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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Imagine having total freedom to run your recruitment business from anywhere. Instead of postponing your dreams of travel and adventure until retirement, what if you could create the ultimate lifestyle business and live life on your terms?
That’s what Jordan Rayboy set out to do in 2006 when he launched his search firm, Rayboy Insider Search. When he went out on his own, Jordan had a non-compete agreement with a 200-mile radius. He got around it by getting an RV and running his business from the road.
Since then he’s billed millions in placement fees by leveraging technology and managing a virtual team way before Covid-19 forced the world to embrace remote working.
In this episode, Jordan shares his inspiring and practical advice on planning, productivity, and the importance of having a peer group. Plus how he manages a remote team working across different time zones.
Jordan’s a popular speaker at recruiting conferences and has been interviewed many times. What’s unique and special about this interview is that Jordan speaks publicly for the first time since the pandemic started about his own struggles with mental health in 2020.
Episode Outline and Highlights[2:43] Jordan speaks up about mental health and shares his recent struggles [19:14] What inspired Jordan to get an RV and take his business on the road? [27:26] The power of the peer group [35:20] How Jordan leverages virtual teams to maximize production [41:20] Jordan’s insights from having managing remote teams since 2007 [45:45] Power Planning - hear how a million-dollar biller plans their day
Mental Health During the Pandemic
Recruiting can be stressful at the best of times. During the pandemic, most people’s stress levels have gone through the roof. It’s no wonder there’s been a rise in anxiety and depression around the world. In this interview, Jordan shares his own struggles with mental health coinciding with the onset of the pandemic.
Jordan’s courage in speaking openly about his dark times is remarkable. “I’ve been struggling lately. It's not that I've been struggling in billing… I have just been struggling on the mental health part. Probably just reading way too much bad news, believing all the fear that I’ve been feeding into my mind” said Jordan.
He said he was willing to proceed with the podcast in case by sharing his story it could help others who are going through tough times to know they’re not alone. Fortunately, things are slowly starting to get better.
Jordan shared, “I kinda feel like I'm turning a corner. Just in the past couple of days, I talked to my good buddy Monte Merz … I was talking about some of these things and he asked if I want to be part of their touchdown club. It’s like you got a point every day for working out... and you get a point every day if you don’t drink or smoke. And so the goal is to get seven points a week… I just started yesterday after I talked to him. I got out on my bike, didn’t drink anything yesterday, woke up at 5am this morning, got on my trainer bike inside… and I’m doing it, I got 3 points on the board. Just like that, I already feel more empowered because I am making better choices.”
If there are takeaways from our conversation on the subject of mental health, here they are:Self-awareness and having the courage to admit if you are not OK. Talk it out with a family member, friend, or someone you trust. News cleanse - stay away from dwelling too much on negative news. Read or listen to inspirational materials (Jordan shared a life-changing book we both read). Do not be afraid or embarrassed to speak to your doctor and seek professional help.
The Power of the Peer Group
According to Jordan, you need to surround yourself with the right peer group -- people who will have a positive influence on you and push you to get outside your comfort zone. He said, “It is kind of easy when you are all by yourself to lower your standards and allow yourself to say, ‘hey I am comfortable I have everything I need’… It is really easy to settle into that comfort zone.”
Jordan concluded, “The power of the peer group - if you are struggling, surround yourself with other badasses who are living a higher quality of life. If you want to get stronger, work out in the gym with someone stronger than you. When I was getting faster and fitter on my bike because I was getting on group rides with people who are faster and fitter than me. You run with a higher level peer group, it is going to force you to grow.” Very well-said indeed.
Planning and Success
Jordan is an advocate for what he terms “Power Planning.” Part of his success in getting his business mobile while managing a virtual team in different time zones is attributed to how he plans and his focus in executing such plans.
“Force yourself to execute on your plans, and see the results. That success will reinforce the habit.”
