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What do recruitment business investors want?

What do recruitment business investors want?

Over the last few years, I’ve been helping Recruiters better know and understand what SSG are about and refining what we like to put our fortune on. By taking part in hundreds of investment meetings, I’ve now managed to create a vast knowledge bank on this subject.

So, I thought it might be useful to share what I believe to be the key ‘DOs & DON’Ts’ of what investors want.

Long-term relationships

If you are thinking of teaming up with a business partner, your investor wouldn’t be too thrilled to hear you’ve met them in a meetup the previous evening!

Taking the decision of walking this path with a person you barely know shows a great deal about your judgement. Apart from this, the investor has no guarantee you’ll make a strong team and manage to create solid working relations, as opposed to a situation which you have already worked together in the past, and chosen to work together again.

Confidence (NOT arrogance) and enthusiasm

See your potential investor as your biggest client; will you show up sleepy, grumpy or bored to a potential client meeting? Hopefully not!

Enthusiasm, confidence and excitement are infectious. Apart from proving to the investor you can bring boundless energy to your ‘pitch’, you’ll have the opportunity to convey passion to your potential new business.


Identifying the existence (or absence) of mental resilience is not an easy task. To make an investment decision, they’d want to see how well you cope and recover from setbacks. Remember, the investor will naturally want to ask you about your personal and professional history. This might be a good time to integrate a succinct example in which your resilience was particularly evident. Perhaps an example of what proves you don’t quit easily, you try again and again.

Be attentive, DON’T ARGUE!

If the investor offers you some advice, perhaps a tip for your new business or suggests another way of doing things then the way you respond to the feedback is likely to have a profound impact on your chances of moving forward.

The investor would want to see you’re truly open to suggestions/feedback, saying ‘thank you’, appreciating their knowledge and experience and finally promising to give it serious thought. That kind of an answer (rather than an argumentative and defensive one) will signal to the investor you’re humble and mentally flexible — and will make them want to work with you. Investors want to see you’re open to receiving more than their time and money. That you’re aware of your blind spots and limitations and possess a realistic level of self-perception.

DON’T lie!

I know that (at times) some people will lie. That’s life. Having said that, you should know dishonesty is a deal-breaker for all investors. They wouldn’t want to take a risk with someone that isn’t honest with them.

A good way to prove your credibility during the first meeting is by admitting when you don’t know the answer to a question and when you don’t have an answer to a question then just simply say it.

Show respect

Aggressively taking over the conversation and not actively listening will undoubtedly give you red marks.

You’ll be given plenty of opportunities to present your ideas and if there is more than one of you then respect yourselves on how well you complement each other.

Your ‘CV ’. What stands out?

Excellence. Investors love to see indicators of excellence in your experience. It reassures them to see you are the best (or better than others). Your investor will want to get to know you so tell them a coherent professional life story; one that will but some rationale behind you starting your own recruitment business.

What Next?

Download our free Ultimate Startup Guide ebook today or arrange for one of our investment team to call you back!