When scaling your recruitment business, one of the biggest challenges you have most likely experienced is finding good recruiters to join your own team. In this episode, my very special guest, Leanne Jones Hunt, shares her unique perspective on recruiting recruiters based on having successfully placed over 700 recruiters with growing recruitment businesses.
Leanne is my Chief Operations Officer, and also a fellow coach here at Recruitment Coach. Leanne started her recruiting career in 2010, after completing her Master’s Degree in Law. Eventually, she launched her own recruitment agency in the recruitment to recruitment or “Rec to Rec” space which she ran for five years before entering the coaching industry.
Episode Outline and Highlights[2:20] Leanne’s career highlights, including billing £47,000 in her first 5 weeks and being promoted to director within 12 months [5:55] What is “Rec to Rec”? [13:15] Discussion on career progression in the recruitment industry. [16:04] Characteristics of successful recruiters that business owners should look for [21:05] How Leanne started her own recruitment business at a very young age. [33:46] Business model: 180 vs 360 degree billers - which is better? [38:15] Effective assessment methods for recruiting recruiters. [45:00] Best practices for hiring great recruiters. [48:30] Improving your employee retention. [55:05] Resilience: What was Leanne’s biggest challenge in her recruitment business?
The Challenge of Recruiting Recruiters
What are the characteristics of successful recruiters that business owners should look for when they are hiring for their own teams? Indeed, one of the ironies in the recruitment industry especially for growing businesses is that it can be challenging to find and recruit good recruiters. Having been a top-performing recruiter herself, as well as running her own recruitment agency and placing recruiters with some of the fastest-growing recruitment companies in the country, Leanne is well placed to provide perspectives on the characteristics of effective recruiters.
This is how Leanne puts it, “There are quite a few different traits that make up a good recruiter. But for me, it was work ethic and urgency.” During our interview, Leanne shared her own experience and how it shaped her mindset on why she places such value on work ethic and having a sense of urgency.
Leanne encourages business owners to think beyond the typical profile of salesy, extrovert types who are very confident, maybe with a background as a real estate agent or telesales.
“Throughout my career, I tried to challenge the status quo and it did work.” Leanne gave an example of someone she placed who was celebrating their 7th anniversary with the company who broke the mould of what a stereotypical recruiter looks like.
Assessment Methods: How to Ensure You Hire the Right Person for Your Growing Recruitment Business
What are some of the most effective assessment methods when hiring a good recruiter? Having a thorough hiring process can definitely help when increasing the success rate and retention of new recruiters. So based on experience, what are the best hiring processes that Leanne has seen when working in the recruitment space? Some of her top methods include:Introduce a working interview/trial day as a stage in the hiring process Focus on assessing their skills, not just a subjective decision based on the way they come across Develop a structured training program
Listen to the full interview to hear other takeaways, especially on mistakes and success factors when scaling your business and growing your team of recruiters.
Leanne Sara Jones Hunt Bio and Contact Info
Leanne Sara Jones Hunt is our Chief Operations Officer here at Recruitment Coach. Prior to joining forces with Mark, Leanne worked in the recruitment-to-recruitment space in London for 10+ years and placed over 700 recruiters with some of the fastest-growing recruitment companies in the UK.
She ran her own successful recruitment-to-recruitment business, Excell Jones, for 5 years which placed trainees/graduates into the recruitment arena. Before starting her own business, Leanne rapidly progressed from graduate trainee all the way to director. She has performed every role from office manager, resourcer, 360 recruiter and billing manager. As a manager, she created extensive training manuals and developed multiple trainees from scratch who didn’t have any recruitment experience to become successful billing recruiters.
In addition to her role as COO, Leanne is also a Coach for our Inner Circle members, and is the resident ‘Queen of Automation’. She regularly shares the secrets on how she was able to claw back 30% of her time through implementing various automation processes, strategies and systems. Leanne has successfully hired, trained and managed teams of virtual assistants.
As well as holding the Inner Circle members accountable, and inspiring them to take action to implement strategies, Leanne is also able to share with our Inner Circle members how to hire and manage a remote team.Leanne on LinkedIn
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Success in your recruitment business requires a lot of effort and commitment. If you’re being honest with yourself, are you working too hard for too little return? What if you can still be successful, and at the same time spend time on things that matter most? My special guest, John Schlegel, openly shared strategies that helped him be truly successful in his solo-practice while “having a life.”
From mindset, and utilizing contract recruiters, to building meaningful business relationships, you will hear valuable insights and best practices that may help you balance work with your personal life. John is the CEO and Founder of Stonebridge Search in Austin, Texas. He places professionals in the financial advisory services arena, for global and boutique consulting firms, PE firms, investment banks and accountancy firms.
Episode Outline and Highlights[2:42] How can a solo practitioner bill $700k+ and still have a life? John shares 4 key factors. [9:00] With no investment banking background, how did John become a strategic advisor in the financial services arena? [21:52] What made John decide to set up on his own? Hear the life changing events that led him to start his own recruiting practice under extremely challenging circumstances. [28:20] How joining the Pinnacle Society significantly impacted John’s business. [32:00] The mindset shift that leads to greater success. [34:40] Best practices for contract relationships and outsourcing (1099 arrangements). [46:20] With recruitment being really time consuming, how does John spend more time with his family? [51:02] Hear John’s two suggestions if you are working too hard to get things done.
Going Solo and Getting the Right Balance
How can a solo practitioner bill $700k+ and still have a life? John started his firm in 2009 and says it took a while to come up with the right mix and balance. Some of the successful strategies he put in place include:Focusing on these questions: How am I able to serve my clients better? What are my clients trying to accomplish? Forging relationships with contract recruiters. Transitioning to the position of a trusted advisor rather than a vendor.
Can you relate to the above practices? In our conversation, John further discussed specific steps he took in applying the above strategies.
Establishing Contract Recruiter Relationships
One of the major contributors to John’s success as a solo practitioner is his relationships with contract-based specialists. The core idea behind this strategy is to compute your yearly revenue, convert it into an hourly rate, then delegate tasks that would cost less than your own hourly rate, and focus more time on those activities that enable you to earn more revenue.
This is how John puts it: “One of the things that I learned from Jordan Rayboy, who is a great friend of mine… He shared this on the episode he is on with you, where he talks about if you make X amount per year, and you extrapolate those hours out that you are gonna work, say $300 an hour, what are the activities that are $300 or less that you are spending your time on every day? And I thought, he is right, I am spending 60% of my time on things that are less meaningful than I should be.”
Some of the practices he shared are employing seasoned specialists, utilizing 1099 arrangements, and splitting the fee. Listen to the interview with John for full details.
If You Are Working Too Hard...
So how do you get things done and spend more time on your personal well-being, family, and other meaningful non-business/work-related activities? I asked John what advice he can give to someone who is able to successfully attain his job targets but is working too hard. John shared two suggestions:Take inventory of how you are spending your time. Take inventory of your digital time.
Hear John’s experience on what made him focus only on tasks that are productive.
John Schlegel Bio and Contact Info
John Schlegel is the CEO and Founder of Stonebridge Search in Austin, TX. He places senior professionals in the financial advisory services arena, with specific expertise in service areas such as Valuation & Opinions, Dispute Consulting, Forensic Services, Restructuring & Turnaround, and Transaction Advisory. His clients include accounting firms, global and boutique consulting firms, private equity firms, and investment banks. In addition to John's search experience, he provides support for mergers and acquisitions within his specialty areas, both on the buy-side and sell-side.
John is a member of the prestigious Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of 80 of the leading recruiters in North America. Membership is based upon the stringent criteria of verifiable industry success, ethical standards, expertise and experience.
John holds a B.A. in Public Relations from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Oklahoma. He lives in Austin with his wife and four children.John on LinkedIn Stonebridge Search website link
People and Resources MentionedJoe Rice on LinkedIn Jordan Rayboy on LinkedIn Pinnacle Society website link Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR#55 How to Build (or Rebuild) Your Recruitment Firm to 7-Figures From Scratch, with Joe Rice TRR#46 How to Run a Million Dollar Recruiting Firm From Your RV, with Jordan Rayboy
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As many parts of the economy open up again, recruiters are starting to see a surge in demand for talent. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a return to “business as usual.”
There are lessons to be learned from the pandemic, and important steps you must take to ensure you thrive in the coming hiring boom. If you go back to doing things exactly the same way you did before, we’ll miss out on the greatest opportunity in our lifetime to change some of the things we don’t like about recruitment.
That’s according to my special guest, Greg Savage who is making a repeat appearance on The Resilient Recruiter. Greg is of the most respected voices across the global recruitment industry, hear his insights on the pandemic, leadership, and reconfiguring the way you do your business.
With 40 years in recruitment, Greg is also the author of the Savage Truth which was published only about a year ago selling more than 10,000 copies - highlighting the loyal following he has built. If you have not been exposed to Greg’s no-nonsense approach to recruitment before, then you are in for a treat.
Episode Outline and Highlights3:00 Greg shares his perspective on the pandemic - who are those that dealt with it best? 13:06 The best lockdown marketing idea - “flipping the dynamics.” 22:44 Enduring lessons from the pandemic that recruiters must adopt as standard practice. 33:08 Are KPIs outdated? 38:30 What are the key characteristics and values that owners should be looking for in potential new hires recruiting now compared to what they looked for in the past? 47:25 Thoughts on reconfiguring the profile you look for when hiring rookie recruiters. 55:28 Greg revealed one very important element out of his 14 business pillars, “Leadership Style.”
Some Exemplary Performances From Recruitment Businesses in the Pandemic
When I launched this podcast in December 2019, I was very fortunate to have interviewed Greg in episode #1. Following up with him after more than a year, I am really keen to hear his perspectives on dealing with this crisis. In particular, I hoped he would be able to share examples of people or businesses rising to the occasion.
Greg has a unique vantage point as an advisor to and sitting on the board of, 14 different recruitment companies. How businesses reacted is comparable to the five stages of grief. Here are some key takeaways from him on how some businesses thrived during the pandemic:leadership behaviour played a key factor - those who reached the acceptance stage first were the most successful. understanding the concept of goodwill equity made a big difference. transparency, communication, becoming visible and valuable was really critical.
Best to hear directly from Greg both best and bad examples on how some leaders behaved when the pandemic and lockdowns took place.
What We Should Have Learned From the Pandemic
What are the enduring lessons we should learn from the pandemic as an industry? This is how Greg put it: “Well let me start with a rather cynical, but unfortunately true comment… Owners of recruitment companies will come out of this situation, so relieved that they have survived, so grateful that the markets are peaking up, but they will go back, Mark, and do everything exactly the way they did it before.”
This is where it gets more interesting, Greg continues: “Any second article you read on LinkedIn is about how the pandemic has changed recruitment. Absolute bullsh*t! It will not change it. But, the opportunity to reconfigure the way you do things, is HUGE. You can change, and I’ve got some great stories.”
Question from Our Listener
Prior to recording this episode, I asked connections on LinkedIn for questions I should be putting in to ask Greg. A very interesting question came from Greg Benadiba, who is the CEO of Bilingual Source. Now that we are entering a phase of renewed growth in the industry and owners are going to be hiring again, “What are the key characteristics and values that owners should be looking for on potential new hires in recruiting now, and how is that different to candidates they’ve hired in the past?”