Jordan Rayboy Bio and Contact Info
Jordan Rayboy believes life is short, so play hard! He began recruiting in 2000 after his sophomore year of college. Six years later, he struck out on his own, forming Rayboy Insider Search. Being an impatient type-A recruiter, Jordan long ago abandoned the deferred life plan (slave, save, retire). By building an effective virtual team & leveraging technology, Jordan has run his search firm since 2006 while traveling in a tour-bus RV with his wife Jeska. They’ve raised three dogs along the way, which prepared them (kinda) for traveling with their two young children – Ryder and Hunter. They’ve covered the majority of the US and Canada during their adventure while living their dream every day (as long as the RV works).
Jordan is a 3-time Regional AE of the Year and 3 time national top-10 AE at MRI.Jordan on LinkedIn Jordan on Twitter @jordanrayboy Rayboy Insider Search website link: https://rayboyis.com/ Rayboy IS on Facebook Rayboy IS on Instagram Rayboy IS on Youtube A cause Jordan supports: Operation Underground Railroad - saves children from human trafficking. https://ourrescue.org/
People and Resources MentionedJeremy Sisemore on LinkedIn Joe Rice on LinkedIn Monte Merz on LinkedIn Atomic Habits by James Clear Untethered Soul by Michael Singer The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris The Pinnacle Society website link: https://pinnaclesociety.org/ 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 Related Podcast You Might Enjoy TRR #35 Inner Grit: The Traits of a Big Biller, with Jeremy Sisemore
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The only constant in this world is change. This certainly applies to the recruitment business - in order to succeed, you must continually evolve. How have you adapted your recruiting practice to recent changes in the market?
In this episode, you’ll hear how Cameron Boyd and his firm are adapting to this challenging new environment by doing things differently. They have introduced a flat fee structure to bring greater objectivity to the executive search process. They’re also challenging the status quo with regard to recruiter compensation by getting rid of their commission scheme. Listen in as Cameron explains why he believes the new model aligns the interests of the individual, the firm and the clients they serve.
Cameron is a partner at Smith and Wilkinson and is a 15-year veteran of the executive search industry. Cameron serves financial services companies in the eastern United States and has completed over 250 key leadership searches. As his firm’s second-largest shareholder, Cameron has been instrumental in growing the revenue by over 600% over the last ten years.
Episode Outline and Highlights[3:30] Shifting from contingency transactional model to a real client partnership on a retained basis - hear how Cameron achieved this transformation. [9:45] The theme of objectivity and fee structure - how to sell your candidates in a way that is beneficial to your client. [16:52] From contingency to retained shift - Cameron reveals details on the transition. [19:34] Money-back guarantee? Hear how this approach can work to protect your brand. [24:37] Listen to Cameron’s biggest challenge in his recruitment career and how he treats this as an opportunity. [30:37] Doing things differently in this challenging new environment - how to win new businesses. [35:11] Taking away the commission? A very interesting but unusual approach to compensation. [45:25] What advice would you give to someone shifting from contingency to retained? Hear Cameron’s thoughts. [53:00] Discussion about exercising, running, and managing mental health.
Objectivity and a Flat Fee Structure
In order to serve your clients’ best interests, Cameron firmly believes that objectivity plays a significant part. This is how he explains his concept of objectivity:
“By nature, when one candidate has a fee or different fee or no fee attached to his head than this candidate, then all objectivity goes out the window regardless of how hard we all try. Regardless of how hard the headhunter or client tries to keep in mind who is the best candidate, if one’s gonna cost you 50 grand higher or one’s gonna cost you 25 or zero to higher, you are going to take that into your calculation. So out of the window goes the idea that we are all in the same team trying to figure out who is the best fit for this role.”
In line with his concept of objectivity, Cameron believes that a flat fee structure works best: “A fee structure that allows for the headhunter to be paid regardless of who is hired, his interest is on the same side as the client.”
Turning a Challenge into an Opportunity
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for most recruitment business owners, including Cameron who said, “this is my second recession.” But rather than thinking of the recession as a challenge, Cameron chooses to regard it as an opportunity. He explains, “recessions give you time to think more strategically, contemplate where you want to grow or practice, what talent you should further cultivate.”
