How to build your own recruitment desk

Access - Sam Booth, Recruitment Industry Specialist

That’s it, you’ve finally made it. You saunter out of your appraisal meeting with your boss and you’re walking on cloud nine because after months of hard graft and proving yourself, you’ve been given the go-ahead to build your own desk. You start dreaming of the clients you’ll bring on board, the team you’ll hire, the other offices you’ll open, perhaps even global, you think about Dubai for a second because, well sunshine, and you even envisage telling your mum about your new-found career success and maybe then she’ll realise that London is the land of opportunity and stop asking you to move back home. THIS. IS. IT.

Except you walk back to your desk, sit down, and realise you don’t actually have a clue how to build your own desk. But fear not, we’ve put together some serious know-how:

Know your stuff

If you’re going to build a desk up from scratch, you’re going to have to know your market and the area you’re recruiting in, and you’re going to have to know it well. Often people try to recruit across various sectors just to get things running, but it’s a big mistake. Live and breathe an inch-wide mile-deep philosophy and don’t stray from it. We’re living in a time of niche market skills and experts, and no one wants to deal with a recruiter who dabbles in a little bit of everything. Own your market and upskill yourself on everything to do with that market so that you become a specialist. It will give you credibility when approaching new clients and bringing them on board.

Build the foundations first

When starting your own desk be prepared to work on the foundations before you start billing clients and hiring your first employee. Utilise your network and reach out to people. Educate the market on what you’re doing and build your brand so people know how to find you. Go back to the basics and ensure you implement processes that a team can later follow. You’re not just building for today, you’re building for the future and you can’t do it on shaky foundations.

Have heaps of guts

Building a desk isn’t easy and recruitment can be frustrating enough as it is, and you’ll be facing a lot of rejection at the beginning. Persevere and stick with it, even among the rejection. Put in the work and have the tenacity to keep going when the doors are slamming in your face.

Get it together

Being organised will be your saving grace. There is a huge amount of admin that comes with building a desk and start on top of it. Once that gets out of control and spirals, you can find yourself playing catch up quicker than you can imagine. There will be far too much to remember and you’ll be running at a million miles an hour, so use checklists and folders and apps and whatever else keeps you organised. Your CRM is also a great tool to ensure you’re staying on top of your workload. Access Recruitment CRM for example, has bespoke dashboards, unique reporting and single sign on access to get you to the information you need quicker.

Be number savvy

If you want to build a successful desk you’ll need to approach it like a business. Be smart about the numbers and know exactly how many meetings and calls you need to make, to get the right amount of placements and fees to then hit your targets and scale.

It will take grit and guts and a heap of hard work, but if you’ve got the drive to do it, you might just be opening offices in sunnier locations before you know it.

Hear from our CRM specialist on why Access Recruitment CRM software can place more candidates quicker:

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