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Over 8,000 UK recruitment businesses registered in 2022, the second highest on record


  • Biggest rise in recruitment entrepreneurship since 2018. 2nd highest numbers of new business registrations on record
  • Post-pandemic jobs boom, work life balance and flexibility are key factors in rise in new businesses
  • Rapid growth in technology adoption means new businesses can quickly compete with established brands

UK recruitment business registrations

The data, taken from Companies House, is partially fuelled by continued growth in recruitment professionals starting their own businesses. The ongoing trend from employee to business owner has gathered pace in the last decade.
2022’s growth is owing to a new breed of entrepreneur taking advantage of technology, “the great resignation”, and post-pandemic boom to set a new path.

We look at some of the key reasons for the rise in new business registrations in the UK.


Post-pandemic growth fuels rise in new business registrations

The post-pandemic “recovery” became a “boom” as the recovery in jobs met with a stampede of people looking to change where, how and when they worked. Both factors converged to drive both fee and client volumes up, along with take-home pay.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s Recruitment Industry Status report (RISR), revealed that the UK contributed £43 billion of direct Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy in 2021. This marked a 22% increase on 2020, and a rise on pre-pandemic levels. 

In the US, a key market opportunity for recruiters, December 2022 marked the 24th straight month of job growth. And, with US staffing revenue projected to hit £213bn in 2022 (Staffing Industry Analysts) the opportunity for UK recruiters to tap into new markets is a highly attractive and achievable prospect. 

Trending: A key driver of new business registration is the opportunity to increase personal earnings. In a world shaken up by a disruption to traditional employer-employee relations, new business founders recognise that a salary + commission plan cannot beat the opportunity to own their fees in full.


A new “normal”. Flexibility and work life balance key for entrepreneurs

The pandemic created a new working dynamic – overnight, the recruitment industry switched wholesale to a WFH model, and many office-trained professionals became ‘bedroom recruiters’. For many, adjusting to this new style of working highlighted their ability to create revenue independently. 

This has created confidence in would-be entrepreneurs that they can win clients, deliver deals and ultimately generate full-cycle placements without reliance on their employer’s brand or platform.

The move to own fee income fully is linked to a broader drive for independence, where results matter more than how and where the time is spent. 

Trending: Collectively, the recruiters and employees who embraced flexible work and its benefits, rejecting a return to a rigid office schedule, sparked the “Great Resignation”. The trend to value work life over purely financial considerations seems set to continue into 2023.*


Technology is enabling faster growth for start-ups

Rapid growth in sales and automation tools is creating a huge opportunity for recruitment business owners to automate repetitive and time-consuming work. From revenue intelligence tools to sales engagement platforms to CRMs, ATS, conversation marketing, personal brand social media (the list goes on!), there is a tool to help build a brand, save time and grow your business. 

Trending: The new generation of business founders are heavily invested in utilising the best tools on the market to drive their business forward.



2023 promises to be a year of huge opportunity for recruitment professionals, with a significant portion in the rise in new business registrations driven by:

  • Technology: capitalising on the opportunities in the UK and US has never been more attainable. 
  • Shifting the mindset: from applying your specialism 100% of the time in 9-5 (a 100+ year old doctrine) to output based work, delivered around your personal life
  • Value creation: post-pandemic jobs growth has driven up take-home pay. New business founders have flipped the commission model on its head from 20-30% comms to 100%.


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Source: Companies House, REC, Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), Aviva*Aviva – “More workers said they were attracted to their current role for the work-life balance (41%) than the salary (36%)

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