Greg answered this question and very insightful pointers were shared. Here his response to our conversation.
Greg Savage Bio and Contact Info
After graduating with Honours in Psychology, Greg started his career in Executive Search in Australia, before he went on to manage the London office of the United Kingdom’s largest accounting recruiter for two years. In the early 1980s, he returned to Australia to run the Sydney office of Accountancy Placements (now the Hays Group), where he was invited to join the Board of Directors at age 27.
Greg founded Recruitment Solutions in 1987, and rapidly built the start-up across Australia and New Zealand, culminating in eight offices, 200 staff, and annual sales of $60,000,000. Such was Recruitment Solutions’ success that, in July 1998, the company was successfully listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, with Greg at its helm as both Executive Director and COO.
In April 2001, Greg joined Aquent as Asia-Pacific CEO. In 2005, he was promoted to Aquent International CEO and assumed responsibility for all Aquent businesses outside of North America, which then comprised over 25 offices across Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2010 Greg acquired the Permanent and Search business of Aquent in Europe, Asia and Australasia, via a management buy-out, and founded Firebrand Talent Search. He quickly created a global brand for this specialist Digital and Marketing recruiter, and successfully sold the business, in 7 countries, in January 2013.
An active investor in recruitment businesses, Greg is a Founder and shareholder of people2people, one of Australia’s fastest growing recruitment companies, and also a Director and Chairman of New Zealand specialist Consult Recruitment. He also has involvement with many HR Tech related businesses including VideoMyJob and JobAdder
In recognition of his contribution to the Australian recruitment industry, Greg was made an Honorary Life Member of the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA) in 2004. He was subsequently elevated to Fellow (FRCA).
In addition, Greg was the inaugural winner of the highly prestigious RCSA “Outstanding Contribution to the Recruitment Industry” Award 2011.
Recruitment Hall of Fame
In April 2018 Greg was inducted into the Recruitment International ‘Hall of Fame’ for his contribution and services to the recruitment industry
LinkedIn ‘Top Voices ‘2018.
Greg was named one of only 342 out of 550 Million LinkedIn members named as top influencers and for sparking professional conversations globally.Greg’s website link Greg on LinkedIn Greg on Facebook Greg on Twitter @greg_savage Greg on Instagram Greg on Youtube
People and Resources MentionedGreg Benadiba on LinkedIn The Best Crisis Business Development Idea I Have Ever Seen by G. Savage 14 Agency Recruitment Metrics to Run Your Business by G. Savage Thrive Webcast link Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #1 The Future of Recruitment: Strategies To Stay Relevant and Effective, with Greg Savage TRR #14 How to Demonstrate Leadership in a Crisis with Greg Benadiba
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Are you a small to mid-sized recruiter who wants to beat the big boys and be recognized as a market leader? Or perhaps you’re super-ambitious and dream of expanding your recruitment business nationally or even globally?
In either case, you’re in for a treat as I interview Eloise Sutton Kirkby. Eloise is the Co-Founder and Director of Growth at Vincere, a market-leading all-in-one ATS CRM which is run by ex-recruiters. Vincere means “to win” or “conquer” in Latin, and they specialize in weaponizing recruiters through tech.
Eloise believes that recruitment technology levels the playing field for scrappy underdogs to win against their bigger competitors. In addition to her knowledge of recruitment technology and automation, Eloise shares her hard-won insights gleaned from scaling her company to 80 employees and offices in 5 countries.
Episode Outline and Highlights[3:10] Eloise’s recruitment career takes her from Leeds to Tokyo; why she and her partner Bernie Schiemer started a software company. [8:20] Recruitment technology: what is a “Frankenstack”? [11:40] Which of your recruitment and business processes should be automated? [13:40] Eloise’s entrepreneurial journey and scaling her software company to 80 people. [18:18] Discussing the pros and cons of setting up an office offshore. [24:55] Business challenges that Eloise faced being headquartered in Vietnam. [31:31] Inbound marketing strategies and building a personal brand on LinkedIn. [45:17] Dealing with adversity: Eloise shares the toughest experience she’s ever faced.
What Processes Should Be Automated with Recruitment Technology?
Being in the recruitment technology space, I asked Eloise if she can give an example of a workflow or part of the recruitment process that can be successfully automated. This is how she responded, “I think for mid-sized recruitment firms … the area of automation that is weak usually is between the front-middle-back office.”
She further elaborated, “Around your pay and bill systems, collecting of time from your candidates. Often what we see is that placement is made in the CRM, pushed out to the pay and bill software, and never seen in the CRM again. So the consultants don’t know if timesheets have been submitted if they are paid on that timesheets coming in and that is kind of important and that is just one example of how data is being siloed between different teams in a mid-sized organization.”
Inbound Marketing Strategies
Eloise and her team focused really heavily on product development with the sincere belief that word-of-mouth will do the marketing for them. Eloise recalls, “What we have really woken up to is the fact that we don’t really need to spend a lot in marketing. We don’t want to have a massive sales team, that is not us. What we do want to do is to have our customers not see us as a vendor, to see us as a partner and as part of that partnership, they will be our marketers.”
So what marketing strategies do they effectively employ? Some are as follows:Referral and reward system for their existing clients Content marketing via LinkedIn
Hear our discussion and sharing of practices on how to strategically use LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
Resilience in Adversity
I also took the opportunity to ask Eloise on what would be the most challenging experience and how she faced the challenge. She shared a very moving personal story which I believe you will find interesting. Best to hear it from Eloise in this episode.
Eloise Sutton Kirkby Bio and Contact Info
Eloise is the Co-founder and Director of Growth for Vincere, an all-in-one platform for recruitment and staffing agencies worldwide. She started her career in recruitment as a consultant with Michael Page in the financial sector. She had experience working in Leeds, Tokyo, Singapore, and is now based in Saigon.
Eloise is also the host of the Contract Recruiter Podcast which focuses on the world of Contract Recruitment.Eloise on LinkedIn Vincere website link Vincere on Youtube Contract Recruiter Podcast link
People and Resources MentionedBernie Schiemer on LinkedIn Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach
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Why do companies struggle to hire female executives? How can we, as recruiting professionals, help our clients to address the gender-gap particularly in C-suite level searches? What steps can be taken toward a long-term solution?
By sharing her own experience, my special guest Venesa Klein gives her take on how businesses and organizations can make a meaningful, long-term impact on the gender-gap at executive levels. Venesa is a partner at Calibre One, a leading executive search boutique with offices in San Francisco, London, New York, and Singapore. Based in LA, Venesa manages the Women Board Member Recruiting as well as Diversity Recruiting specializing in VP and C-level searches for consumer internet, e-commerce, CPG and category-defining tech companies.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:48] Why do companies struggle to hire female executives? [5:38] What is the long-term solution to close the gender gap into recruiting C-suite levels? [10:08] Are your clients serious about addressing the gender gap in your organization or just playing lip service? Venesa shared the signs to distinguish which is which. [21:00] Venesa shares her own experience in balancing motherhood with work during the pandemic. [30:34] Critical roles husbands play for their working partners. [34:00] How boundaries and flexibility in schedule contribute to actively working mothers. [38:00] What could companies do to get an edge in attracting women top talents? [42:50] Venesa shares her experience in helping out build Google’s internal executive search function. [49:59] Hear our discussion on effective tools and recruitment technology.
Addressing the Gender Gap: Small Steps for a Long-Term Strategy
As businesses and companies focus on gender diversity, it can be a challenge to close the gender gap. The reason? Venesa said, “That is the important question, what is the strategy? What is the long game? I think that’s the piece that companies are missing, is it’s very reactionary to pressure from aboard, you know social media pressure...We need to think much bigger than that.”
Although it can be difficult, Venesa laid out a few solutions as a starting point to address the challenge of closing the gender gap, especially in C-suite levels by creating pathways for women to progress within their respective organizations. Some of the pointers are as follows:Recruiting women early and often into entry-level roles and defining career paths for them. Providing mentorship opportunities. Moving them through the organization in a thoughtful and structured way.
Venesa also added, “You have to have a strong HR function that is thinking this through with you.”
A Roller-Coaster Ride
One of the life-changing events that Venesa shared is her “jolting experience” of motherhood and how she was able to balance it with work. While everybody has a different experience, becoming a mom (especially during the pandemic) was a wake-up call for Venesa. This is how she describes it, “I know that when I became a mom, it had felt like it wasn’t talked about. I don’t know whether because I didn’t have children or I wasn’t just tuned in to the conversation or that the conversations just weren’t happening.”
Some of the challenges she relayed, on which some of our listeners may be able to strongly relate to are:From work being the priority and the ability to work all hours to having finite stop-start working hours and feeling exhausted. The challenge of focusing at work with so little sleep like it was survival mode. The challenge of spending as much time with children as possible while being an effective business partner.
Have you had the same struggles when juggling work with motherhood?
Business Best Practices to Attain Female Top Talent
What can give a business an edge in terms of employing female top talents? Based on Venesa’s experience, it really is important for a business to take care not only of their female employees but also their employees’ relationships with their children. Some of the best practices mentioned would be offering reimbursement for childcare or offering childcare onsite. Also, measuring success and accomplishment based on outcome rather than time spent is a significant factor to offer them flexibility.
Venesa Klein Bio and Contact Info
Venesa Klein is an executive talent recruiter and Partner at Calibre One, a leading transatlantic executive search boutique. Since 2007, Venesa has helped some of the world's most successful companies build out the critical leadership teams that drive their success. Her robust network of C-Suite and VP-level executives make her a highly sought-after full-cycle recruiter across a portfolio of consumer internet, eCommerce, CPG, and category-defining technology companies.
As a Partner at Calibre One, Venesa founded its Purpose-Driven Practice, which focuses on placing executives in growing organizations seeking to create innovation with meaningful impact. Her empathy-forward personality along with her strategic thinking has enabled her to work with Google, Thinx, Rev.com, Mixbook, among others, to identify and recruit essential leaders in operations, marketing, and human resources. Before joining Calibre One, Venesa was the Senior Recruiter at MarketTools a 500 person enterprise technology and services company where she was responsible for the recruiting function internationally. She was also a consultant at Google where she was responsible for building out their internal executive search function and was The Consumer Practice Leader at The Pacific Firm.
Outside of work, Venesa is actively involved in various roles within a number of animal welfare, environmental, and educational charities. Her commitment to philanthropy and her two young children keep her quite busy. She splits her time between Northern and Southern California.Venesa on LinkedIn Venesa’s website link Calibre One website link
People and Resources Mentioned“So you want to hire a woman onto your C-Suite? Here’s why you won’t get one..” article link Helen McGuire on LinkedIn Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #57 Diversity as a Differentiator – How Recruiters Can Attract 70% More Diverse Talent, with Helen McGuire
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While most recruitment companies revenue and profits were down during the Covid-19 crisis, Andersen James Group revenue grew by 35%. In this interview, I asked Managing Director, James Leighton, how they achieved this remarkable result in an extremely challenging climate.
