Then, you’ll need to think about branding and building a website that aligns with your service offering, client base, and candidates’ interests. We also have a fantastic guide on getting this absolutely right in our Recruitment Startups™ course for new business leaders on TRNWorld.

Decide whether you want a physical or virtual office

As we discussed before with COVID changes the rules of working from home for the better you know have the choice of whether to go find an office space, or whether to build a crack team from across the country and all work remotely. This will all depend on your potential clients and affordability but it will be a big decision to make.

Effectively Evaluate yourself and your business

Every move we make, in career or life, should be in line with your personal purpose. You exist for a reason – what is that reason? Ultimately you will look back on your journey and your past and reflect on what you have achieved in line with your purpose.

Use our Personal Goal Setting Template to define your purpose, your personal vision, strengths, weaknesses, and development priorities.

Figure out funding

Staff, offices, technology, website, marketing, resources and everything in between required capital. If you don’t have the required funding yourself to start up it’s always possible to find funding to make sure your business had the required financial foundations as your start up.

Again, our Recruitment Startups™ course has an in depth guide covering everything you need to know and our recommended contacts to find funding for your business. Read more here.

Get yourself insured

If you didn’t know there are some very specific risks associated with placing candidates that are not covered by most standard business insurance policies. As well as securing standard business insurance for your new start-up it’s important to look up specialist cover for staffing businesses. 


We cover everything you need to know in the first module of our Recruitment Startups™ course. Read about insuring your business here.

Making sure your business is compliant

It’s important that your recruitment business is full compliant as well as insured. This is an indepth subject including things like correct registrations, company documents, agreements and much more. Luckily again we cover this within our recruitment startup initiative. The link to the module is here.

Develop a marketing plan.

Many businesses unfortunately treat marketing like spaghetti, they throw it at the wall and hope it sticks. This can cause wasted time and time is precious for startup business owners. It’s essential you build yourself an initial marketing plan before you begin your business, so you can find new clients and make a splash when you go to market. 

We have an in-depth guide on getting the best out of your marketing efforts, with a library of resources on topics like social, ads, content, strategy and more. All in our recruitment startup course.

Recruitment Startups™. The definitive resource for agency startup owners.

One of our many initiatives within TRN world is to bring ambitious and entrepreneurial start-up agency owners the insights, tools and most importantly the blueprint that they need to build a business that stands the test of time. 

With 90% of recruitment startups failing within the first 12 months, it is absolutely essential that owners build a business that stands the test of time and prepares for all eventualities, and that’s where we can help.

We already know the mistakes recruitment start-ups make, and we can provide you with the support network and guidance to help you overcome any obstacle while you’re building your agency.

How much does Recruitment Startups cost? 

Recruitment Startups™ is included in the base TRN World membership which costs £145 a month. For that price, you get access to the full Recruitment Startup course a 19 part journey which will help you get your business absolutely ready to succeed in 2020 and beyond.

But, you will also gain access to everything else TRN World has to offer:

  • Thousands of hours of content designed for recruitment leaders.
  • 6 Online summits a year filled with content for every aspect of your recruitment business brought to you by thought leaders and speakers across the globe.
  • Daily powerplay videos from industry leaders and experts giving you unparalleled tips and advice for your recruitment business.
  • Jam-packed toolkit filled with tried and tested tools perfect for supercharging your startup business.
  • Access to the TRN World Guild an online collaborative network where you can exchange ideas and ask questions from hundreds of TRN members and experts. An invaluable resource for any new business owner!
  • 1% series. Best practice videos from fellow recruitment business leaders who have built a profitable business. Learn from the best and use their tips to succeed.
  • And so much more, see our plan list for more information.

Find out more information about Recruitment Startups™  then please visit the link below:

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