Independent Recruiter Is the Next Big Thing

Nowadays, becoming an independent recruiter is more popular than it was a few years ago. However, a lot of recruiters still enjoy working for companies that provide them with good pay, safety, and all the tools they need to focus on their job. 

The skepticism to leave all of that behind and work by yourself is justified. In fact, doing that without any plan is completely foolish. But there’s a lot of independent recruiters now who are living the dream, keeping everything they earn, and having full control over their businesses. 

An independent recruiter is the next big thing! 

We’re here to show you how to make a painless transition and avoid potential pitfalls that could ruin your career instead of advancing it. 

Freelancing, Remote Work and Gig Economy Trends

A man working in a coffee house as a freelancer

During the pandemic, a large number of companies sent their employees to work from home. Also, they saw an opportunity to work on their online presence, hiring a large number of people who worked as freelancers to help them with design, copywriting, and other tasks. 

The benefits of remote work became evident quickly. People didn’t lose time commuting, and they had more time to spend with their families instead of working. Not a large number of companies hired new people due to all the uncertainty, and recruiters didn’t have as much work. 

But as the crisis passed, companies started looking for new hires again, and they needed help from recruiters. Only now have not all of them turned to recruiting agencies! They started looking for independent recruiters who were able to help them find qualified individuals. 

According to the Chamber of Commerce, 57% of Americans participated in the gig economy, while 43% were freelancers by the end of 2020. That number was on the rise before the pandemic, but the pandemic accelerated the interest in jobs that are more flexible. While this is American data, the numbers are similar in Europe as well. 

As a recruiter, you can always take part in the freelance movement. You know the percentage of the money that goes to your company and the commission you get. You can keep a much higher percentage of your income if you put in extra effort and take risks. Yet, now’s the best time to try it. 

Working for a Company as a Recruiter

People shaking hands in an office.

To understand why becoming an independent recruiter is appealing to a lot of people in this industry and why people are hesitant to make a move, we must understand what it is that the companies offer that keeps recruiters happy. 

Working for a recruiting company has numerous perks. The three biggest ones include: 


When you work for a recruitment company, you have stability in terms of clients, work you do, monthly paycheck, health benefits, and taxes. No matter how entrepreneurial you are, these are some nice benefits that can really improve the quality of your life. 

A steady job with a good commission allows you to plan other areas of your life without worrying to much about what will happen next month. 

They Cover Marketing Costs 

A company you work for covers all the marketing costs. This includes posting ads for open positions, website maintenance, and other related expenses. Independent recruiters need to handle this by themselves, which reduces their profit. 

Price isn’t the only problem. Even though you have to pay for the job ads and website maintenance, you need to worry about it as an independent recruiter. And that’s something people aren’t willing to take responsibility for. A lot of recruiters don’t feel comfortable doing all these things related to their job but unrelated to recruiting. 

The company provides you with a peace of mind here that can’t be replaced. 

They Provide Expensive Tools

Recruiting companies provide you with everything you need to do the work. Which tools you receive depends on the company, but these often include the Linkedin Corporate account that costs slightly over $10k a year—a notable expense you’d have if you went solo. 

Also, they often allow you to use specific software that helps you track the statuses of your candidates, along with automation tools that allow you to send multiple emails at once and use a variety of templates that make you a more effective recruiter. 

All these tools cost a lot of money; make no mistake. 

All these things sound great, but why is becoming an independent recruiter more appealing now than ever? 

Let’s see some of the negative sides of working for a recruitment agency: 

They Take a Large Percentage of Your Earnings 

The fact is that recruiting agencies have expenses. They pay your taxes, office bills (those that keep their offices), tools, and job ads, among other things. It’s natural for them to take a percentage of every candidate that you find for their client. 

However, not all agencies can provide you with top-notch conditions, and some of them still take a large portion of the money you bring in. And that’s another fact.