One of the key themes that emerged from our conversation was “client partnerships.” For James, this isn’t an abstract concept -- it’s core to his business strategy. Their new Strategic Partnerships business model was one of the key factors that enabled them to grow during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This isn’t to say it was easy. There were some significant challenges along the way. As you are about to hear, Andersen James met these challenges by bringing a lot of innovation and creativity to recruitment within the property and construction sectors. If you like hearing about fresh ideas and different ways of partnering with clients, you are going to enjoy this episode.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:40] James shares his motivation and a bit of history of the Andersen James Group [5:05] How having an internal recruiter talent acquisition experience shaped James’ mindset on outsourced recruitment. [8:03] Strategic Partnership - how the Andersen James Group embraced the partnership approach during the covid crisis. [20:15] Discussion on recruitment metrics and tracking mechanisms. [23:32] Three key factors in growing profit by 35% during covid. [29:44] The difficulty of splitting from a business partner - James shared his experience. [35:22] Removing himself from billing and focusing on the business - what triggered James to take this decision and how it was a game-changer. [39:33] The benefits of hosting webinars for your market [51:01] How James’ group invested in marketing [53:30] What would you do if a client went bust on you? Learn from James’ experience. [1:00:00] Selecting a good business partner.
Experience From Both Sides of the Fence
Prior to becoming a recruitment business owner, James had experience in internal recruitment talent acquisition. This valuable experience gave him an insight into how recruiters are perceived, what they do best for their clients, and what could be further improved from a client’s point of view. Hear out what he thinks that recruiters should understand in working with clients and how to ultimately make the working relationship better.
Embracing the Partnership Approach
During the pandemic, James’ business was able to sustain significant growth by investing heavily in technology and innovation. One of these innovations was adapting an approach based on partnership.
Going for a partnership approach with your clients can be challenging but this was not the case for James’ company. They have adapted a Strategic Partnership model that gives their client a different way of recruiting. If explained briefly, this is how their business model works:Outsourced recruitment function with a monthly retainer fee Dedicated heads provided for their client - with a profit margin per head Offering efficiency of cost for the client by providing them an internal recruitment team Internal feel of a recruitment team with an external presence in the market
How does the program work for their clients and their company? What inspired the idea? Listen to the answers from James in this episode.
Growing the Profit by 35% During Covid
While most recruitment companies are losing around 40% in profit during the pandemic, it was the opposite for Andersen James as they actually grew their profit by 35%! What are the key factors that contributed to this success? James mentioned at least three, which is heavily investing on:Extensive training for employees Technology - e.g. CRM system Marketing
Sharing Best Practices During Covid
Last year, James did a series of webinars with two main intentions - to create case studies and share best practices with their market. Why did he do it? Rather than just write a case study, they created events to share how they’ve solved certain problems and show the market exactly what it is that they’ve done. James explains the success of this education-based marketing strategy: “there were 900 people to the first one, 500 people to the previous one, and it was really targeted.”
James Leighton Bio and Contact Info
James Leighton is a Managing Director of Andersen James Group. Andersen James was born out of a desire to bring innovation and creativity to recruitment within the property and construction sector. Their passion lies in offering added value to their customers. They offer best practice advice and support in the design and implementation of market leading recruitment campaigns and programmes that will not only attract and recruit the best talent but also retain and re-energise existing teams. With the launch of the new Strategic partnerships business when Covid struck, growing that to 3 big contract wins, re-aligning our sales vision and further niching their business into a Housing Specialist across the UK, they have set up really well with the right platform and infrastructure to scale up their businessJames on LinkedIn Andersen James Group website link Andersen James Group on LinkedIn
People and Resources MentionedKevin Redman on LinkedIn Greg Savage on LinkedIn Joel Slenning on LinkedIn Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #41 Dare to Be Different – How to Create Your Unique Value Proposition, with Kevin Redman and Matt Halfpenny TRR #53 How to Scale Your Staffing & Recruiting Firm to $16,000,000, With Joel Slenning
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As we are gearing towards the post-covid environment, we need to keep up with technological and industrial trends to remain relevant. Have you heard of On-Demand Recruiting? Would you like to know about the “Tinderization” of the recruitment process? Listen in to this episode as my special guest, Evan Sohn, shares how their platform intends to disrupt the recruitment continuum using technology and AI platforms.
Evan is the Chairman and CEO of Recruiter.com which is a hiring platform for the world’s largest network of recruiters. They empower businesses to recruit specialized talents faster with virtual teams of recruiters, AI job matching, and video technology. Evan is an experienced entrepreneur and he is an executive or advisor to multiple companies. Typically disruptive technologies and industries such as online marketplaces, payments, instant messaging, data security and mobile computing.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:40] Why the need for the recruitment industry to change in a post-covid world. [7:13] Evan discusses how Recruitment.com is impacting recruitment with technology. [13:15] Disrupting the recruitment continuum and shifts we should make post-covid. [19:45] How the video-first process can significantly change the recruitment industry. [32:10] Headhunting and technology: expediting the process. [38:16] Do technology platforms ‘dehumanize’ the recruitment process? [44:53] What is on-demand recruiting? [46:50] What are the trends and challenges coming up in order to get better as an industry? [53:00] The Sohn Conference Foundation
The “Tinderization” of Recruiting
Discussing the need for the recruitment industry to change in a post-covid world, what shift do we need to make?
Evan first talked about the recruitment continuum: post a job, collect resumes, review resumes, phone screen, interview, and hire. With the advancement of online technology, how did the recruitment process adapt? The job board got digitized. Resume collection and reviews have been automated using AI technology. Phone screen and interview is now done online via video screening and interviews. Even documentation is now done online. However, looking at the process, essentially the continuum is still the same.
He then mentioned how platforms like Tinder and Matched.com created an approach that can be applied to the recruitment industry, speeding up the process with better results.
Here is how Evan put it: “I actually think that video first, is really gonna transform this whole industry. I’m gonna post up a job, I’m going to look at videos and there’s gonna be this transaction very much like the Tinderization of recruiting. I’m going to look at a resume, I’m going to look at a video of a candidate, if I’m interested in them, I’m gonna swipe left. They will get a notification that there’s a job, do they want to see it? If they are interested, fantastic I will move on from there. We have seen internally, video screening, shorten the entire end to end process” Hear how this method worked amazingly for Recruiter.com.
Can Too Much Technological Disruption “Dehumanize” the Recruitment Industry?
Looking at automated recruitment platforms online, we cannot rule out the possibility of eliminating the ‘human factor’ in the process. With aggregated resumes and talent pools available online on these platforms, a client can simply submit his requirements for a certain candidate and simply wait for potential candidates.
Could this discourage them from speaking to a recruiter or recruitment specialist? Would too much technological disruption ‘dehumanize’ and negatively impact the industry? Here is what Evan thinks. “We are really an on-demand platform for recruiters. So what we are really doing now is we bring opportunities to recruiters, on-demand. The recruiters are paid, either by the hour, by project, by success, but our fastest growing area is really on-demand recruiters. We really believe our mandate - ‘recruit talent faster and better.” He then added, “I think the shift that we are gonna start to see is recruiters being treated not like a real estate broker… recruiters are not a real estate broker, they are an attorney. They should be treated as a doctor, they should be treated as a specialist… the human element of recruiting, is a professional, is a serious professional.”
In our conversation, Evan acknowledged the critical role of the “human element” in recruitment and aims to transition to a point where recruiters are perceived as serious professionals with extensive expertise in understanding the needs of their clients and candidates. In creating a platform like recruitment.com, the objective is to give opportunities to small and independent recruiters and empower them.
The Sohn Conference Foundation
While building a career growing and advising businesses in the technology sector, Evan co-founded the Ira Sohn Conference Foundation in honor of his brother, a Wall Street professional who lost his battle with cancer at age 29. Now in 11 cities, 10 countries, and 5 continents, they have now raised more than 90 Million USD for pediatric oncology. If you also wish to make a serious impact on children, please refer to the link in the below section to know how you can help.
Evan Sohn Bio and Contact Info
Chairman and CEO of Recruiter.com. Evan is a veteran entrepreneur and visionary executive and expert in disruptive technologies in industries as far as wide as online marketplaces, payments, Wi-Fi and Instant Messaging data security, handheld development, and mobile computing. Most recently the Vice President Sales, North America Financial Services for Poynt (acquired by GoDaddy in 2020), a silicon valley company building and deploying the world’s first open smart terminal. Through Evan’s efforts, Poynt went from $0 in revenue to over $30M in the 3 years that he was at Poynt. Separately, Evan has been a dedicated and energetic advocate of a cure for pediatric cancer for almost 25 years. While building a career growing and advising businesses in the technology sector, Evan co-founded the Ira Sohn Conference Foundation in honor of his brother, a Wall Street professional who lost his battle with cancer at age 29. The Foundation has expanded its reach to include conferences in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, London, San Francisco, San Paolo, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Toronto. To date, the Conferences have raised over $90million towards pediatric cancer and other childhood diseases.Evan on LinkedIn Evan on Twitter @esohn Recruiter.com platform link Recruiter.com Facebook Community link
People and Resources MentionedThe Sohn Conference website link Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach
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“The big hypocrisy of our industry is that we hire all these people for our clients yet we suck at hiring people for ourselves.”
If you agree with this statement, then you’ll love the directness and honesty of my podcast guest Monte Merz. Listen in as he shares his secrets to hiring recruitment rockstars - from the interview process, training, coaching and compensation. Hear why his firm has won multiple awards for being one of the best companies to work for in Denver and one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States.
Monte is the managing partner of High Country Group in Denver, Colorado. The group has 23 members of staff including 18 fee earners and is comprised of several different divisions: Energy Search, Executive Search, Tech Search and Staffing. Prior to launching the business in 2002, Monte spent 8 years working for some of the biggest recruiting firms in the world - from running a desk to becoming a Regional VP.
Episode Outline and Highlights[4:09] Monte’s “accidental tourist” story of starting his recruitment career [11:00] How Monte was promoted and fired on the same day, leading him to start his own recruiting firm [15:35] What is the “leaky bucket theory”? [17:05] Why High Country had a terrible first year in business and the actions Monte took to turn things around. [25:03] Using a process that works - Monte’s “Funnel # Plus” model. [32:18] Hear Monte’s approach to job sustainability and compensation plan. [37:04] Monte’s firm has an exceptional “per desk average” with the majority of his recruiters billing over $300,000 per year. Hear how he recruits and keeps good people. [47:30] How to recognize a rockstar - hear the qualities you should look for. [50:47] Monte’s long-term vision for his firm.
How Monte Started
Monte considers himself an accidental tourist when it comes to his recruitment career. A farm kid in Nebraska, he wanted to move to Colorado. An interview for a recruitment job gave him the opportunity he was looking for. He started running a desk and soon became a top biller in the region. What made him perform so well? The same qualities made him successful as a high-level college wrestler. His work ethic, ability to learn, leadership qualities, and having a logical approach when dealing with people. Hear his story of how he managed to get himself hired, promoted, and fired on the same day.
