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The autonomy and flexibility of life in lockdown has had a lasting impact on the recruitment sector, with many top performers reflecting on 2020 and asking themselves whether they really feel like a return to the rigid schedules of employee life in 2021.
It’s dilemma that’s easy to understand – the changes to working norms throughout the year meant plenty of people enjoyed new levels of freedom to get work done on their own terms – often involving a healthier work-life balance with more time to spend with family and friends.
For those determined not to go back to the ‘old way’ of working, the new experiences have prompted exploration of ways to start their own independent recruitment businesses, leveraging their expertise to serve clients directly through their own limited companies.
How to start?
If you’re an experienced recruiter looking to earn more of the fees you generate, or simply want the liberty of working to your own agenda on a permanent basis, here are our 5 steps to going solo.

#1 – Check your restrictions

In any new venture it’s important to understand the legal restrictions imposed by your previous employer.
These can vary in length anywhere between 3 and 24 months, and are usually designed to prevent outgoing recruiters from damaging their former company by pulling customers with them.
However, there’s sometimes a significant gap between what’s written in an employment contract, so it’s a good idea to review your situation with a specialist to clearly understand the don’s and don’ts.

#2 – Calculate your cash runway

The most important calculation of any planning for your venture will be how much cash you need to get started.

Your initial funds need to support your living expenses and any business outgoings until you receive payment from clients on your first placements.

For those who need it, investors can provide initial founder salaries to help recruiters get off the ground securely.

If you’re not sure where to start with business modelling, there are plenty of people with experience who can help – RecruitHub builds bespoke financial models for each company we launch, fund and support.

#3 – Choose a support partner

To maximise billing potential, many independent recruiters choose to work with a partner who can focus founder time purely on revenue generation.

This often means support with marketing, back office, technology, finance and legal, creating a platform from which founders can dedicate themselves to the simple tasking of making as much money as possible.

The best support offerings not only ‘free up’ founder time by absorbing time-consuming business admin, but pro-actively contribute to fee income through advanced technology, data and sales automation.

#4 – Register your entity

Getting set up with a limited company is the work of a moment via Companies House, and is the least challenging part of the process!

There are some additional complexities if you are receiving equity investment, but your investment partner should be able to guide you through these as well as providing the necessary paperwork.

#5 – Earn the rewards!

Founders set up on RecruitHub’s platform in 2020 have delivered £100k+ billing months, despite the adverse market conditions and upheaval of the economy.

Leveraging their niche-market knowledge and free from the distractions of agency life, they work to their own schedules from any location with WiFi access, and often earn 2-3x what was possible under previous commission plans.

How does it work?