However, Cameron acknowledges that he’s in a very fortunate position in that he’s been financially prudent during the good years. His advice to young recruiters: “Save your money. I think it allows you to make a more objective view of the search. If you are not living or dying by the next commission check, you are gonna be more objective with your clients.”
Staying Sharp and Avoiding Complacency
The more successful you become, the more challenging it becomes to avoid becoming complacent. He offers three specific tips that have helped him to stay sharp and may work for you as well. Firstly, focus on the why. Cameron says he “keeps a family picture of my wife and my boys” on his desk. Second, seek out opportunities to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Finally, don’t get too comfortable and rely on repeat business from your established client base. Instead, continue to make marketing calls to the organizations who do not know you.
Cameron Boyd Bio and Contact Info
Cameron Boyd is a 15-year veteran of the executive search industry. Cameron spent the first 5 years of his search career with a franchise office of Sanford Rose Associates, recruiting attorneys for in-house legal departments and for local, regional, and national law firms. In 2010 he joined his current firm, now called Smith & Wilkinson, which at the time was a franchise of the MRI network. While affiliated with MRI, Cameron was the 2011 International Rookie Account Executive of the Year, a 5-time Top 50 Account Executive, a 2016 Top 10 Account Executive, and perennial Pacesetter. Cameron’s search practice is focused on serving financial services companies in the eastern US, primarily at the C-suite and Officer level. In his 10+ years with Smith & Wilkinson, he has completed over 250 key leadership searches in technology, operations, finance, lending, marketing, HR, wealth management, and risk management. Cameron has also personally led or played a key role in, 17 highly visible President/CEO searches. As the firm’s 2nd largest shareholder, he has been instrumental in the six-fold revenue growth that the company has enjoyed over the past decade and is a passionate supporter of their charitable giving initiatives. Cameron is a member of the Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of industry-leading recruitment professionals and a graduate of Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. He has personally volunteered with the local United Way as a member of its Organizational Development and Human Resources Committee and volunteered as a Meals on Wheels driver during the COVID pandemic. Cameron and his family live in coastal Maine and enjoy hiking, boating, and travel.Cameron on LinkedIn Smith and Wilkinson website link: https://www.smithandwilkinson.com/ Full Plates - A cause Cameron dearly support: https://www.fullplates.org/
People and Resources MentionedThe Pinnacle Society website link Rich Rosen on LinkedIn Paul Hallam on LinkedIn Nathan Francis on LinkedIn 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 Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy TRR #6 Habits of a Million-Dollar Biller, with Rich Rosen TRR #31 Protecting Your Team’s Mental Health While Scaling Your Search Business, with Paul Hallam
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Imagine this - you’ve worked really hard to deliver talent for your client’s urgent requirement. It was a tough spec but you found the perfect candidate. You managed to contact them, get them interested in the job, conduct a full screening interview, and submit the candidate's CV. Sadly your client changed their mind. They would not be hiring the candidate you’ve introduced, therefore no placement fee unfortunately. But after some time, you discovered that they’ve actually hired the candidate. Sound familiar?
Yes, backdoor hires can be frustrating to you as a recruiter or a recruitment business owner. Today’s episode actually deals with this dilemma as our special guest, Barry Cullen, offers very practical advice and solutions to prevent, detect, and recover losses resulting from fee disputes and backdoor hires.
Barry is the Founder and Director of introPROTECT, a London based law firm who are experts in backdoor hire and fee disputes. Barry has a unique and interesting background. Prior to training as a solicitor, he started his career as a recruiter.
Episode Outline and Highlights[0:55] Barry’s unique background and “history of failures” leading him to where he is now. [14:25] From a solicitor’s perspective - the pandemic’s impact on recruiters with clients who can’t or won’t pay their invoices. [21:26] Prevention is better than cure - 7 tips on how to prevent backdoor hires. [28:39] Sending your MPC (Most Placeable Candidate) email - what to avoid and what to include. [31:47] Barry’s take on multi-agency disputes and the right to represent. [41:20] Dealing with how the word “introduction” is commonly misunderstood in recruitment. [52:54] Barry explains the IntroPROTECT solution [54:50] In case of a business falling out with a client, what should you do first before taking the legal route? [1:01:40] If you are looking to do business internationally, what are the things you should consider from a legal perspective in case of a fee dispute?