You’re Under a Lot of Constraints

Working for a recruitment agency doesn’t allow you to maneuver and do things your way. While that can be good because they’re using a system that works, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best thing to do. 

For example, agencies put their focus on profits. In other words, they want to find candidates as soon as possible, and the moment they start working, they move to fill out another position. 

This doesn’t allow you to build relationships with candidates and provide a personalized approach for clients as well. Usually, recruiters find a good match, but because they’re in a rush, they may skip on some of the opportunities. 

Because there’s a lot of money left on the table and due to the lack of control over the recruiting processes, a lot of people decide to go independent. And that’s not all the companies that struggle with these issues, but larger recruiting agencies mostly follow this pattern. 

The Reality of Becoming an Independent Recruiter

a man working in his home office and talking on his phone.

What you need to do to become an independent recruiter is find clients of your own and send them candidates. Companies are looking for reliable people who can help them find the best workers. They aren’t interested in your status – whether they hire agencies or independent recruiters is irrelevant as long as they have their vacancies filled by highly-skilled people. 

How you become an independent recruiter has no rules. Some people are willing to take a bigger risk, quit their job, and devote all of their time to finding clients. The others do so more quietly as they look for clients as their side gig and once it starts earning them money, they move to it full-time and have most of the things set up. 

This is helpful because they don’t have to use their initial time to worry about clients, their website, job ads, and the programs they plan to use. They can focus on recruiting, especially if they receive consistent vacancies. 

Recruiters may even approach employers who partnered up with their previous agency, explaining to them that they were the ones who were recruiting and asking them to continue their operation outside the agency. 

It all comes down to how much risk you want to take. You can find a lot of success stories online of recruiters who quit their agency job to become independent and say that it was the best decision of their lives. This is true, but keep in mind that you get a skewed image as there are recruiters who quit but don’t manage to succeed independently. They get back to the office and usually don’t share stories online. 

Test the Recruiting Waters

With all the tools available to us today, our recommendation is to test the waters first and start small. There’s a lot of opportunity for recruiters who work full-time jobs to move towards independent work that they aren’t even aware of (keep reading to find out more about it). 

Unless you have amazing connections and a few clients in your pocket, don’t make any sudden moves. There’s no reason to take a massive risk and go all-in if you can work on it for a few additional months to prepare the ground and do everything to ensure that you succeed as an independent recruiter. 

You might think that being independent is for you, but once you get into it, there can be various aspects of the job that you dislike, so you opt to stay. Keep in mind that as a freelance recruiter, you earn money once your candidate starts working or works for a specific period of time. 

Benefits of Becoming an Independent Recruiter

Being an independent recruiter comes with an undeniable set of benefits. These are also the main reasons why a lot of people pursue being independent. 

Unlimited Time Off and Flexible Schedule

Working independently means that you don’t have a 9-5 structure any longer, and you’re in charge of organizing your day. This means that you can start working earlier or later, work at your own pace, and set priorities that fit your schedule. 

Having a flexible schedule offers a lot of benefits – you can do some chores in the middle of the day and avoid crowds. You can work from any location, which means that you can combine traveling and work. Also, if you need a day off to spend time with your family, you can just organize your work in such a way. 

Unlimited time off sounds like an exciting concept, but a lot of people who haven’t worked independently often misinterpret it. The expectation is that you’ll not be working as much as you did, but the reality is different. 

When you’re an independent recruiter, you have a lot more things to worry about, which requires more time. On some days, you can’t just log off at 5 and be done for the day. Things will not often go as planned, and you’ll have to stay in late. 

However, the good news is that there will be days when you simply don’t have as much work. And you don’t have to do meaningless tasks, pretend that you’re working just because everyone around you is busy. You can just take care of things in a few hours and have the rest of the day off. 

But even if you’re staying late, your mindset is different because everything you earn goes directly to you, and you work for yourself. 

No Stress to Achieve Quotas

Working in agencies often means that you have quotas to achieve each month to get the bonuses. In agencies, recruiters work for a base salary and earn bonuses, but often, it’s the bonuses that keep them grinding.