The “Leaky Bucket” Theory
How much do you spend on marketing for your recruitment firm? Monte believes that what makes his business successful is being really good at what they do, which is finding people. He then explained the “leaky bucket” theory:
“If you are just going out at full speed, like a, name the national, you know they’ve got 10 to 20 holes in their buckets where they are just constantly losing their clients by not delivering. You are always gonna be losing a client but if you only have like, one or two holes in your bucket, you just do really good work, and you are doing direct source recruiting and referral-based recruiting and just doing it right, there is always gonna be a spot for that.”
The Funnel-Pound-Plus Approach
Every recruiter and business owner has a business system that works for them. When hiring someone, his training is focused on keeping it short and would focus on his system or approach. Here is how Monte shared his funnel # + approach, summarized verbally:What to do (funnel) How much to do (#) How to not kill each other while you do it (plus)
During our conversation, he explains in detail how this system works and how he does the knowledge transfer to his new team members. When coaching and communicating with his recruiters, he has always been objective but solution-oriented.
A Sustainable Compensation Plan
Monte shared a simple, yet very effective approach to compensation:
“My comp plan is, I have a very aggressive comp plan. I figure that I want to pay people at such a high level that I’m never gonna lose somebody because somebody else offers them more.
If you are successful, you will never leave. If you are not being successful after a year or so … I am not the “hire slow, fire fast” guy. I am a “hire slow, fire slow” person. You can’t get fired around here for not billing. You can resign if you are not making the money you want. You don’t get fired for not billing, you can only be fired for being an A-hole.”
And the key to success? “if you do enough interviews, enough send-outs, and enough job orders, you will be successful.”
How to Look for a Rockstar
I am sure you would agree with Monte’s statement: “The big hypocrisy of our industry is that we hire all these people for people yet we suck in hiring people.” Monte’s average tenure is 18 years, and a big proportion of his people are in the “excellent” range. He shared some of his practices:Being upfront in the interview process Quality vs Quantity - “I would rather have 18 to 20 rock stars than a hundred idiots” Hire 1 to get 1, instead of the usual practice of hiring 10 to get 2.
Listen to how he interviews potential team members.
Monte Merz Bio and Contact Info
Monte Merz is the Founder and Managing Partner of The High Country Search Group. Originally from Nebraska, he moved to Denver in 1994 and got started in the Recruiting Industry at the tender age of 25. Recruiting came pretty naturally and after three years of being the top Finance and Accounting biller for the national recruiting firm everyone knows, he chose to move into a management role with another national recruiting firm everyone knows. Five years of management experience there resulted in explosive growth, unbelievable experience (good and bad), and a series of promotions that brought him responsibility for multiple offices and a Regional VP title…. as well as some internal intellectual conflict as to whether continuing down the path of the large National Recruiting firm model was really the best long term solution for him (or his teams).
In February of 2002, Monte managed to get himself promoted and subsequently fired for lack of enthusiasm for the aforementioned promotion, all in the same day… and The High Country Search Group was born. Having sworn off management and being responsible for people for good, Monte embarked on a solo recruiting career he promised would expand no further than the breakfast nook in his kitchen.
Fifteen years later, High Country has 23 employees, three Perm Groups, a Staffing Group, and multiple local and national awards for both “Fastest Growing” and “Best Company to Work For” and Monte has clearly failed on his promise to stay a simple little one-man shop.
How did this happen? He kept his promise to stay simple, it just didn’t stay a one-man shop. Simple rules, consistent execution, and almost zero turnovers lead to slow but steady growth and a local shop doing more than 10 Million Dollars in annual Revenue… and a 15-year overnight success story sort of just happened.
A farm kid from Nebraska, Monte was a 2-time All-American and 2-time Academic All-American Collegiate wrestler. He was a Volunteer Graduate Assistant Wrestling Coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes, and in 2016 at age 46, clocked his first sub-3 hour marathon at the 2016 Boston Marathon. Don’t be overly fooled by the country jargon, he’s about as laid back as it comes, but at the end of the day, he’s an incredibly competitive, process-driven, numbers guy. And, if you give him a listen, you might just find some simple wisdom that resonates.Monte on LinkedIn High Country Search Group website link
People and Resources MentionedJordan Rayboy on LinkedIn Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #46 How to Run a Million Dollar Recruiting Firm From Your RV, with Jordan Rayboy
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Like most recruiters, Norwood Staffing’s sales took a nosedive in March 2020.
They were coming off a record year, having achieved growth of 504% in 2019. That trend looked set to continue and the business was booming at the beginning of 2020. Suddenly in March, the Coronavirus hit and sales came crashing back down to earth. From averaging 60 recs in Q1, they went to zero jobs in Q2.
Yet in spite of a terrible Q2 and Q3, Norwood Staffing bounced back and went on to have a record year with revenue growth of 891%. Listen into my interview with Norwood’s founder and president, Justin Satterfield as he explains the factors that contributed to their extraordinary come back.
Episode Outline and Highlights[2:01] How Norwood Staffing dealt with the pandemic after a strong 2019. [8:30] Hiring more people while your revenue is decreasing - what was Justin thinking? [16:05] Justin reveals how he got 891% revenue growth during the pandemic. [23:04] Insightful idea on managing your team in a difficult time. [27:33] Physical conferences vs. virtual events - which would you prefer? [36:46] What was Justin’s biggest challenge in growing his business? [43:05] Continuous growth: Norwood Staffing’s mid and long term plans. [48:52] Recruiting recruiters: 4 keys to attracting and retaining the best people [57:55] What’s Justin reading? Here are his latest book recommendations.
How Justin Grew Revenue by 891% During the Pandemic
In our last conversation beginning of the year 2020, Justin and I talked about how he built his company close to a million dollars in the first three years before the pandemic. Justin shared, “We were really coming out of a strong 2019, I was very excited about 2020. Twenty-nineteen was our first year to have a team… we grew 504% that year. So going into 2020 I’m pumped, right? This is just going to be an incredible year.”
Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. This is how he described the impact “Rolling into Q1, we were averaging 60+ recs on the board, we were doing absolutely fantastic, really moving along. Then March came. A lot of people were like, ‘Oh, you’re in healthcare, I’m sure staffing is great in healthcare.’ No. No, it wasn’t.” From averaging 60 recs, they went to zero jobs in Q2.
How did Justin adapt to the challenge? It started with his mindset. “This is where real business leaders are defined. There is always an opportunity, no matter what the market is.” He considered the market at the time as a ‘great time to hire.’ He focused on the opportunity and built his team. Having grown by 504% in 2019, they achieved another record year in 2020 growing by 891%!
Be the Positive in Someone’s Day
One of the main contributors to Norwood Staffing’s incredible growth during the recession is the relationships they were able to build pre-pandemic. As it was really difficult to start new contracts last year, Justin’s approach was simple, “it was really just sticking to the folks that we already built relationships with and vetting that out. Really not much more to it.”
Referring to the relationships he build over the years, how did Justin keep in touch without seeming too “salesy” or just asking for business? Justin shared, “Picking up a phone and having a conversation. Everybody was having a tough time… be a human. Let’s have a conversation, be the positive in someone’s day.”
Hiring Process to Bring in the Best Recruiters
Recruiting & staffing firm owners know how difficult it can be to hire superstar recruiters for your own team. We discussed the high attrition rate that is common in our industry and how Justin focuses on hiring rockstars and retaining them for the long term. Justin shared his best practices:Maintain a really good brand Pay your people well Treating people like adults Vet out the candidate’s personality and philosophy
Considering the finite talent pool of experienced top-performers, how is Justin able to build his team of superstars remotely? Listen to the full interview to learn Justin’s strategy!
Justin Satterfield Bio and Contact Info
Justin Satterfield has always been a huge people-person, and the notion that the good life is built with good relationships is the foundation of his personal philosophy and lifestyle. Whether he is spending time with a close friend or meeting someone in passing, he cherishes good conversation and revels in the opportunity to make a lasting memory. Justin was also the kid loading up his lunchbox with candy from home and selling it at school in the 3rd grade (great margins, thanks Mom!).
So, it is no surprise that he now works in an industry where his love for people and business is a happy marriage. Knowing his efforts impact the bottom line and coaching the talent he works with to attain the unattainable is what motivates him to bring his maverick personality to seek mastery in this ever-evolving industry.
After gaining valuable experience with a start-up staffing agency, he joined one of the largest firms in the nation where he climbed to the top 4% in the company across all industries in less than two years. He was a key contributor in taking a relatively new HIM staffing team from the start-up phase to the highest-grossing team in the company. Creating a new business with over 150 hospitals and 5 consulting groups across 27 states, he gained the experience, knowledge and reputation he needed to pursue his own dreams — Welcome to Norwood Staffing Solutions.
Founded in 2016, Norwood has remained privately owned with no investors, partnerships or financial backing. His bootstrapped company is quickly becoming a well-known competitor in the industry supporting a number of large health systems nationally with trusted sourcing and successful placements.Justin on LinkedIn Justin (at) NorwoodStaffing.com Justin’s company: Norwood Staffing
People and Resources MentionedAbid Hamid on Linked James Cann on LinkedIn Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Jonathan Haidt Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business, Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #5 How Justin Satterfield Hit $1M Within 2 Years of Starting A Recruitment Agency TRR #48 Recruitment Entrepreneur: How to Start-Up and Scale an “Exit-able” Recruitment Business, with Abid Hamid
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Your recruiting clients are increasingly aware of the commercial benefits of recruiting a diverse workforce. That means they will soon expect and require their recruitment partners to be capable of delivering a diverse shortlist.
Merely claiming to be a champion of D&I isn’t enough -- clients want to see evidence that you have a process in place to deliver diverse talent. The recruiters who are able to demonstrate this capability will differentiate themselves in the marketplace and steal a march on their competitors.
To discuss how recruiters can achieve this, I invited entrepreneur Helen McGuire to join me on The Resilient Recruiter podcast.
Helen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Diversely.io, an end-to-end hiring platform that uses tech to reduce bias in the hiring process for businesses. As an award-winning entrepreneur in the diversity space, she founded the first women’s careers platform in the Middle East – Hopscotch – in 2016, which grew to a worldwide community of over 80,000 working with businesses like Facebook, Mastercard and Nestle, and expanding to Singapore in 2018.
Helen began her career in London, achieving her dream role at BBC Radio 1 in her early twenties producing award-winning shows for the likes of John Peel, Mary Anne Hobbs and Gilles Peterson. Concurrently, Helen presented her own monthly radio programme - Join The-Dots - airing in over 15 countries globally, DJ’d and wrote for top music publications and travelled the world interviewing artists. Helen was the first female resident DJ at Club 360 in Dubai and still occasionally DJ’s to this day.
Episode Outline and Highlights[2:00] Helen shares how they were awarded HRM Asia’s Top 3 Tech Start-Ups 2020. [4:15] How to check your diversity score online. [6:00] Approaching the diversity space from a technology perspective. [12:08] Unconscious bias - why should we care? [14:51] Sourcing - how to attract more candidates by changing your language [19:24] How Helen turned a massive idea into a product. [25:06] Helen shares the process of getting funding for her business [32:18] Helen reveals by far the biggest challenge that she had to overcome. [40:15] Juggling your tasks - starting a business and having a work-life balance.