Law Practice and Recruitment
What do law practitioners and recruiters have in common?
“I came to realize actually, that being a litigator which is what I do, is basically recruitment,” Barry’s realization came about when he transitioned from being a recruiter to becoming a solicitor. He further explained, “If you are a recruiter you’ve got a candidate. If you are a litigator you’ve got a case. They are fairly similar things, right? I’m having to convince the other side, no matter how good my case is, I’ve got to convince the other side that my case is better than theirs. So a recruiter, even if their candidate is the best candidate they have for the job, they have to convince the client that they have the best person for them. So that’s very similar.”
Of course, having multiple stakeholders, putting deals together, trying to influence people’s perception, and managing expectations are some of the things that make recruiters similar to law professionals. Barry’s experience as a recruiter enables him to marry his law expertise with the needs of his clients who are recruiters and recruitment business owners.
What can you do to Prevent Backdoor Hires?
Backdoor hires can happen. But there are some things within our control to protect our clients, ourselves, and our recruitment business. Here are some practical tips from Barry:Have your terms of business in place and have it well-drafted. Go through these terms with your client and ensure that they have explicitly agreed. Place references to your terms (ie. placing a handy URL to the terms) Do good recruitment. Don’t just send a CV out to 50,000 hiring managers. When identifying a candidate, make sure you are identifying the right people. Follow up and follow through. Get a good audit trail of everything you do.
Sending Out an MPC Email? Don’t Send a Spec CV.
For a lot of recruiters, sending out an MPC email is one of the most challenging arenas in getting their fee paid. What should you do to avoid this situation? As you’ve read in the subtitle, do not send a specific CV. Instead, you may want to consider Barry’s advice: “If you happen to send a CV to a hiring manager and somebody in that company ultimately hires that person, it is much harder to show that you should get paid and that can be an issue...Take the time to craft the summary. Here is a very brief summary of why this candidate is worth working with. Not enough to identify who they are, but enough to wet the whistle.”
Essentially a summary or teaser of the candidate’s key achievements and selling point should be sufficient. And if the client is interested, then they come back and have a conversation before you send the CV. Barry added, “The really nice thing about that as well, is if that summary is going out with your terms attach, and the hiring manager then responding to you ‘Yes please send me the CV’, your terms will probably have a provision in there that requesting CVs from the agency is deemed an acceptance provision.”
Barry Cullen Bio and Contact Info
Barry is a solicitor, specialist in recruitment, and the founder of introPROTECT, UK's leading experts on recruitment fee disputes. With over 19 years in the recruitment industry - now as a solicitor and previously at the coal face as a recruiter and agency owner, Barry has a complete understanding of the industry, its key players, and the pressures affecting them. Barry’s personal specialism is avoiding or resolving litigation by the education of opponents so that they pay or brokerage of deals to ensure the best outcome for our recruitment clients. Preventing and successfully resolving backdoor hire, rebate, and other introduction fee disputes is where Barry really thrives. Whether advising in the background, brokering a deal directly with end clients, or enforcing through the courts, Barry’s focus is on getting the best overall outcome for clients, whether by way of payment, guaranteed future business, or both.IntroPROTECT website link: http://www.introprotect.com/ IntroPROTECT on LinkedIn Barry on LinkedIn 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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When times are tough, many recruiters go into desperation mode. They drop their rates and work on every order they can get. Even before the pandemic, the norm in our industry has been a transactional, “CV supplier” style service in competition with multiple agencies. It’s an incredibly frustrating and demoralizing place to be.
So how do you change your business model to retained recruitment? How can you charge a premium and persuade clients to pay you up-front? How do you work exclusively or even win MSP (Managed Service Provider) contracts?
