How to Start a Recruitment Website
Ever thought about helping employers and job-seekers find the right professional match? Find out how to start a recruitment website in this article.
The recruitment industry is one that is continually growing, as the ways in which both employers find hires and employees seek out work change. A recruitment website will let you run your business predominantly online and make a profit from the fees you earn from successful hires. In this guide, we’ll outline the steps you can take to launch your own recruitment website.
1. Choosing your business structure
In Australia, there’s 3 main types of business structure you can choose to run your business through. It’s important to know that each structure carries with it different tax obligations, rights and fees.
Sole trader (or sole proprietor)
Firstly, you can start your business as a sole trader which is an inexpensive and simple way to start out. To be a sole trader, you need to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN), and your business will be registered to your personal name. Due to this, you’ll also be taxed on an individual basis (under your personal Tax File Number (TFN), which can end up being more costly if your business generates high revenue. Because your business will be an extension of yourself, all debts and liabilities will be attached to you. So if your business gets into debt, you’ll have to cover this with your personal finances. Another important element here is that your business’s name will be your legal name. If you want to trade using a business name, you will have to register for one separately.
Partnerships are not too dissimilar from sole traders, aside from the fact that you’ll be going into business with another person (or multiple people, so long as they do not exceed 20). A partnership arrangement means that you and your partner will share in the business’s profits and also be equally liable for tax and any debts that may arise. To start a partnership, you’ll need to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN), however your partnership will also need to register for its own Tax File Number (TFN). Similar to sole traders, the name of a partnership is the legal names of all partners. If you want to trade under a commercial name, you’ll need to register a business (trading) name.
It’s also important here to have a partnership agreement in place, so that you and your partner are both on the same page when it comes to the business, and so that you have a plan in place if your partner decides to leave or if you decide to terminate the agreement.
A company structure is significantly different to that of being a sole trader or in a partnership. Different to both of these, companies are considered separate legal entities from the people behind them. This means that if your company becomes indebted, these won’t attach to you personally (unless you sign a directors’ guarantee). Companies also have the advantage of paying a separate tax rate to individuals, meaning that businesses making a lot of money will pay less tax.
Registering a company means you also get to choose the name, though it will usually end in the suffix ‘Pty Ltd’ – indicating that the company is privately owned. Companies can be registered easily online, though they command a higher fee than their sole trader and partnership counterparts. Further, you’ll need to ensure you’re complying with ASIC requirements by reporting your finances accurately and fulfilling your duties as a company officeholder.
2. Starting Your Website
You will need to register a domain name for your online business. To see if your domain name is available, auDA’s site has a useful search function available. Once you’ve set up your domain name and site, you’ll need to ensure you have the right documents as follows:
Terms and conditions
A Terms & Conditions (Ts&Cs) is a document all online businesses need to have in order to comply with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). This document informs your users of your policies relating to returns, refunds, delivery, and exchanges. You should display your Ts&Cs on your homepage or have a link to access them.
Ts&Cs also advise your customers what type of online behaviour is prohibited on your website, such as copyright infringement. If a user breaches these terms, you will be able to ban them from using your website.
This policy will set out how you store a user’s personal information and when you’ll disclose the information to third parties.
Many people may not be aware that copyright often applies online. This works by protecting the creative works you publish on your site, such as articles or images. This is why you’ll see a copyright notice on the footer of many websites. This serves to inform the user that the content on your site is subject to copyright protection.
Further, copyright extends to code used in software. Section 36 of the Copyright Act 1986 (Cth) provides protection for new codes or algorithms without registration.
3. Choosing your industry
Some industries (such as legal or construction) are so large that they have specialist recruitment firms. In this sense, you can choose to operate in a large industry on its own, or take a broader approach across multiple industries. In any event, choosing the right industry to work in requires research and a knowledge of what the interests of employers and job -seekers are.
4. Finding your clients
Because you will be servicing both employers and job-seekers, you will need to tailor your marketing efforts to both groups. For employers, think about what you can do to help them find the right candidates, such as a strict vetting process, thorough research and understanding what the employer is looking for. By contrast, job-seekers will want to use a service that makes the process of obtaining employment simple and successful. This is also one industry where networking will prove very useful in the industry you’re focusing on.
Recruitment is an industry which has been consistently growing over the past few years. Along with good interpersonal and networking skills, you’ll also need to ensure your website complies with legal requirements. If you have further questions about starting a recruitment website, it may be worth contacting a business lawyer.
Shrishti is in her third year of a Bachelor of Laws. She is a Legal Intern for Lawpath. She is interested in Intellectual Property Law, Environmental Law, and also Consumer and Competition Law.