How Many Recruitment Agencies in the UK? Remote Work in 2024

Looking for a job these days is stressful enough; having to deal with crowded offices and long commutes on top of that is absolutely avoidable. If the idea of working remotely from the comfort of your home appeals to you, you’re not alone, based on data on how many recruitment agencies in the UK operate remotely.

As a recruiter, are you ready to make the switch?

The opportunities for home-based recruitment businesses have never been better. This guide examines the growing popularity of recruitment agencies in the UK and how remote workers are driving workplace changes in the industry.

Traditional Recruitment Agencies vs. Remote Recruiting

Traditional recruitment agencies require you to work in an office, usually in a major city. But as a home-based recruiter with a franchise model like Recruiter Startup, you have the freedom to work wherever you want. According to recent statistics, the number of home-based recruitment agencies and recruiters in the UK has grown by 6% between 2017 and 2022.

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While traditional agencies are still the dominant types of recruitment agencies, remote or home-based recruiters are gaining significant market share. Recruiter Startup’s model provides you with the tools and training to build a successful home-based recruitment business. You have the freedom and flexibility to grow your company at your own pace without limitations.

With talent shortages in many sectors, companies are increasingly open to working with remote recruitment agencies and recruiters. They recognise the benefits of accessing top talent wherever they may be located. Home-based recruiters who provide an exceptional experience for candidates and clients will be poised to thrive in the coming years. The future of recruitment is remote — position yourself for success and determine your work schedule by contacting us today.

The Growing Popularity of Home-Based Recruiting

The popularity of home-based recruiting in the recruitment industry is growing rapidly. More and more recruiters realise the benefits of ditching a traditional office in favour of working remotely.

The recruiting industry itself is well-suited to remote work. Most of the job involves phone calls, emails, video conferencing and database management — all tasks that can be done from anywhere. Many agencies and HR departments are open to remote recruiters as long as you demonstrate strong communication skills and the ability to work independently.

Some recruiters start their own home-based recruiting business, allowing for even greater flexibility and independence. However, it also means taking on more risk and responsibility. As of 2022, 30,035 recruitment agencies were operating in the UK—with 201,154 staff—though not all were home-based. Starting a new recruitment agency in the traditional crowded field can be challenging, but the remote model provides some advantages.

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Home-based recruiters have access to many of the same resources and networks as traditional agencies. Membership in professional groups like the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) provides credibility and connections. Using a shared workspace or coworking space part-time allows for in-person collaboration and events. And recruiters of all kinds now rely heavily on digital tools for sourcing candidates and managing the hiring process.

Overall, the future looks bright for home-based recruiting and remote work. While traditional offices won’t disappear entirely, flexible and distributed work models are likely to dominate the recruiting field in the years to come. The opportunity to work from home—anywhere in the world—appeals to both businesses and job seekers. Home-based recruiters are poised to match more people with their dream jobs, all while enjoying greater freedom and independence in their careers.

How Many Recruitment Agencies Are There in the UK?

Traditional Agencies: 30,035

Remote Agencies: 566

Recruitment agencies have been around in the UK for decades, with many operating as traditional “high street” agencies. However, in recent years, the rise of remote working and technology has enabled a new breed of home-based recruitment agencies to emerge.

According to recent statistics, there are 30,035 recruitment agencies currently operating in the UK. The vast majority of these are located in major cities like London, Manchester, and Birmingham. However, home-based and remote recruitment agencies now make up around 2% of the total at 566. This number is growing rapidly as more recruiters realise the benefits of working from home.

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Recruitment industry experts predict strong growth in the home-based recruitment sector over the next few years. By 2024, home-based agencies could make up 2.5–3% of the total UK recruitment market. More recruiters are attracted to the flexibility and work-life balance of working from home. At the same time, advancements in technology like Recruiter Startup are making it even easier for remote recruiters to efficiently source, engage and place candidates.

The rise of home-based recruitment is reflective of wider remote working trends accelerated by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Both businesses and individuals have realised the mutual benefits of remote and flexible working options. Home-based recruitment agencies are well-placed to capitalise on these trends and continue their upwards growth trajectory. The future is bright for recruiters looking to work from home!

5 Different Types of Recruitment Agencies

The UK recruitment industry is massive, with over 30,000 agencies in operation. However, understanding how different agencies operate is key, especially if you’re interested in working as a recruiter.