Well, it involves differentiating your service and shifting customer perception. That shift actually begins within your own mindset. In today’s episode, my guest Plamen Ivanoff, recommends that you start by dropping the word ‘recruiter’ from your job title!
Plamen is the Chairman of the Executive Search and Selection firm, GrassGreener Group™, and Co-Founder of technology company, i-intro®. The i-intro® process helps Recruitment
and Search firm owners successfully transition their businesses from the typical “CV supplier” transactional contingency recruitment to the more meaningful, retained recruitment and MSP (Managed Service Provider), consultative models. To date they have helped over 200 recruitment and search firms to generate £100 million in retained fees.
Episode Outline and Highlights[3:19] Plamen shares his journey in the recruitment industry. [8:09] How Plamen went from pure contingent to 100% retained [17:24] Customer perception and differentiation - finding your unique value proposition. [22:08] Instead of “New Normal”, how to focus on the “New Excellent” during this pandemic [31:20] Why it will never be the same after the coronavirus crisis and what it means to your recruitment business [42:24] What is the good news for recruitment micro-businesses? [51:45] Selling points of “risk reversal” - does a 12-month replacement guarantee make business sense? [1:00:08] Why you should drop the word “recruiter” from your job title, and what to call yourself instead.
Customer Perception and Why Differentiation Matters
The recruitment industry is fiercely competitive at the best of times. During an economic downturn, the competition is even more intense. One major element affected is price pressure. Without differentiation and unique customer perception, there is a possibility that clients would rather go to where they get the lowest price. This can lead to the gradual erosion of placement fees. Plamen quoted REC’s (Recruitment and Employment Confederation UK) statistics which shows that last year’s market benchmark on fees is 14.7%. He believes that this year’s statistics will come down lower. He emphasized the relevance of having a unique value proposition. As Plamen said:
“I believe this year’s statistics will drop down even further because of exactly the point that you make. Recruiters don’t have the option to compete on anything else because the perception is already set for the client… So some companies are going to market saying ‘I’ll take 12%, I’ll take 10%, just give me the job because I’ve got mouths to feed otherwise I will have to sack these recruiters...’ All of this is happening as we speak now. So this pressure on fees will be considerable. So [if] you provide a recruitment service that is a “me-too” recruitment service like everybody else, you are very likely to be feeling the pressure of fees. But if you take your service out of the “me-too” recruitment, and create what I call “me-only” recruitment, it is above and beyond.”
Five Stages of Behavioral Shifts in Times of Crisis
Plamen also shared five stages of behavioral shifts by business owners which is more than relevant during this economic crisis. Below is the summary:Overreaction / Fear - panic, business hibernating, putting people in furlough People looking for a new base or new normal - people starting to have more interaction online and start to adjust to the new normal. Hoping for good news - people start to look for good news and how they will position themselves to new opportunities Slow Recovery - more opportunities are starting to come in and early adapters build up relationships with clients. The Late Majority Arrival - those who just waited on what will just happen will pay the price. Positioning yourself to the forefront, being agile, and flexible is the key to do better.
Navigating in these difficult times can be challenging for both large and small recruitment businesses. But as Plamen said, those that are more agile, early adapters, will have more chances of success.
Drop the Word Recruiter From Your Title
Plamen emphasized during our conversation the importance of being consultative to your clients rather than just being transactional. As he said, “Drop the ‘recruiter’ from your title. You need to become a talent acquisition management consultant. Management consultants are associated with improvement and value add.”