Approaching the Diversity Space - from a Technology Point of View
Working in the diversity space for about six years, Helen shared what drove her passion. When she had her first baby in 2014, she very quickly realized that a lot of women (colleagues, friends) were frustrated and had to end their career - for the reason that employers could not think a little more outside the box and offer flexible working schedules to their tenured female staff members.
This moved her to create an award-winning women's careers platform - Hopscotch. The initial aim was to find women more flexibility in their careers but ended up being helpful to women of all professions. Growing rapidly, the platform gained around 80,000 in their network! With this initiative, Helen had three realizations:Diversity around women - not everybody was open to thinking about things differently The impact of unconscious bias - not only women are affected Despite the reach, she felt that she is only making a very minimal impact
This lead Helen to look for a deeper and wide-ranging solution to address the above problem.
Diversity in Sourcing - Adapting your Language
Here is something really interesting. Did you know that during sourcing, changing your language can attract 70% more diverse candidates and twice as many candidates with the skillset that you’re looking for?
Here is how Helen explained it: “Think about it from a day to day perspective. If you are speaking to your grandma, if you are speaking to a child, if you are speaking to your boss, if you are speaking to your friends, you don’t use the same language right? You don’t talk to them in exactly the same way. You use language that they understand, that helps you to have a conversation with them, that helps you to have something in common with them. The same is true when you’re sourcing.”
Listen to what else she said to support this fantastic concept and how to adapt your language to your potential candidates.
Helen McGuire Bio and Contact Info
Helen McGuire is the CEO and Co-Founder of Diversely.io, an end-to-end hiring platform that uses tech to reduce bias in the hiring process for businesses. To scale the impact of her work Helen joined the renowned tech start-up accelerator programme, Antler, in January 2020 and the idea for Diversely was born. Joining forces with her Diversely co-founder and CPO, Hayley Bakker, in April of the same year, the vision for the company is to reduce workplace bias for all those from under-represented groups - not just women – by creating a scalable, global solution through the use of AI-driven tech. The company successfully completed its pre-seed round in November of 2020 and has a five-strong team working to deliver online solutions for its clients in beta, with a full launch expected in Q2 2021. Helen’s focus is on the marketing, content and sales side of the business and she regularly speaks globally on the topics of diversity, equality and inclusion.
Helen is also a mother of three young children - Clementine (6), Arlo (4) and Iris (2) and lives with her husband, Justin, and their English bulldog, Percy, in Singapore. She is a passionate speaker, writer and photographer, a proud part-time vegan and loves fashion, horses and travel.Helen on LinkedIn Diversely website link
People and Resources MentionedJustine McGuire on LinkedIn Nikki Dallas on LinkedIn Hayley Bakker on LinkedIn Jonathan Coxon on LinkedIn Alex Elliot on LinkedIn Antler website link Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #42 Childhood Friends Who Are Building a Global Recruitment Empire with Offices in 10 Countries, with Dan Matthews and Justin McGuire TRR # 2 Setting Up A Recruitment Business For Scale with Jonathan Coxon and Alex Elliot
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If you’ve ever faced major challenges, disappointments or setbacks in your recruitment career, you’ll really relate to and enjoy my interview with Will Bourne.
Will is the founder of Rekall Consulting, a recruiting firm based in Birmingham specializing in talent acquisition outsourcing for startup and scaleup technology companies. He is a former competitive martial artist, he has been in the recruiting industry for 10 years and recently launched his own business. He’s the author of a new book, “The Fight for Your Life.”
In this conversation, Will is totally open and honest about his struggle with mental health issues. Although it’s slowly getting better, the recruitment industry's competitive culture hasn’t always been conducive to mental health and wellbeing. To hear more about this very important topic, listen in as Will reveals how the biggest fight of his life wasn’t in the dojo or in the ring - it was with depression and anxiety. He hopes that by sharing his personal experience, it might help at least one person. Maybe that person is you?
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:20] Will’s amazing story - from quitting school to starting a technology recruitment business. [12:30] Competitive martial arts and its crossover with recruiting. [26:14] Will opens up about mental health - from being a successful top-biller to having a mental breakdown and then rebuilding his physical and mental health. [30:36] Will talks about his book, “The Fight for Your Life” [38:00] How modifying your self-talk and being aware of the words you use habitually can help your mental health. [45:00] Will discusses his work with the mental health charity, Mind.org. [47:09] Is the recruiting industry’s culture prone to mental health issues? [52:10] Will’s business model and hitting his 12-month goal within 90 days
From Leaving School Early to Succeeding in Recruitment
Interesting is an understatement to discuss Will’s story on how he got to his current recruitment career path. Will left school early, feeling that the traditional education system wasn’t for him. His first job was washing cars. Motivated by his brother, he went back to college and completed his high-school education and enrolled in university. At the time that he was also competing in martial arts - he still felt that university life was not for him and left after a year.
He then landed a job at a bank, from a telesales position to being promoted to a management role. He then left a very secure position with the bank to pursue a recruitment career, starting back at the bottom as a candidate sourcer. Was all the risk he took to walk away from everything and re-start his career worth it at that point? What were the mistakes he made and what did he learn from them?
A Healthy Discussion on Mental Health
“I never really gave mental health a second thought… it wasn’t even on my radar. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that nobody’s safe from it… mental health is still one of the most sensitive things that you can try and protect.”
Recalling his experience, Will shares the three separate life events that knocked him sideways and in combination contributed to his mental health crisis. Firstly, the breakdown of a relationship. Secondly, a big setback financially. Finally, the death of his stepdad, which was completely unexpected. All of it just culminated and he fell into a deep depression. He also added, “I didn’t understand it for quite a while. Everybody was saying to me, ‘just snap out of it’, ‘what’s wrong with you...’ I didn’t know what was going on and I went to speak to the doctor, I filled out a questionnaire which was like 10 questions. And after that questionnaire, it was a case of ‘anxiety depression.’” Back then, Will felt that there was not much great mental health care available. This is why he believes it is important to talk about this topic and make it a lot more accessible and have people talk about it openly. This moved Will to write a book, “The Fight for Your Life”. Hear Will talk about how he came about writing this book and see the link below on where you can get it.
Will supports the mental health charity, Mind. He does consultation and supports helping organizations through seminars in creating a better mental health environment in the workplace. Will said, “I learned a lot from that. What you get back from volunteering, I can’t recommend enough to anybody listening, if you got time and if you got the mental capacity to volunteer on something, what you get out of it is insurmountable.”
If you want to know more about this organization, you may refer to the link in the below section.
Will Bourne Bio and Contact Info
Will started his journey in recruitment after an injury put a stop to his developing career in competitive martial arts. Since then Will has been a top biller, top-performing team manager, has launched as a funded startup, been the MD of one of the UK's biggest fintech recruitment companies and more recently Will has decided to do the startup journey all over again, this time with his own money, during a pandemic. Not to mention during the above process having a mental breakdown, being diagnosed and medicated for anxiety depression but ultimately bouncing back to the man you hear speaking today. Depression anxiety and medication-free, and missing some of his ribs...Will on LinkedIn Rekall Consulting website link Rekall Consulting on Facebook Rekall Consulting on Youtube Rekall Consulting on Instagram
People and Resources MentionedThe Fight For Your Life (The Fight Mentality Series Book 1) Mind Charity website link Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach
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When the NBA shut down due to the Coronavirus on March 11, 2020, Joe Rice knew immediately that his hospitality search firm, Joseph David International, would soon be in serious trouble. He also knew that he wasn’t going down without a fight!
In this episode, listen into my conversation with Joe as he describes how they immediately pivoted to a brand new market sector and finished out the year on their best-ever quarterly performance.
Joe’s story is highly relevant and relatable, and he doesn’t hold back. Listen in to discover his biggest lessons and takeaways that can be applied by any recruitment business owner who aspires to build (or rebuild) a 7-figure firm.
Episode Outline and Highlights[3:05] Joe shares his first experience in the Pinnacle Society and his ‘intense’ encounter with Jordan Rayboy. [6:10] A critical and timely pivot - listen to how Joe dealt with the pandemic. [12:30] Joe shared the steps he took when re-starting his business and our discussion about building your database. [20:20] Shifting from solo full desk production to assuming the CEO role - Joe’s shares his transition. [22:40] “Barbaric, caveman-like recruiting” and going back to the fundamentals of good old-fashioned hard work. [29:30] Operating in faith, listen to Joe’s encouraging realizations when his company underwent trying times. [38:55] The mindset and mentality of a top producer. [44:36] What 2021 looks like for JDI. [48:41] Joe talks about the MogulRecruiter platform.
A Difficult but Necessary Pivot
Joe started his recruitment career around 2005 and with a core focus on the hospitality industry. With the implementation of lockdowns and mobility restrictions, hospitality is one of the most impacted industries during the pandemic. How was Joe able to deal with this sudden change?
He started “I didn’t go full time recruiting until ‘06 but it was all hospitality then… I worked for hospitality from that point, until last year. That is all I ever did.” A critical moment hit him around February 2020 when he attended a conference called ALIS (American Lodging Investment Summit) and CEO Chris Cahill of Accor Hotel connected with him. In a call, he was told by Chris, “Joe, I can’t believe nobody’s paying attention to this thing… the coronavirus… Joe, it’s unreal to me, nobody is paying attention. The hotel industry is not paying attention. No one. And it’s coming, it is coming I promise.” This got Joe asking around and realized not many people he knew at that time was aware of what was coming.
This realization helped to prepare Joe and his team. A point came when he dropped everything in hospitality and pivoted to healthcare. His actions were timely and it proved valuable when clients from the hotel industry started telling them that their services were no longer needed.
“Barbaric, Caveman-like Recruiting” and Going Back to the Fundamentals
Joe and I had a discussion about the definition of ‘hard work’ in a recruiter’s field. Transitioning from hiring hospitality professionals to hiring healthcare professionals, what Joe realized is the importance of hard work and going back to the fundamentals. This is how he revealed his realizations, “I get to have a very stark contrast when I did jump back into full desk eventually. This business hasn’t really changed that much. It’s eerie, that it is one of the few businesses that has not really innovated much. They tried to innovate, but they really haven't. And the way that we made this turn, was good old-fashioned hard work. There was nothing scientific or magical beyond getting the data and at that point, it was phone calls, email, and activity.”
Joe added, “It was just, barbaric, caveman-like recruiting.”
A typical day for Joe was making 70 phone calls to try to get business and sending out email campaigns. A lot may have forgotten the fundamentals of recruitment - persistence, hustle and grind. Hear how this approach worked out for Joe.
A Change in Paradigm and Valuable Learnings
Undergoing trying times during this pandemic, hear Joe reveal his valuable learnings and realizations. Some of them are:The importance of persistence and hard work Having the awareness of how blessed you really are. The importance of a team.
