An employment agency can be a profitable business. In times of high employment, people will come to you for the few jobs that are open. When the employment rates drop, employers will need your help finding people to fill positions. You really can't lose if you know what you're doing. Here are some pointers.
- Skill level:
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Think of your finances. If you are going to need startup capital, you should check with the Small Business Administration. While they do not loan money for business startups, they can steer you toward those organizations that can help you.
Discuss pricing structures (for staffing searches) with acquaintances in your area. You might also check with other businesses that have used an employment agency to see what fees they paid.
Contact your county clerk's office as a start. You need to ask questions about legalities that need to be put into place before you start a business. As an example, will you need a license?
Decide where the office for the employment agency will be located. The location needs to be convenient for applicants to come to you. Of course, you will bear the cost before the business turns a profit-so try to think inexpensive. Check zoning laws if the employment agency will be worked from your home. A variance can be given, but it must be brought before the city council.
Call your local telephone company. You will need a dedicated phone line for the business. Do you want the phone to roll to your home number after hours, or will you hire an answering service to take care of these after-hours calls? Perhaps voice mail or an answering machine will be all of the help you will need.
Check the state and local listings in your yellow pages for any organization that helps small businesses to get started. An example is SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives). These groups are located all over the country and can prove invaluable in many ways the first year of your business-particularly in start up advice.
Join the local Chamber of Commerce. This will help to get the word out that you are opening an employment agency. Visit with local businesses. Explain the benefit of using your pre-screened applicants as opposed to a cold ad in the "help-wanted" section of the newspaper.
Advertise in the classifieds of the newspaper as well as online. This will draw in people who are looking for work. Administer technical tests to them and be ready to send them out when something opens up. Suggest to employees that you need referrals, and you will be a reference for them.
Accept job assignment requests from your newly found clients. It will take a concerted effort to find the jobs for your people. Plan on spending a lot of time marketing. Make a concentrated effort to find the employee who will be a good fit for the job. Start matching job applicants with employers and open positions.
Tips and warnings
- Since want-ads and internet services are expensive, your fees will most likely seem realistic. This, combined with the face-to-face ability of meeting with you, will sway many businesses your way.
- In order to be considered an employment agency, you must be paid for providing the service. You can't offer pro bono work.
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