Plamen Ivanoff Bio and Contact Info
Plamen Ivanoff is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of the Executive Search and Selection firm, GrassGreener Group™, and i-intro®. The i-intro® process helps Recruitment
and Search firm owners successfully transition their businesses from the typical “CV supplier” transactional contingency recruitment to the more meaningful, retained recruitment and MSP (Managed Service Provider), consultative models.
i-intro® enables recruiters to deliver to their clients an unparalleled new employee retention rate of over 96% in the first year while reducing commercial downtime and
overall cost-to-hire for employers. At the time of writing, over 1000 recruiters and 200 firms around the world have transformed their business with i-intro®, winning in excess of £100 million in retained fees.Plamen on LinkedIn i-intro website link The Wired Recruiter website link i-intro on Facebook i-intro on Twitter @iintro_ i-intro on Youtube i-intro on Instagram Free i-intro consultation
Plamen’s e-BooksDeath of Contingency Recruitment - request here. Redundant? How to Future Proof Your Recruitment Business - request here. The Rewired Recruiter - How to Reinvent Yourself for a Rapidly Changing Industry - request here.
People and Resources MentionedThe Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here by Lynda Gratton The Retained Recruiter Academy - Leveraging Content Marketing by Mark Whitby - request the video here. 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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“Our mums were best friends...” When Dan Matthews and Justin McGuire played together as children, nobody could have predicted that they would one day build a global recruitment company with offices in Amsterdam, Brisbane, Dubai, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London, New York, Perth and Singapore.
What makes this story even more remarkable is that as they grew up, Dan and Justin lost touch with one another but both ended up working in recruitment. By a remarkable coincidence, they both ended up recruiting in the same industry -- advertising, creative, marketing, communications and ultimately they both ended up starting their own businesses, independently of each other. Years later, living in different parts of the world, they reconnected and realized there were incredible synergies to be had by merging their business to become a truly global organization.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:15] Dan and Justin share their origin story - from being childhood friends to merging their recruitment businesses to form DMCG Global. [11:35] The pandemic’s impact on DMCG; how they have adapted their business model to future proof the business and accelerate growth. [17:33] The Licensee model - how Dan and Justin are giving recruiters a turn-key business opportunity to become franchisees and partners of DMCG Global. [24:25] The frustrations and challenges of growing a recruitment company that ultimately inspired Dan and Justin to create their new business model [33:10] On mental health -- Dan and Justin share their own struggles with anxiety and burnout; how Justin “hit the wall.” [41:50] How Justin has billed close to $1m this year despite a challenging market. [50:00] Diversity and Inclusion as a differentiator; the technology platform that enables clients and recruiters to source, select and hire diverse talent.
A Radical Remodelling
Dan explained how DMCG Global is reinventing their business to encourage peer autonomy, reduce cost and increase revenue. Instead of “employees” they have “partners” -- self-employed recruiters who are effectively running their own business with the benefit of being part of a global brand. Partners are provided with the technology, systems, back-office support and a dedicated marketing team. Plus ongoing mentoring and a peer community/support network. centralized support team including digital marketing and back-office functions, and providing a The support team enables the partners to focus only on recruitment - further motivated by an increased commission structure where they keep 60 - 80% of their billings.
The rationale behind this change? Dan explained: “Under the new scheme, even if someone isn’t billing that much due to the pandemic, they still take home enough to get by. But at the top end, the 80% margin, that’s a lot of money. And we worked it out, our team in London and New York were making double or three times as much as they would have made on the original model.”
Justin added, “The goal really is… we are building budding entrepreneurs. And this is a great way of them still feeling part of a family. But also being able to take away the maximum out of their earning as well. It just seems to tick all the boxes. And also, we wanted to create something that was a point of difference for our consultants ”
Definitely an exciting and interesting model, this has been very successful for DMCG so far.
Dealing with Anxiety and Burnout
When talking about the greatest adversity that they have ever faced, Justin shared that recent circumstances in this period of the pandemic has caused him to feel burnout and anxiety. He admitted that this is not something that he had experienced previously. As Justin said, “Looking back at it, I think it's just a series of small things that started to build up over time.”
How did he get through this feeling of burnout? He mentioned activities that give him a sense of normalcy and continuity. “Making sure the teams are motivated...Making sure my family was safe, secure, and happy…” He eventually felt things were going back to normal. To be open about this is truly admirable. A lot of people are going through the same situation.
