Recruitment Insights

Key characteristics for a successful exit

March 20, 2023
Unlocking the value of your recruitment business

We have witnessed much change in the recruitment industry recently. The market has changed dramatically, your clients need different skills from candidates, and those candidates have different expectations. So, you cannot approach your business with the same mindset you have had for the last two years.

Your recruitment business has many opportunities to win more market share and diversify. How can you make the most of these opportunities?

This blog will address key tactics to see your business through the good and the bad. While this blog focuses on what makes a business saleable for a successful exit, the points I’ll touch on have value to you even if you are not planning to sell.

Excellent financial performance

Profit optimisation is one of the critical elements of strong financial performance. A profitable business is more valuable than one just breaking even or running at a loss. You need to prepare your recruitment business for economic changes further down the line. A recruitment business that generates strong profits can withstand economic downturns and market fluctuations. When profits are high, the company has a financial cushion that allows it to weather the storm during difficult times.

Diversifying revenue streams can help your business become more recession-resistant. During economic downturns, some industries may reduce hiring, which can impact recruiters that rely heavily on those industries. However, diversifying your client base and offering services across different industries can mitigate the risks of an economic downturn on your company.

Annuity revenue is another factor to focus on. This will be the revenue generated from long-term contracts and recurring business, such as temp or contracting services for your clients and RPO offerings. Annuity revenue provides a stable source of income for the business, reducing its dependence on one-off transactions or new acquisitions. Focusing on annuity revenue enables you to improve your company’s resilience to economic shocks and make it more attractive to potential investors.

Strong leadership and management teams

A strong leadership team is crucial for the success of any recruitment business. A successful leadership team should possess various qualities and skills that enable them to manage and grow the business effectively. Here are some key characteristics they should possess:

  1. Straightforward and honest: The leadership team should be transparent in their communication with both employees and clients. They should be open and honest about the company’s performance and challenges, which builds trust with employees and clients and creates a positive company culture.
  2. Innovative: The leadership team should constantly look for new and innovative ways to improve the business, such as exploring new technology or recruitment methods, and staying up-to-date with industry trends.
  3. Learn from the past: A strong leadership team should be willing to learn from past mistakes and use those lessons to improve the business. They must analyse previous recruitment campaigns, identify what worked and what didn’t, and change future campaigns accordingly.
  4. Be bold about addressing problems: A successful leadership team should be bold in addressing any issues or challenges within the business. They should be willing to take risks and make difficult decisions to ensure the company’s long-term success. You may consider restructuring the business, reevaluating recruitment strategies, or changing the company culture.

By possessing these qualities, the leadership team can create a culture of trust, innovation, and accountability within the business. This can help attract and retain top talent, position the business as a leader in the industry, and ultimately lead to a successful exit.

Strong relationships with clients

A strong client base is essential for success as a recruitment business. You will need clients that are a good fit for your company, meaning that they take your advice, work in partnership with you and understand the importance of recruiting as a differentiator for their company. When you develop strong relationships with clients like these, you have the foundation to build a loyal client base that will continue to use your services and recommend you to others.

You should avoid taking on clients that may be difficult to work with or negatively impact your reputation further down the line. By selecting clients that are a good fit, your business can provide better service and increase the chances of success.

Established brand and reputation

Marketing can help your business reach potential customers, differentiate from competitors, and build brand awareness. You should focus on online marketing, such as social media, email campaigns, and pay-per-click advertising. You might also find it beneficial to focus on traditional forms of advertising like print and radio if that is the best way to reach your chosen target markets. Not everyone lives on LinkedIn like recruiters.

Your marketing story should focus on differentiating your company. Focus on points such as your company’s story, what sets you apart and why a prospect should work with you over your competitors.

In addition to marketing, you should prioritise your business’ online presence through your website and social media channels. For example, you should regularly update your social media channels with valuable content. You should also ensure that someone monitors your page and engages with followers to build relationships and establish the brand as an industry leader.

Participating in industry events can also help establish your brand and reputation. Attending conferences and trade shows, speaking on panels, and sponsoring events can help you connect with potential clients and industry leaders, showcase your expertise, and build a reputation as trusted and knowledgeable partners in the industry.


Whether you are planning an exit or not, you can leverage the above points as your guide for strengthening your recruiting business now. Excellent financial performance, a strong leadership team, strong client relationships and establishing your brand reputation are all key tactics you can leverage. By focusing on these, you can unlock the value of your recruitment business to survive economic uncertainty and ensure a successful exit.

APositive can support the financial growth of your recruiting business

Payroll Funding or Invoice Finance can be the boost that helps you scale your business so that you can focus on its growth. APositive has the experience to help you take on this challenge. Our goal is to provide recruitment businesses with the tools needed to grow and thrive.

Our Payroll Funding solution provides access to the money stuck in unpaid invoices. We also deliver a tech-integrated back-office solution with outsourced payroll options to remove the administrative burdens of managing it yourself.

Which APositive product is right for you?
Discover how APositive can help your business grow

The APositive team is made up of recruitment industry experts with decades of experience helping businesses like yours. Get in touch with us today and see how we can make a positive difference.