Trust me, you will want to hear it from Joe. His firsthand experience is definitely relatable to a lot of recruiters who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
Joe Rice Bio and Contact Info
Joe is a Managing Partner and Founder of Joseph David International (JDI), twice recognized by Forbes as one of the best executive recruiting firms in America. He is also a partner in MogulRecruiter, a technology platform that provides recruiting, booking and talent solutions for service leaders. His recruiting career started in 2005 with Snelling Hospitality with a specialty in executive search, consulting, talent acquisition, and organizational leadership.Joe on LinkedIn Joseph David International (JDI) website link JDI on Facebook JDI on Twitter @JDIsearch JDI on Instagram MogulRecruiter website link
People and Resources MentionedMichael Talarico on LinkedIn Jordan Rayboy on Linkedin Jeremy Sisemore on LinkedIn Interseller - email campaign tool website link Pinnacle Society website link Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR#46 How to Run a Million Dollar Recruiting Firm From Your RV, with Jordan Rayboy TRR#35 Inner Grit: The Traits of a Big Biller, with Jeremy Sisemore
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The classic contingency recruitment model is outdated and wide open for disruption.
Not only is the traditional multi-agency approach to recruitment grossly inefficient but it’s often a deeply unsatisfying experience for all parties, including the recruiter, the client and the candidates.
This is especially true for fast-growing technology companies who are scaling rapidly and running into challenges with talent acquisition.
In this episode, my special guest Doeke Geertsma explains how he identified a gap in the tech recruiting space and created an innovative solution to meet the demands of this market.
Doeke is the founder and CEO of WeAreKeen, based in Amsterdam with clients throughout Europe. WeAreKeen provides RPO services for fast-scaling technology companies. Specifically, they provide highly skilled tech recruiters who are embedded within the client’s team on a subscription basis.
Episode Outline and Highlights[3:30] Doeke explains WeAreKeen’s business model and how it started. [9:23] An existing market-gap that led to launching a ‘talent-embedded acquisition’ business model. [17:11] Hear about Keen Academy and how it creates a talent pool of tech recruiters for WeAreKeen. [23:39] Doeke shares the roadblocks and challenges when launching his business. [32:20] WeAreKeen’ strategy for adding value to the tech recruiter community and investing for the long term. [42:30] A walkthrough WeAreKeen’s approach to business development. [50:30] Discussion on sales touchpoints and continuous nurturing of relationships. [54:16] Doeke’s biggest learning - what would be done differently if given a second chance?
WeAreKeen’s Embedded Talent Acquisition Business Model
When offered an opportunity to work in Berlin, Doeke saw the increasing demand for tech recruiters. He saw a trend - tech companies picking up funding and embarking on a massive growth program only to run into major challenges. As Doeke stated, “And you see them struggling and the result of the struggle is always the same. They started looking for people, they weren’t there. They will start hooking up agencies, of course, there were agencies, but that didn’t solve the issue because then they start working with let’s say 5 or 10 different agencies and then the amount of work will not necessarily decrease.” This observation inspired Doeke to launch his own business to solve this specific challenge he heard over and over from founders of tech companies.
From a high-level perspective, WeAreKeen’s business model can be summarized as:Adding extra specialized capacity to the client’s recruitment team Subscription type business model: projects would run within 6-18 months They specialize in tech recruiters - meeting the demands of clients scaling very rapidly
Hear in detail Doeke’s strategy on adding value and meeting client’s end-to-end recruitment needs - from designing recruitment strategies, branding, and hiring plans.
Adding Value to the Tech-Recruiter Community
Despite the pandemic, Doeke’s company was able to further add value to the tech recruitment community through webinar series, snackable contents, and masterclasses which are mostly offered for free. This continuous platform for learning and education aims to reach tech professionals and recruiters. Although there is no immediate drastic monetary value, this helps WeAreKeen to establish brand equity and massively elevates their standing and reputation in the market place.
Doeke believes that being authentic is most important in providing this type of service. As he said, “I really am a strong believer in the networking thing and being transparent and adding value… I think what to me is really important, it might sound a bit cliche, but there is a certain type of authenticity about it I think that people feel and like.”
He also added, “This may not give us the most growth in the short term, but in the long term I am a firm believer that this will bring us out on top basically because we like what we do and… we are in it to do an amazing job. If we see an opportunity to add value besides closing a deal then we’ll do it anyway because it will bring us more in the long run, right?”
Doeke is an avid supporter of Sheltersuit, a non-profit that designs and manufactures multifunctional products that provide immediate shelter to people experiencing homelessness. If you wish to donate and support, you may refer to the link below.
Doeke Geertsma Bio and Contact Info
Before starting as an entrepreneur Doeke had been active in the staffing industry for more than a decade with several international leadership roles. In his last position, Doeke helped set-up a new entity in Germany. It was in this role Doeke fell in love with Berlin and the technology scene. This was also the place where the business idea for WeAreKeen came to be. Providing RPO services to fast scaling technology companies and addressing the gap for well-trained tech recruiters.Doeke on LinkedIn WeAreKeen website link WeAreKeen on Facebook WeAreKeen on Instagram WeAreKeen on Youtube
People and Resources MentionedSheltersuit website link Adriaan Kolff on LinkedIn Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach
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Do you want to build a recruitment business that operates without your day to day involvement and maybe even sell it someday?
If so, you’ll really enjoy my interview with Joel Slenning.
Joel is the President of Innova People, a healthcare and IT staffing agency based in Oregon. Prior to that, Joel was the founder and CEO of Icon Medical Network, a locum tenens provider which he scaled to £16,000,000 before selling in 2019.
Most recruitment firms are “lifestyle” businesses run by owner-operators. Few recruitment businesses ever grow beyond 5-10 people, and fewer still give the owner the potential for an exit. There is a simple reason for that - scaling up your staffing and recruiting is extremely challenging.
In this episode, Joel breaks down exactly how he was able to rapidly scale his recruitment business and gives detailed advice on how to structure the firm, bring the right people on board at the right time, and set them up for success.
Episode Outline and Highlights[4:30] Starting a recruitment firm during the recession - hear Joel’s journey of “going out on his own in the worst market possible” [9:35] What Joel is trying to achieve - and why [12:30] Joel describes the “scary” first 12 months of starting the business [16:30] How hiring a virtual assistant can help you increase productivity [18:35] When to make your first or second hire - listen to Joel’s revenue-based “12 months” rule and other hiring principles when scaling [27:22] How to use metrics to make sure everyone is on the right track [36:10] Reality Check: So you want to scale your recruiting business? Here’s what you should expect… [44:55] The importance of closely tracking your ‘first-time interviews” [47:10] Key roles and responsibilities you have to bring in so you can free up yourself and scale your business
Building a Recruitment Firm During the Recession
Joel is not only a successful recruiter, but he is also a successful firm founder who built a scalable business model. It started around about the time of the last big recession. Not the best time to start a firm, and as he said, “For some reason, I had this crazy notion that I needed to go out on my own in the worst market possible.”
Some of the business philosophies he mentioned are the following:Lay the foundation - have specific values for your company. Surround your recruiters with tools to make their job easier for them to focus on deal-making. Surround your talents with other talented people. Replicate this business model to different disciplines in healthcare.
Setting the Metrics for Successful Hires
When I asked Joel about the hiring metrics that he used to allow him to know that they’ve hired someone on the right track, he admitted that it was not easy at first and they also made mistakes. As Joel puts it, “Early on, we totally screwed it up, you know, 10 times over.” One question he had to solve was, how can you measure the contribution of someone who is not making placements? He realized key metrics - key components of the business that were being done. Some of the key pointers that Joel shared when setting the metrics are as follows:Set a number of calls/emails a day Set a number of people that they can connect with Set a number of jobs that they can pitch (hear the why and the how of this metric)
On the above, an excellent example that Joel stated was setting a minimum of 45 outbound calls a day, resulting in at least 2 to 3 connections where they are pitching, typically resulting in 1 submission. Setting the metric is just the beginning, hear the rest from Joel on the specifics on how this system is being applied and the results it produced.
Joel Slenning Bio and Contact Info
Joel is a talent acquisition expert, talent strategist, tech investor, and tech startup guru based in Portland, Oregon. With a recruitment career spanning for more than 20 years, Joel has always been a consistent top performer and an award-winning billing manager. He is the president of INNOVA People, a Human Resources Solutions agency that utilizes AI platforms to solve complex HR problems mainly focused on healthcare and information technology.Joel on LinkedIn Email address: email@example.com Innova People website link Innova People on Facebook
People and Resources MentionedJordan Rayboy on LinkedIn Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR#46 How to Run a Million Dollar Recruiting Firm From Your RV, with Jordan Rayboy
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Recruiters, are you prepared for the threats and opportunities that will affect our industry as we enter the early stages of a fourth industrial revolution, characterized by the rise of robots and Artificial Intelligence?
As the trend towards automation gathers pace, there will be seismic shifts in the global labor market. Many jobs will disappear completely while entirely new types of jobs will be created.
How will these changes affect you as a recruiter or recruitment business owner?
To help answer this question, I asked Jeff Wald, best-selling author of The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations, to share his insights with listeners of my podcast.
Jeff is an angel investor and startup advisor, having built and sold multiple technology companies. He was the founder of WorkMarket, an enterprise software platform that enables companies to manage their freelancers which he sold to ADP in 2018. He is also the founder of Spinback which he sold to salesforce.com. Jeff frequently speaks at conferences and in media on the future of work.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:48] How Jeff got into the field of the work market and on-demand labour. [4:11] Jeff shares the first business failure that bankrupted him. Listen to his learnings from this experience. [11:25] Hear an insightful discussion on the future of work and the fourth industrial revolution. [18:24] Post-pandemic near and long term effects. [25:56] Jeff elaborates more on the fourth industrial revolution - will tech eventually replace the majority of workforce functions? Hear the numbers. [38:00] Economic and social dislocation and its impact on the fourth industrial revolution. [40:15] The future of On-Demand Labour. [45:00] Jeff reveals why he wrote his bestselling book, the End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations. [53:00] How Jeff’s Tony-Award winning production fits into his career.
A Firm Believer of the Growth Mindset
In our conversation, Jeff shared one of the most significant backstories in his career: a business failure that bankrupted him to his last dollar. As you listen to the details, you will also feel Jeff’s frustration. Despite having beautiful concepts and business plans, the fallout was caused by stakeholders not getting along. It was really difficult to see the learnings while you are in the midst of the storm. As he said, “I’m a huge believer in the growth mindset… this is a learning experience, it’s tough to see when you’re in it… Everybody was saying, ‘oh you’re gonna look back at this and think it’s so great’ and I was like, ‘Ah, shut up! I don’t want to hear that.’ Because you don’t want to hear it at the time but it is certainly true.”
A lot of recruiters and recruitment business owners might have experienced the same since last year because of the challenges brought about by the pandemic. If Jeff could give any advice to struggling recruiters, what would it be? Below are the highlights:Failure is critical to learning. Jeff said, “If you’re gonna do three startups and one of them has to fail and bankrupt you, have it be the first.” Be data-driven but remember that not everything is not within your control. The biggest variable that will determine your success is you. Your ability to push through and be resilient is the most important variable. There are times that the most intelligent thing to do is to fold it up.
