Hi all! I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself! I come from a background of sales, marketing, and account management. I stumbled across this website seeking online guidance for starting an independent agency. Does one have to have agency experience in order to make it in this business? All feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
Welcome Julenne!!!! I HIGHLY recommend you follow the advice of Amy, Joshua, and Jerry - I think it will be career suicide to open your own recruiting agency when you don't know about recruiting. I've been recruiting for over 5 years in 3 different types (3rd Party, RPO, Internal Recruiter), and I would be nervous to open up my own recruiting shop because I know I don't have enough of a full scope understanding to run the operations and do the actual recruiting and do the selling of services and manage the clients. At the very least, find some business partners to go into business with that know recruiting. But my first recommendation is to go work for a biggie first (Kelly, Aerotek, Ajilon, Office Team, Manpower, etc) to get the training for 6 months to a year, then go into a smaller staffing agency to learn the ops side (smaller business means more exposure/more hats to wear). GOOD LUCK!!!!
Having a background in sales, marketing and account management will help to become successful in the recruiting business, but recruiting is a different kind of selling. The process is simple enough but will require extra attention in every step of the process. You are better off to learn the business by joining a big firm where you will get paid to learn the business. You will learn valuable lesson from the training and talking to the experience recruiters. You will learn a lot from their war stories.
and check out Will's Blog: http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/10-reasons-every-recr...
Totally agree with the others, to work at an agency first before opening one. Learn on someone else's dime, take advantage of all the training. The business is fairly simple, but not easy. You'll save a ton of time by working at an agency, instead of trying to figure it out on your own. There are a lot of nuances, understanding every step of the process, sourcing, recruiting, and closing candidates, handling the many objections and situations that come up when your 'product' is a person that can change their mind at any time about agreeing to be 'sold'. It's really a double sale in that the client has to be sold and then the candidate as well.
You might love it, spend a year or two learning the ins and outs (and it does take at least a few years, and seeing all kinds of different scenarios play out and an advantage of an agency is you can be a sponge, listening and soaking up everyone's activity and styles and incorporating into how you work).
You'll probably know fairly quickly if it's a fit for you, once you start. Likewise, if you don't love it, you won't have invested any money into a venture that doesn't pan out. I worked at an agency for 10 years before going on my own, and was still nervous about making the move. Though in retrospect I should have done it years earlier! I can't imagine starting an agency without any agency experience though. Why make it harder than it has to be?