That said, here’s a breakdown of the different types of recruiting:

  1. Generalist vs. Specialist Agencies: Generalist agencies handle roles across multiple sectors, while specialists focus on specific areas like IT, nursing, teaching, etc. As a home-based recruiter, you’ll need to decide if you want to cast a wide net or target niche roles.
  2. Permanent vs. Temporary Staffing: Some agencies fill permanent positions, and others provide temporary or contract staffing. Permanent recruitment typically offers higher fees, but temporary staffing provides more volume. As an independent recruiter, you could offer either or both.
  3. Publicly Traded vs. Privately Owned: Large agencies are often publicly traded, while smaller home-based recruiters are usually privately owned. Privately owned agencies typically provide more flexibility and control. As an independent recruiter, you’d own and operate your private agency.
  4. Contingency vs. Retained Search: Most agencies operate on a contingency basis, earning a fee only when a placement is made. Retained search agencies charge an upfront retainer to undertake an exclusive assignment. Retained assignments are riskier but can be quite lucrative. As an independent recruiter, you could work either on contingency, retained, or a mix of both.
  5. Virtual vs. Brick-and-Mortar: Traditional “brick-and-mortar” agencies have physical offices, while virtual agencies have only an online presence. As an independent home-based recruiter, you’d operate virtually to minimise recruitment agency startup costs.

The UK recruitment industry provides many opportunities for home-based recruiters. With the right combination of generalist and specialist roles, permanent and temporary staffing, privately owned and contingency-based, you can build a successful virtual recruitment agency from home. Recruiter Startup provides the tools and support to help independent recruiters start and grow their home-based agency — contact us to learn more.

5 Benefits of Working Remotely as a Recruiter

Working remotely in the recruitment industry has proven to be lucrative.

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Here are some of its major perks:

  1. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: As a remote recruiter, you have flexibility in your schedule that allows for a better work-life balance. You can work the hours that suit you best, take breaks when you need them, and avoid rush hour traffic. This flexibility makes it easier to spend time with family, pursue hobbies, travel, and stay productive.
  2. Cost Savings: Working from home can lead to major cost savings. You’ll save money on gas, vehicle maintenance, parking, lunch costs, and business attire. Home-based recruitment agencies and remote recruiters also save on office space and overhead costs. These savings amount to thousands per year for the average worker.
  3. Increased Productivity: A longitudinal study by Stanford University found that remote employees tend to be more productive by up to 9%. Without office distractions and commute times, remote recruiters can focus better and get more work done in less time. They also tend to take fewer sick days.
  4. Access to Global Talent: As a remote recruiter, you have access to a larger pool of applicants across the country and around the world. This makes it easier to find highly qualified candidates.
  5. Job Opportunities: There are many home-based recruitment agencies and opportunities for remote recruiters. The job market for remote recruiters and virtual recruiting professionals continues to grow as more businesses embrace remote work.

4 Challenges Faced by Home-Based Recruiters

As a home-based worker in the recruitment industry, you’ll face some unique challenges that traditional agency recruiters may not experience. Working remotely comes with pros and cons, so you’ll need to find ways to adapt.

Here are some of the challenges to expect:

  1. Lack of Face-to-Face Interaction: Not seeing clients and candidates in person can make building rapport and reading body language more difficult. You’ll need to rely heavily on phone and video calls to establish connections and gauge reactions. Make an effort to be personable and engaging over the phone and on video to overcome the lack of in-person interaction.
  2. Distractions at Home: Pets, family members, housework — there are more potential interruptions when you work from home. Set clear work hours, let others know when you’re unavailable, and find a dedicated workspace away from disturbances. Turning off electronics and closing the door behind you can help minimise diversions so you can focus on your recruiting tasks.
  3. Staying Motivated: Without coworkers and office chatter surrounding you, it can be easy to feel isolated and unmotivated at times. Connecting with other home-based recruiters, joining online communities, and maintaining a routine can help combat a lack of motivation. Also, take short breaks when needed to recharge and renew your motivation.
  4. Keeping Up with Technology: As a remote recruiter, you rely heavily on technology to do your job. Applicant tracking systems, video conferencing software, client databases — there are many tools you need to master and keep up-to-date with. Make it a priority to frequently check for updates to the technology you use and invest time in ongoing learning. For example, when experienced recruiters partner as a franchise recruiter with Recruiter Startup, we provide all the software (and software updates!) needed to run a successful at-home recruitment agency.

