How to start and run your own job consultancy in India.
Author: Ankit Pareek
Well, I don’t want to bore you with my story, however let me still give you a brief reference on how the idea of starting a recruitment agency crossed my mind, and what exactly transpired when I actually executed the Idea. I will keep it short and practical, and hope you will benefit from our experience of starting a recruitment firm.
So, let’s go through the step by step guide on how we started a job consultancy.
- The Idea
I was heading the HR dept. of a mid-sized IT company, and was suddenly transferred from my home town Jaipur to Ahmedabad. And, that’s when I realized that I wanted to be my own boss and take my own decisions. I thought to metamorphose as a job provider from a job seeker.
- Market Research
First thing that we did was a thorough market research, we went to at least ten small-big, old-new, professional-not so professional recruitment consultancies in Jaipur, this helped us understand how they get business, how they work and what all is required to start and run a job placement firm. Response at most places was “You have such a good job, why do you want to get into the messy business of a recruitment firm?” and, “Probably, you’ve been sacked from your job and you have nothing to do”. So, got a lot of negativity to deal with. However, with all due respect to these people, one thing that we discovered was, that there were not too many qualified, experienced, matured people in manpower recruitment firms in Jaipur. And, thought, this is going to be my competitive advantage.
Lesson: Don’t just listen what people say about your Idea of opening a recruitment consultancy, weigh your passion and competencies against what is required for the job, and if you are confident that you fit the bill, GO FOR IT. Never start any business, just because you see someone else running it successfully, and never drop an idea because someone failed at it earlier.
- Business Name
In this digital world, having a website is so important for almost every kind of a business. More so, for a recruitment consultancy business. In past, people were deciding on a business name, getting it registered, and then getting a domain (website) name booked. Now, the process has changed, people first want to check availability of a suitable domain name, and then get the business registered accordingly. We chose www.zvalues.com as our domain name, and built a business name around it as Zvalues HR Solutions.
Lesson: Search availability of a catchy and professional domain name, prefer a .COM tld and get a simple yet professional website made. Your website should have a form where candidates and clients can submit their information. It should cost you about 10000 rupees. An employment agency doesn’t really need a complex website.
- An Office
We decided to open the job consultancy in an area which is close to our home, a locality where finding employees (recruiters) would not be very difficult, and found a decent office space in a mall. We didn’t invest much on furniture and furnishing, and spent only what was absolutely necessary.
Lesson: Recruitment Consultancy business initially can be run from your home if it’s an approachable location or you can rent a small office space. You generally don’t have too many visitors in a consultancy, so a lot of show shine is not required. Don’t spend too much on the interiors, furniture etc.
- Business Registration and Bank Account
Most job consultancies register as proprietorship firm, in most Indian states, you can easily do this registration online, without any visits to any govt. office at all. Proprietorship firms have least compliances requirements from govt., hence it’s the preferred choice for all small businesses.
You can also register as a Private Limited company, you need the professional help of a chartered accountant (CA) or some other agency. This has a lot of compliance requirements such as yearly audits etc.
Once, your registration is complete, and you get the registration certificate, Search online and ask a bank executive to visit your office, again in most cases, no bank visit is required.
- Job Portals Subscriptions
As a start-up recruitment firm, we found the prices of Naukri.com, Shine.com and Moster.com too expensive, however this is not something you can/should do away with in a HR consultancy business. We initially bought the subscriptions for a month, then for a quarter, and then finally started buying annual packages. We learnt from the experience that there’s always a scope of negotiations in the pricing.
Lesson: Give yourself time and negotiate real hard on the pricing, always go for the annual packages and always buy the premium package only, with all the regions and IT and Non IT data covered.
- The Team
This is where we faced the most difficulty, experienced candidates didn’t want to work in such a small recruitment start-up and we didn’t have expertise to work with a fresher. So, the way out that worked for us was, we paid people a lot higher than what they were getting at their current jobs and hired 2 resources, Our first two employees.
Lesson: In a startup job consultancy, you can start on your own and can later add the team as per your requirements, be ready to pay higher salaries than the market standards initially.
- Getting the business/Clients
We started knocking doors of all the businesses in the town, some gave us business and some didn’t. Later, we stopped visiting clients’ offices and approached them through phone calls on their board lines and Linkedin messages only. Since then, getting clients has never been a big issue at all. We slowly made a niche for ourselves as experts of IT hiring.
Lesson: Add as many Linkedin connections as possible, for getting clients as well as the candidates you should have minimum 10000 relevant connections. Secondly, don’t shy away from calling board lines of businesses to ask for work.
- All the best
Financially, professionally as well as personally, it’s been a rewarding experience for us to run our recruitment firm. We are proud of our ethics and professionalism, and that is our competitive advantage in this fiercely competitive recruitment industry. And, we sincerely wish you hold the same values in your manpower consultancy firm.
All the best for your new job consultancy, do write me on firstname.lastname@example.org or in comment section here-under, would love to help you.