The Future of the Work Market
Given the current situation and that we are in the early stages of what many are calling ‘fourth industrial revolution (robots and AI)’, what predictions can Jeff make about the future of work? He gave really interesting and insightful inputs. “I will say this, history tends to rhyme…” is how he started his response. A valid point he raised: it is best to look at how we reacted to the first three industrial revolutions to see how society might react to the fourth revolution.
For the past three industrial revolutions (mechanization, electrification, computerization) this is what was seen:In the beginning, people started to “freak out” and were fearful of losing jobs In the middle, job losses, economic and social disruptions occur, but at the same time, lower cost of production and greater output happens as well as an increase in the number of jobs. In the end, there are more jobs, higher standards of living, and people that work fewer hours.
Jeff concludes, “And so as we look at the fourth… I am confident that there will be many differences in this industrial revolution. It will happen quicker, it will be more global, productivity increases might actually be greater, I am very confident that we will see higher standards of living, more jobs, and people working fewer hours.”
Jeff Wald Bio and Contact Info
Jeff is a serial entrepreneur, Board Member, Best Selling Author, Keynote speaker and investor. Jeff’s most recent company, Work Market, an enterprise software platform that enables companies to manage freelancers was acquired by ADP in 2018. Jeff has founded several other technology companies, including Spinback, a social sharing platform (eventually purchased by salesforce.com). He began his career in finance, serving as Managing Director at activist hedge fund Barington Capital Group, a Vice President at venture capital firm GlenRock and various roles in the M&A Group at JP Morgan.
Jeff has served on numerous public and private Boards of Directors including Steel Connect (NASDAQ: STCN), Costar Technologies (OTC: CSTI) and venture-backed TransfrVR. Jeff serves as an adviser to several companies and entities including the X-Prize’s Rapid Reskilling Initiative.
Jeff is the author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller, The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations and The Birthday Rules: A Fun and Flexible Framework for Raising Children in a Technology Enabled World.
Jeff frequently speaks at conferences and in media on startups and the future of work. He was named several times as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Staffing by the Staffing Industry Analysts. He is a producer of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and the full-length feature film, Inez & Doug & Kira, which won Best Picture at several film festivals.
Jeff formerly served as an officer in the Auxiliary Unit of the New York Police Department. Jeff holds an MBA from Harvard University and an MS and BS from Cornell UniversityJeff on LinkedIn Jeff’s website link Jeff on Twitter @jeffreywald WorkMarket website link
People and Resources MentionedThe End of Jobs, by Jeff Wald Abid Hamid on LinkedIn James Caan on LinkedIn Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR#48 Recruitment Entrepreneur: How to Start-Up and Scale an “Exit-able” Recruitment Business, with Abid Hamid
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If you’re tired of being treated as a “vendor” and want to forge true partnerships with your clients, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.
Many recruiters would like to shift from a transactional business model to a more consultative, value added one. The challenge is that both the recruiter and the client are constrained by old patterns -- outdated ways of thinking and doing things. They recognize their recruitment process is incredibly inefficient but they don’t know how else to do it.
Listen in to my fascinating interview with Steven Street about how he’s disrupting the ways recruitment services are traditionally sold and delivered and creating joint-ventures with client companies to solve their talent acquisition challenges.
Since 2015, Steven has been the CEO of Cubed Talent Management - incorporating Cubed Recruitment, Indigo Healthcare Recruitment, and Cubed Academy. Cubed Talent Management brings a new approach to strategic talent management for the engineering, FMCG, electronics, manufacturing and supply chain sectors. Steven started his recruiting career over 25 years ago.
Episode Outline and Highlights[3:00] Steven shared his humble beginnings [10:18] What is Steven’s “person-to-person” principle? [20:30] How to establish a true partnership with your clients [29:05] An interesting discussion about repositioning in the recruitment sector [32:10] How to make ‘in-house’ an opportunity instead of a threat [42:30] Learn more about the joint-venture and gain-share business models [55:21] “Be an individual” - how this advice relevant to help your recruitment business
How much value do you put in professionally building real relationships with stakeholders? Steven believes that collaboration, strategic alliances, and joint ventures with clients can be an effective strategy. Explaining his guiding principles when doing business, he explained: “I’ve got high standards as an individual, and one of my many guiding principles, what I recognized very early on, was not to be a function to function, a recruiter to the hirer, supplier to customer, nor be brand to brand. I link up to whoever it might be, the client, company, but for it to be person to person. Steven to Mark. Steven to whoever it might be.”
As he further expounded, when you strip away the person’s function and the person’s position, the core of that is a person were in all likelihood, “you have shared values, world views, commonality, family, what you think, what you believe, all of that.”
Steven’s authentic relationship with clients resulted in having partners for 20 to 25 years and some of them starting as customers to ending as business partners.
Radically Repositioning the Recruitment Sector
Steven sees the current sector as being somewhat ‘undignified’ in a sense and generally having a need to mature. When recruiters are cannibalizing over each other as they go out for opportunities and leaving clients somewhere in that melee, it can be perceived as something really unprofessional and self-centered. Instead of disrupting the way recruiters work using technology or other fundamentals, Steven pointed out that very valid inputs and some of them are below:Treat your client with respect and dignity - get in their shoes and feel what it is like in the receiving end of the experience. Be collaborative and open-minded. In line with the above, Steve shared a very good example on how to explain to clients more advantageous options versus just going ‘in-house.’ Partnering with clients and the game-share model. Rethinking our relationship with clients.
To summarize, Steven stated “That’s what I mean about disrupting how we do things. It’s really nothing about the technology. It’s really nothing about the fundamentals in recruitment. It’s really about rethinking our relationship with our clients.”
Martin House Children's Hospice
Hear about this amazing charity work and how this inspires Steven to have a sense of community and keeping himself grounded. You may refer to the link below to know more about this organization and how you can help out.
Steven Street Bio and Contact Info
Got into recruitment on the ground floor - fortuitously, with Larry Gould's business Link Up in June 1993 - followed by a successful stint with Pertemps (which would have been my forever career - had I not launched Relay Recruitment in 1996; subsequently sold in 2011. Now working with an amazing handpicked team at Cubed Talent Management.
As stated on my LI profile: a human Swiss Army knife, problem solver, acquirer and nurturer of World Class talent, therapist, wine drinker, believer in a brighter future and, most importantly- lover of dogs. 🐶 Yorkshire born and bred - dragged up in Bradford.
A vociferous enemy of mediocrity, shabby service, average aspiration, poor standards and negativity.
My own personal mission is to launch a community enterprise supporting young people with Autism, Aspergers and other additional needs into dignified internships, work placements, work experience and ultimately, quality career pathways.Steven on LinkedIn Cubed Talent Management website link Cubed Resourcing website link Cubed Resourcing on Facebook
People and Resources MentionedMartin House - “Hospice care for children and young people” website link Darren Ledger on LinkedIn Plamen Ivanoff on LinkedIn Natasha Makhijani on LinkedIn Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #30 How to Open Doors and Build Relationships at C-Level, with Natasha Makhijani TRR#43 How to Transition From Contingency CV Supplier to Consultative Retained Recruiter, with Plamen Ivanoff
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Can you imagine building a salesforce of 100+ staff in 5 months with a team of only 3 recruiters? In the 50th episode of the Resilient Recruiter, my very special guest Jennifer Poloni shares how having a unique approach and consistent planning process lead to the accomplishment of this gargantuan feat.
Jennifer is the owner of the Cascadia Search Group. She started her career as a sales rep and then sales manager in pharma. After having kids she decided to join her husband in his recruiting agency which was originally part of Management Recruiters where she was a Pacesetter for 18 out of 20 years.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:25] Jennifer shares her background - shifting from a successful pharmaceutical career into recruiting. [3:40] Building a salesforce of 109 staff in five months - hear takeaways on how Jennifer’s team of three people pulled that off. Discussion key pointers: [8:00] Approach to candidate relations [14:15] Keeping the team motivated [15:33] Hiring and interviewing processes [17:09] Challenges that the team had to overcome [26:25] Dealing with HR and best practices on how to engage with all key decision-makers. [28:30] When to walk away from the business. [29:22] Differentiation - Jennifer explains an AI tool that is a great differentiator in the industry. [32:20] Planning process tips as shared by an MRI Pacesetter (18 out of 20 years.) [39:30] Cold calling best practices. [43:10] Jennifer shares her challenges and proactive approach to deal with the current pandemic and the 2007/8 recession.
Delivering on a Tall Order: Making 109 Placements in 5 Months with a Team of 3 Recruiters
How do you build a sales team of 109 people in five months with a team of only three recruiters? Jennifer explains in detail how they were able to pull it off. After sharing her story, there are the key takeaways that I heard:Nurturing the right connections and being there for the candidate - becoming a “good sounding board.” Team collaboration and dedication - delegating and dividing tasks and working closely to ensure tasks are completed. Planning and tracking - ensuring necessary tasks and logistics are taken care of efficiently. Keeping your team committed and motivated.
Successfully completing the tasks, they got a repeat order. Applying a similar process, Jennifer’s team was able to complete a hiring project of 20 representatives in just six weeks!
Plan, Plan, Plan and “Make Five More!”
Jennifer’s approach has been focused on relationship building, goal setting, and daily planning. This resulted in a very fulfilling and successful career. During her tenure at MRI, Jennifer was a Pacesetter for 18 out of 20 years and two of her team members were awarded “Rookie of the Year” in 2017 and 2018 under her leadership.
Jennifer’s planning process plays a huge part in this success. She explains: “I personally believe that this job is not a 9 to 5 job especially when you’re a brand new recruiter. I feel like you have to plan, plan, plan, and then you have to make calls, calls, calls. Now, I realize newer people are out there and they feel like emails and text messages work. But I still feel that … the foundation is making those phone calls. At the end of the day when you feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m done,” MAKE FIVE MORE.” Why the emphasis on making more calls? She added, “I just think it works. And always, that last call of the day is always the best call.”
Jennifer Poloni Bio and Contact Info
Jennifer started her career as a Pharma Sales Representative and moved up the ranks to a Sales Manager and has been an executive recruiter for 21 years. Since 1999, she has worked as a recruiter in marketing and market research for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Jennifer also won several awards for top recruiter performance while being part of MRINetwork, and continue to remain a leader across the executive recruiting industry. She is the owner of Cascadia Search Group based in Washington and also a member of the Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of Industry-Leading recruiters in North America.Jennifer on LinkedIn Cascadia Search Group on LinkedIn Cascadia Search Group website link Cascadia Search Group on Facebook
People and Resources MentionedTyler Frisbie on LinkedIn Pinnacle Society website link Loxo AI website link Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #39 7 Years to 7 Figures: From Rookie Recruiter to Million Dollar Biller, with Tyler Frisbie
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As we begin a new year, are we justified in feeling hopeful and cautiously optimistic about the market? Where do we go from here as a recruitment industry? What are the trends, challenges, threats and opportunities?
To answer these questions, I invited Neil Carberry to share his perspective as the CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). Neil’s role gives him a unique vantage point to provide insights on the recruitment industry especially on what the future looks like for recruiters.
The REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) is the leading membership organization for recruitment/staffing firms and individual recruiters in the United Kingdom. With a massive membership of around 3,300 companies and 10,000 individuals, the REC publishes industry analysis on a regular basis, including their Annual Recruitment Industry Trends Survey. This means that Neil’s insights are grounded in empirical research combined with anecdotal evidence based on hundreds of conversations with recruitment business owners.
Episode Outline and Highlights[3:35] Neil shares his insights on where we are now as an industry and what the future looks like for recruiters in 2021. [10:28] A big challenge for our industry is making a VALUE based, rather than a price based, argument for what we do [11:10] Recruitment industry trends; how recruiters can deliver more value as the labour market recovers. [14:45] Delivering more value - Neil shared a really good story on how one of their members added real value to an employer and its employees. [20:30] Current practices and innovations that are being driven in our industry. [25:30] Improving client relations: What advice would Neil give to REC members on helping our clients? [31:05] How we can recruiters rethink service offerings and stay relevant. [42:01] What’s the biggest challenge Neil faced recently in his career? [46:50] Both Mark and Neil love running - here’s why... [48:00] Battling with impostor syndrome and self-doubt.
“A Genuine Professional Service”
Discussing the real value that the industry brings to the economy, Neil highlights why recruitment is highly different from other sectors and industries and why we should be proud of what we do. He also mentioned a few aspects that also enables a recruitment business to provide a genuine professional service versus just being a transactional and price-driven type of business.Helping the client to get it right (the wrong hire can cost a client/business hundreds of thousands of pounds) Recruitment plays a vital role in employees’ long term goals Providing advice and having deep client relationships Leading the way on diversity and inclusion.
As this is easier said than done, hear real-life examples shared by Neil on how this can happen and how it changes people’s lives. To conclude this part of our conversation, Neil said that “I think we should be really proud of what we do as an industry. I think it is easy to hide away or incorrectly compare recruitment to other sectors. We change lives.”
Thoughts on Resilience, Challenges, and Kindness
When Neil and I discussed resilience, I had to ask Neil to talk about one of the biggest challenges he had to face in his career. Neil revealed, “You know when we talk about working at home? My experience in spring was not that. It was living at work. I know many, particularly recruitment business owners and operators who have felt the same. I think I had about 4 days off since March 12th.”
Neil added, “But I think the thing that I learned... is we all have a fuel tank and we need to remember that sometimes it’s pretty close to empty. So I think making sure taking time for self-care, even when it feels like there are 101 urgent things… Getting a sense of what’s important… Making sure that we’re carving out thinking time, actively throwing stuff off the back of the lorry that doesn’t need to be on the lorry … I think increasingly focusing on human relations as well because we are not seeing people everyday… We are, after all, human beings and kindness is the first thing we should start with. Kindness to ourselves, and kindness to each other.” Very valuable insights indeed!
NB - a “lorry” is a truck, for those listening outside the UK :)
Neil Carberry Bio and Contact Info
Neil Carberry was appointed as Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation in June 2018 has been managing director at the Confederation of British Industry. In 1999, Neil began his career in recruitment working for executive search firm Fraser Watson before doing a post-graduate degree in Human Resources at the London School of Economics and joining the CBI in 2004. He is a member of the council of the conciliation service ACAS and of the Low Pay Commission where he helps guide pay policy in the UK. He is also the chair of a small primary academy trust in Oxfordshire.Neil on LinkedIn Recruitment & Employment Confederation website Neil on Twitter @RECNeil
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If you had the chance to speak with a highly experienced and successful investor about scaling your recruitment businesses, what questions would you ask?
In this episode of The Resilient Recruiter, I had the opportunity to interview Abid Hamid, the Group CEO of Recruitment Entrepreneur - one of the most successful investors in start-ups and scaling recruitment businesses. Since 2014, they’ve invested in over 30 talented founders, enabling those founders to launch and scale successful business ventures. The group has annual revenues of £45m and is growing at 140% per annum.
From his vantage point, Abid has tremendous insight into why a small minority of recruitment businesses are able to scale successfully and outperform the market. I asked him, “What are you looking for in a founder that then determines whether or not you will invest in them?” Hear his response to this question and all the other insightful answers to topics covering scaling your recruitment business, embracing the new normal and reality, people management, and adapting to technology.
Episode Outline and Highlights[4:49] How has the pandemic affected Recruitment Entrepreneur's portfolio companies? [8:00] The new reality: hours contract versus an output contract - would you consider this setup? [11:40] Three examples of businesses that displayed outstanding resilience during the pandemic and what we can learn from them. [18:35] As an investor, what are the qualities Recruitment Entrepreneur is looking for in a founder that determines whether or not he will invest in them? [23:15] Deal breakers - what factors would lead Recruitment Entrepreneur to decide not to invest in a start-up or scaling recruitment business? [26:17] An investor’s insight: What challenges and opportunities await recruiters in 2021 and beyond? [33:50] Abid’s philosophy on people management and business success [44:00] How to onboard, train and manage remote recruiters - Abid’s advice on mastering recruitment one building block at a time.
Embracing the New Reality
Having multiple business portfolios, Abid has a great vantage point on how companies should embrace the new reality after the pandemic. One of the changes he is advocating for is looking at an output contract rather than the hour’s contract. He explained, “I think leadership should change its concept that nine to five is what people do. The hours contract, 40-hour contract, 30-hour contract, I think it’s a thing of the past. What you should have is an output contract.” Although this may appear counter with the way businesses have been running in the last 20 years, he laid out valid points on why this makes sense. Would you consider an output-driven contract versus an hour’s contract setup?
“Who makes the cut?”
In the last four years, Recruitment Entrepreneur has invested in 30 founders running 22 different businesses. However, that’s a small percentage of the enquiries they receive. In the last 12 months alone, they received 700 business plans from aspiring entrepreneurs and did deals with less than 1% of them.
I asked: “What are you looking for in a founder that then determines whether or not you will invest in them?”
Abid told me “Number one, it’s the individual. Why are you sitting here? What have you got in your head that you want to create?” Abid used the analogy of building your dream house and how it translates into a founder’s vision for building a business. Abid then described their process for screening a potential business partner.
People Management - a very Delicate Balance
As obvious as it sounds, people management is a critical part of business success. Abid actually described it as “a very delicate balance of allowing your people to flourish within certain parameters.” He also elaborated on leadership and how to mentor and guide people. Some great examples that he gave are:An experienced leader is someone who made a lot of mistakes. The balance is managing your people so that they can avoid the mistakes that you can probably see but they can’t. Being clear with your new-joiner on their plan from day one. Allowing your people to have a clear vision of your business. Involve your people in the objectives that you as a leader are trying to achieve. Vision leads to strategy, strategy leads to actions.
Abid Hamid Bio and Contact Info
Abid is trained as a lawyer, worked in corporate banking, and has been in the recruitment sector for the last 20 years mainly in management and leadership roles. He had worked globally within the recruitment sector and a highly experienced business leader with a wealth of experience in various industry sectors and difficult geographies around the world. Abid had held various board positions from start-up to FTSE 250 Listed company and is currently Chairman and NED for 19 companies.Abid on LinkedIn Recruitment Entrepreneur website link Recruitment Entrepreneur on LinkedIn Recruitment Entrepreneur on Facebook Recruitment Entrepreneur on Instagram Recruitment Entrepreneur on Twitter @RecEntrepreneur
People and Resources MentionedDoug Bugie on LinkedIn Armed Forces Covenant website link Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #3 The 4 Qualities of The World’s Top Recruitment Leaders, with Doug Bugie
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If you have ambitions to scale your recruiting and staffing business, then developing your company culture needs to be one of your top priorities.
On The Resilient Recruiter podcast, I’ve interviewed many founders of fast-growing recruitment companies and they all agree on the importance of creating the right culture. But what does that really mean and how do we achieve it?
“Nine out of ten companies do not have a strong functional culture.”
My special guest, Bretton Putter of CultureGene explains what makes a company culture strong and functional and why it should matter to you as a recruitment business owner. Brett also explains how to address a degrading company culture environment, especially in this challenging time of the pandemic where most employees are forced to work remotely.
Brett is an expert on company culture development. He is the founder and CEO of CultureGene, a Culture Leadership Platform helping high-growth companies build strong, functional cultures.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:25] What is company culture and why it is important for growth companies? [3:35] Codifying the culture development process - what it means. [8:28] Why invest time to be intentional on your culture versus just having one by default? [13:30] “There is no right or wrong culture, it is either strong and functional or weak and dysfunctional” What makes a culture functional? [21:55] Hear the initial steps you should take when starting the culture development journey. [32:55] Why it is impossible to hire based on “culture fit” and why you should hire for values instead. [35:49] How to address degrading company culture in a remote environment. [42:20] Brett talks about one of the most challenging experiences he has to overcome. [48:30] Brett tells the story of having lunch with Nelson Mandela.
“The way we do things right here”
Our conversation started off with how Brett would define “company culture.” He gave a straightforward response, “My definition, or the definition I like of company culture, is the way we do things around here. Which is like an all-encompassing thing, but that is deliberate. Because company culture really is the DNA of your organization and it drives everything.”
Brett also raised very two important points when talking about its importance.Where we are and how our company is adapting around this time of the pandemic is really driven by our culture. The most important thing we have to think about is that your company culture is degrading over time in most cases.
Listen to the whole conversation as Brett and I drill down further on these key points.
Invest Time to Design Your Culture
If you are a small startup, you might have hesitations about investing time to design and codify your culture. Why does it make sense to not just settle for a default culture and way of working and be proactive in designing your company culture? After doing deep-dive interviews with 50+ leaders who took it upon themselves to build a functional culture, Brett mentioned a number of solid benefits. Some of the payoffs that were mentioned are:Quoting David Cummings, “Company culture is the one sustainable competitive advantage that you have complete control over.” The glue to your team is your company culture - without it, you will not get the right behaviors. It helps you attract better talent. Among other things, having a functional culture can help your company out-position others that do not.
The CEO Must Get It
Taking the culture-building journey starts with the most important step: the CEO must get it. Culture starts from the top and trickles down below. Brett discussed the critical parts of creating a functional and strong culture:Define your values. This involves understanding two things: What the actual current culture is? What is the aspirational culture? Define the expected behaviours against your values. This involves being really clear with how the members should interpret these values.
Listen to how Brett illustrates the above critical points as well as their practical application.
Bretton Putter Bio and Contact Info
Prior to founding CultureGene Brett ran an international executive search firm working with high-growth tech companies to expand their senior executive teams in Europe and the US. His first book Culture Decks Decoded was published in 2018 and his second book, Own Your Culture: How to Define, Embed and Manage your Company Culture was published in September 2020. He writes a popular blog on culture-driven companies and is a sought-after speaker.Brett on LinkedIn Brett on Twitter @BrettonPutter CultureGene website link: https://www.culturegene.ai/ CultureGene on Facebook
People and Resources MentionedOwn Your Culture, by Bretton Putter Culture Decks Decoded, by Bretton Putter Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh Edgar Schein on LinkedIn David Cummings company culture blog page Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call: www.recruitmentcoach.com/strategy-session/ Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach
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