Hi -
We are a startup recruitment firm based out of New Delhi and are really struggling to get things moving into the right direction.
We have a very small staff right now (about 7 employees in total) (6 recruiters and 1 business development manager).
The issues we are having is that everyone is playing blamegame...
Recruiters are blaming the Business Development manager for bringing in Average clients.
BDM is blaming the recruiters for not making closings.
We are at the end of 2 months of our company and only 3 - 5 closings so far (in total).
Which i think is very bad and negative.
Any tips from the experts on what could be the right thing here?
Chetana Sharma

From India, Delhi
Priya Arora Puri
Placement Consultant
+5 Others

Alex Praveen

Hi Chetana,

Always believe that SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL. This is what i suggest people when they want to start their business.

Please take note of the following:

1. You can start with two recruiters and a business development executive. Always please keep your costs under control as its a new business. This is where many companies wind before they could actually begin.

2. review the process of what your organisation is doing to get clients.

3. You can ask a few employees(4) to leave and you can inform them that they would be given chance once company does well financially.

4. There is nothing like average clients. A start up company cannot expect a big company to come to it in the beginning itself. Add as many small clients as possible, from varied fields(sectors). This will help in creating a decent profile to your organisation. Go for non-IT also if possible so that you can get some inflows.

5.Take employees on trainee basis/probation basis. Try to add free lance business development executives( can search on job portals, etc) who can give you clients on revenue sharing basis.

6. whats over is over . no point in playing the blame game. Try to make a fresh start.

7. ALL THE BEST. i am sure you could be motivator for other start-ups. Need any help, you can always get back. I hope my comments would make some sense to you. Listen from many people but remember that you are the best judge.

Regards, Alex

From India, Secunderabad

Hello Alex -
Thank you for your reply... this is actually very motivating and i feel like the right thing to do would be to get rid of a couple of employees and have things on a smaller scale where i have them in control.
Thanks for your advice... i will post back my progress.
Thank you!.

From India, Delhi
Priya Arora Puri
Hi Chetana
i believe to talk on your issue in public is not good if possible drop an email to me at as i am into the same business since 2007 and now we are looking for business associates so may be we both can together help each other as i have requirement and if u can close that we can share the profit.
I am based in east delhi
Priya Puri

From India, Ghaziabad

Hi Chetana, Priya and Sandeep,
I am having similar problems like you Chetana. Me and my brother started a placement organisation in Nagpur, Maharashtra. It picked up very well in the initial 2-3 years.
Then I shifted to Delhi for expansion, but have never been able to do real business.
Resource at my ends are available and am looking up for tie ups.
I agree with what Mr. Alex had said. He has indeed given a good advice.

From India, New Delhi

Hi Chetana

Kudos to you for being candid and being open to suggestions. (Alex,Priya, Sandeep & Shiv..very nice of you to share your learnings and pointers!)

-Believe me- 7 member team is no way a small team- You have an enormous bandwidth.Please do review the strengths of each of the 6 recruiters..and see if you can pick a couple of verticals ( industries, as Alex suggested)..and couple of horizontals ( accounts, sales, engineering etc). It would help you focus..and add value to the clients you wish to cater to.

-A big client is not a big name...but one that gives us opportunities for big billing. So pick a bunch of helps showcasing it to a better quality of candidates you can present. Aspirationally. candidates want to join better brands than that they are employed with..and vice versa. It is necessary to give both sides the options to choose :)!

-The last 3 years have been the toughest in the Indian scenario..and many recruitment firms have closed shop..and many others downsized. Hats off to you to manage the fortunes of 7-8 families. It is always darkest before dawn. Am sure with the bullish business sentiments -thanks to the new government..there would be increased industrial activity now..and which means ..MORE hiring than what most companies can internally handle..with their present bandwidth.

You might just get the escape velocity you need :)!



PS- please ping me with a mail reg the strengths of your recruiters.

a) If you have a good benchstrength in hiring finance professionals for manufacturing sector..please connect. Am working exclusively for a MNC Auto giant in Chennai..that need to fill 22 positions in June. CA with 3-12 years exp. Shall need extra hands and quality support.

b) Should your team have access to social gaming experts, please let me know. A 100 strong team in Kochi..funded by a SanFrancisco based VC-is looking to hire programers, game producers, slot mathematicians, designers, across levels.

You can make a difference...

From India, Hyderabad


Pardon me for offering unsolicited advice. I would advice against Chetana letting go the 4 colleagues!

I have been running a recruitment firm since 1992- much before the internet or job portals became popular. And every 3 years-there are new sunrise industries that come up, and need a lot of organisations need external assistance to supplement their hiring needs. Clients come and go. Some stay. Some come back when they are unable to fill in positions ..after resorting to all sources.

Let me share a secret- itsnt about clients. It is about the RECRUITERS we attract to our team- that make the difference. It is about relationships they build..with us, and thru us..with our clients and our candidates.

And believe is they-who make our (promoters) dreams come true. Most join as freshers -and help us startups on our way, and so I feel-choosing them is more critical than choosing a client..who anyway pays us only on success...(not based on our efforts!!)

Yes, the recruiters are our ambassadors..

It is essential we invest in our recruiters- and make them specialists..or subject matter experts-based on their interest and passion. The industry is longer do clients need low lying fruit. Clients needs us third party firms to provide candidates they themselves cannot get or attract on their own..(given their bandwidth and urgency)

I have had over 200 recruiters who have been part of our journey..and while most stayed with the firm for a couple of years .( a few 7yrs -with a couple of them 14-15 too!)-before they found their calling and joined corporates ( as recruiters/generalist HR), or competition..and even started their own firms. And some still help us as freelance :)!

But the basic trust remains. Some 'alumni' collaborate..and add value to our respective connections. And yes, we split the referral income as a result of the association.

I would advocate..invest in our team. Train them them to be specialists. Recruitment isnt as easy as it seems. A lot of about being able to handle pressure, uncertainty..and things beyond our control.


From India, Hyderabad

@Shiv -
just a piece of advice... If you think your recruiters have the right talent and can work tight deadlines... You can go work with Kelly Services... They literally signup with any company and do a 50% profit sharing.
They give the same position to 4 - 5 different companies... So, there is less chance of yours getting selected.
Good Luck!

From India, Delhi
Dear Friends,
We are in a stage of starting a recruitment firm in chandigarh. As a initial step we have to buy the database from various portals. Would request if someone can guide us on the tentative price and best portals which could help us in covering major domains.
Request your inputs and support please.

From India, Chandigarh
Alex Praveen

Hi Kulwinder,
naukri portal (all india access) might cost you around 1.8Lakhs per annum. You bargain upto 1.3L per annum inclusive of taxes. There might be some variation in the pricing from one state to another.
Monster might be costing around 80K-1.2Lakh per annum.
You can try for some installments also but the price will slightly go up.
You can also find some people willing to share their portal login on monthly basis. Thats also a good option for beginners. But be careful of fraudsters
Alex Praveen

From India, Secunderabad

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