This means that they need to achieve weekly or monthly goals and be the best on their team. Over time, this can become stressful, especially if you’re looking for a financial boost. 

Working from home as an independent recruiter relieves you of that stress. There are no quotas to achieve, and you can work as much or as little as you like. You’re the one determining the amount of work once you gather enough clients to choose from. 

Huge Earning Potential

Working as an independent recruiter means that you have huge earning potential. When you become independent, you stop selling your time and start selling your expertise. 

Clients don’t care if you work for eight hours or more as long as you complete the project on time. 

Your ability to make money at a paid job is constrained by your monthly hours worked as well as your salary. Working harder is the only way to earn more up to that point.

Because you no longer have to charge for your time, as a freelancer, your earning potential is limitless. Being more of an expert and finding solutions to larger issues are the keys to earning more money! Work smarter, and you’ll earn more money.

Downsides of Working Independently as a Recruiter

Although a lot of recruiters are looking to become independent, there are some things you must know about it before you make a decision. 

Paying Taxes

Working independently means that you’ll be responsible for taxes and your health insurance. When you work for an agency, they sort these things out for you. You’ll need to look at the freelancing laws in your country and what percentage goes to tax. 

If you’re not sure how this works, find an accountant who will help you set everything up. They can even help you with income and expenditures for a fee. 

Working Alone

If you’re looking to become an independent recruiter, you’re setting yourself up for working alone. Although that’s a benefit in so many different ways, as you get to dictate what you do and how much you work, a lot of recruiter success depends on the networks you create and relationships you form. 

These can be with candidates, clients, or other recruiters. Helping out other recruiters and receiving help is an underrated aspect of the job, not a lot of recruiters utilize. As an independent recruiter, you need to have this in mind and have someone to turn to in case things do go as planned. 

Lack of Business Experience Besides Recruiting

Lastly, what can stop you from succeeding is a lack of experience in other fields. As an independent recruiter, you’ll need to do other things besides recruiting. These include: 

  • Marketing
  • Writing 
  • Website creation
  • Design
  • Accounting

There are two ways to go about this problem. One is to learn to do it yourself, which can take a lot of time. The other is to outsource parts of your work, especially bigger things such as website creation and design. While this costs more money, it will allow you to focus on finding candidates. 

Hire Abroad Supports Independent Recruiters

Hire Abroad supports independent recruiters

Becoming an independent recruiter is appealing for reasons such as increased profits, flexibility, and the ability to work at your own pace from any location. 

At Hire Abroad, we help independent recruiters who want to start their own recruitment company or unlock some new opportunities for their candidates.

Who Can Join Hire Abroad? 

Our platform was created by recruiters for recruiters! We want to make your job as easy as possible by providing you with an intuitive platform that you can use and giving you access to hundreds of open vacancies that you can send to your candidates. Feel free to contact Hire Abroad: 

  • If you’re an independent recruiter who needs more clients;
  • If you’re a recruiter working for an agency who wants to become independent but doesn’t know where to start;
  • If you are a recruiter and want to earn some extra money on the side;
  • If you are a recruiter and want to see what it’s like to work independently. 

Hire Abroad works with recruiters who focus on blue-collar employment only. We’re not charging you for accessing the platform, but you’ll need to fulfill some minimum requirements to join. 

One of our team members will help you onboard the platform and follow up on your progress each week. The beauty of Hire Abroad is that you remain fully independent and can still work on your branding and marketing outside of the platform! 

We help you reduce your expenses by paying for some online tools, but more importantly, you get access to high-quality jobs in the Netherlands that you can immediately offer to your high-quality candidate base

The employer provides accommodations for each candidate you send through Hire Abroad. They will also sign a contract either online or upon arrival, but we’ll explain how everything works. 

Contact Hire Abroad if you’re interested in starting your independent recruiter journey on the right note! 


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