The life of a home-based recruiter isn’t without challenges, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can overcome them. Focus on nurturing connections, minimising distractions, maintaining motivation, and keeping your skills and tools up to date. With practice, these techniques will become second nature and help set you up for success as a remote recruiter.

5 Tips for Starting a Successful Home Recruiting Business

Starting a business in the recruitment industry at home takes dedication and hard work, but it can be very rewarding.

Here are 5 tips to help ensure your success:

  1. Focus on a niche
  2. Invest in technology
  3. Market your services
  4. Maintain work-life balance
  5. Stay up to date with compliance

1. Focus on a niche.

As a home-based recruiter, focus on a specific industry or job function and become an expert in your chosen niche. Build a professional network, learn the latest hiring trends, and stay on top of which skills and certifications are in demand. This will allow you to provide specialised services to your clients and candidates.

2. Invest in technology.

You’ll need certain tools to work effectively as a home-based recruiter — a laptop, high-speed Internet, and mobile phone are essential. You should also use an applicant tracking system to manage candidates and a CRM (customer relationship management) system to track clients and contacts. Video conferencing software like Zoom will allow you to conduct remote interviews and client calls.

3. Market your services.

Let people know you’re open for business! Build a professional website to establish your online presence.

Here are some important tips for marketing your recruitment business:

  • Build profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your services and engage with your network.
  • Offer a free initial consultation to new clients.
  • Ask happy clients to provide testimonials for your website and online profiles.
  • Consider hosting a virtual job fair to source candidates.

4. Maintain work-life balance

It can be easy to let work take over when your office is a few steps from where you sleep.

But here are some helpful hacks for separating work from personal life: 

  • Set working hours for yourself and stick to them.
  • Make sure to schedule time for breaks, exercise, and leisure activities.
  • Let clients and candidates know your availability and response times to set proper expectations.
  • Turn off notifications on your devices after working hours so you can truly unplug

5. Stay up to date with compliance.

As an employment agency, you must follow all applicable laws regarding hiring and recruitment. Stay up to date with legislation like the Equality Act 2010 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. Properly vet all job openings to ensure you don’t promote opportunities that discriminate unfairly and keep accurate records of all client and candidate interactions. Finally, consider joining a professional organisation like the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Following these tips will help set you up for success as an independent, home-based recruiter. As a franchise recruiter with Recruiter Startup, you can build a thriving business, helping companies find great talent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are there so many recruitment agencies in the UK?

The large number of recruitment agencies in the UK can be attributed to several factors, including:

  • Demand for Talent: The UK has a diverse and dynamic job market. Businesses across industries need to find the right talent, and the recruitment industry plays a crucial role in this process.
  • Flexibility: The rise of contract, temporary, and part-time work has increased the need for recruitment agencies. They help match businesses with workers who offer the flexibility they need.
  • Economic Growth: Periods of economic growth often see an increase in hiring as companies expand. Recruitment agencies help meet this increased demand for talent.
  • Support for Job Seekers: Recruitment agencies provide valuable services for job seekers, such as CV advice and interview preparation. This makes them a popular choice for individuals looking for work.

In a nutshell, the abundance of recruitment agencies in the UK is a response to the increasing demands of the job market.

Do recruiters make a lot of money in the UK?

Yes, recruiters in the UK do earn a decent income, with earnings often supplemented by bonuses and commissions for successful placements. They can even earn more as a recruitment franchise with an agency like Recruiter Startup. Our associates make an average of 2–5 placements per month, with an annual earning ranging from £40K– £100k per year.

Are there too many recruitment agencies?

The number of recruitment agencies can seem overwhelming, but it offers choice and specialisation for businesses and job seekers. The increase in demand for recruiters drives up the supply, meaning there’s a constant supply of organisations seeking recruiters to work with. Contact us to learn more about how you can join this growing industry right from the comfort of your home.

Conclusion

With more and more people choosing to work from home, remote recruitment agencies are on the rise. As the stats show, the number of home-based recruiters and recruitment businesses has skyrocketed in the UK over the last few years. The trend is only going to continue as technology makes remote work easier and more efficient.Now that you know how many recruitment agencies in the UK there are, if you’re considering setting up on your own then think about the option of being a home-based recruiter. There are more opportunities and resources than ever before to help you build a successful remote recruitment agency from the comfort of your own home, especially when you operate as a franchise recruiter.

Daniel has an operations background and has been working in the Recruitment and Payroll sector for over 15 years. Daniel started with Additional Resources in 2010, now managing Business Operations, IT, and Contractor services.

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