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What makes a good recruitment business?

23rd August 2019

My definition of a good recruitment business is one that is profitable, adds value to its clients and candidates and creates a progressive culture for its staff.

I started my career in February 2006 after completing a MSc and BSc at University, not really knowing what I wanted to do for work… I fell into recruitment! I would hazard a guess that I am not the only person to have stumbled across recruitment and thought, I can give this a go and make a living. You don’t really need any qualifications nor specific experience depending on what level you want to go in at. This makes the industry full of many different characters from different walks of life and dare I say it a little transient.

This in turn has a large impact on the way recruitment firms are run. To start with, it’s a sales business, the commodity being people with different skills. Every business will wax lyrical how they are a consultancy and that they provide much more than their competitors. When you strip off the veneer, the fact is that we work in a sales industry, sales environment, making a profit like any other business.

There are targets, there are goals, there is pressure, there are ups and there are downs. Its not an easy ride and only the ones that really have a need make it a success.

With all this in mind, creating a working environment where one can enjoy the ups, and feel supported in the downs is, in my eyes, imperative. This comes in many forms;

For employees:

  1. Strong leadership: Trust, respect, mentorship and the relationship that this brings with your superiors for me is key.
  2. Grown up environment: flexibility around life, ability to make decisions, KPIs that are relevant
  3. Work environment: tools to do the job (CRM, Job boards, Equipment etc), strong marketing, an office which accommodates your needs and ability to work I a flexible manner.
  4. Culture: this is unique to every business but permeates through the people employed. You must work with people you can collaborate and interact with. Without this recruitment can be a lonely job!
  5. Provide continuous training: if we are not learning, might as well go and do something else….
  6. Vision: a firm that has an identity, vision, grown path or even just a mantra on what it stands for. For me, this underpins all the above and helps with marketing.

For clients:

  1. A firm that has a rigorous hiring policy: credible people who take ownership take time to get to know each requirement/client pay off in the long run.
  2. Training: helps get the best services for you in understanding requirements and providing the best process both candidate and client side.
  3. The above breed longevity, longevity breeds experience and knowledge which is our product – becoming a specialist in one’s field. Saves, time, money, and gets you the best people.
  4. More than just bums on seats: building a relationship with an expert should give you market knowledge on competitors but also on best strategy to secure the best talent for your business goals.
  5. A business with people that care breeds people that care about their clients, in many cases become friends, feel your pain and enjoy when you succeed.

The bottom line is that recruitment is a hard industry to be successful in, you need to give yourself the best chance, so pick a business wisely. Feel supported, feel encouraged, feel like you belong rather than just fill a seat. This is more that just a job, it becomes a way of life and the people you spend so many long hours with can become lifelong friends. I know, I have them.

A lot has changed in our industry, but this is a topic for another time. In the meantime, check us out, we are a great bunch with a lot to offer for experienced and non-experienced people alike!


By Mike Mihaylov – Change & Transformation – Associate Director

0203 5877 207 –


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