If you are a recruitment business owner or recruiter, becoming aware of this feeling of overwhelm is a good starting point. As Dan also pointed out, “As a business owner... the last six months, 9 months, has been a very challenging period for everyone on the recruitment, or anyone all over the world right now. People are dealing with it in their own way. Justin has been great in actually noticing it, recognizing that, and actually dealing with it. And now coming to the other side and talking about it, that is admirable.”
DMCG Global Background and Contact Info
DMCG Global is a new recruitment agency created by the Founders of Daniel Marks, MCG&Co & SEVENTWENTY. It has 10 global offices in Brisbane, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, Perth, Sydney, and Los Angeles. DMCG has global recruitment specialists for the advertising, creative, marketing, communications and technology industries.
Co-founder Justin McGuire and Dan Matthews used to be childhood friends.
Dan has twenty years of experience in Marketing, Advertising, Creative & Digital recruitment and has worked extensively throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Globally to deliver solutions to a broad array of leading blue-chip brands, consultancies and creative agencies.
Justin began his professional career in London at the start of the digital boom, working in client servicing for a communications agency. He joined a headhunting firm based in London, setting up and leading the advertising and media business. Justin was then approached by a leading multi-national recruitment company and invited to relocate to Dubai. Following a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding two years, his experience in the communication industry combined with recruitment, training, and market knowledge, positioned him to set-up his own enterprise. MCG&Co (now DMCG Global) was born in Dubai in 2010 with a single vision: to connect the best businesses with the brightest talent in the marketing, communications and digital spaceDMCG Global website link: www.dmcgglobal.com Diversely website link: www.diversely.io DMCG Global on LinkedIn DMCG Global on Facebook Justin McGuire on LinkedIn Dan Matthews on LinkedIn
People and Resources MentionedMentioned Justin’s LinkedIn post about mental health. 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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Why should clients do business with you instead of your competition? What do you offer that is genuinely unique? Couldn’t your competitors make exactly the same claim? Are your prospects able to discern the difference between what you offer vs your closest competitors?
It’s not easy to explain how your service is better in a way that is tangible and believable. Yet it’s critical that you create a “unique value proposition” if you’re going to thrive in a saturated recruitment market - especially during tough times.
In this episode of the Resilient Recruiter, my special guests, Kevin Redman and Matt Halfpenny share their journey - the highs and lows - and discuss how they have differentiated their service from their competitors. Kevin and Matt are owners of the Property Recruitment Company, founded in 2012 with offices in London and Manchester.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:34] The how and why - Kevin tells the story of how he started the business in 2012. [6:57] Matt and Kevin unveil their “highs and lows” that they had to navigate through as leaders and entrepreneurs. [12:52] A vision of trying to be different and having a unique value proposition. [16:10] Kevin and Matt talk about differentiating themselves from the competition and what you can learn as a recruiter. [29:46] What it means to lead the change in recruitment instead of just catching up. [33:05] How the retained model can provide more options, flexibility, and a better sense of protection to your clients. [41:10] “The CV is dying” - this is a bold statement you should hear more about! [50:00] What the future holds for the property recruitment company
“Dare to be Different”
Early in our interview, Kevin and Matt shared the vision that they are working to achieve together. It is “daring to be different.” As Kevin puts it, “I think the biggest value in our business and in my world, personally, that resonates with me and our business is ‘dare to be different’… We got to be different. There are thousands of recruitment companies out there who all transfer people into jobs. We got to have a unique selling point. And I think it was exploring what is different.”
Matt also added, “The first thing I wanted to do was be different in terms of the clients or sectors we operate in. We didn’t want to go, or stay in, markets that are overly saturated in my view and actually be confident in our niche.”
Hear the different ways on how they are able to differentiate themselves from the competition and how you may be able to apply this to your own recruitment business.
The “CV is Dying”
While discussing how to keep up with the changes in the recruitment process, Kevin mentioned that the “CV is dying.” What exactly does he mean? Kevin said, “It is a bold statement...I just think now, in a world with a million different job titles, and really duties being fairly similar inside of these job titles, how do you tell? We talked a lot about the culture and as a recruiter the easiest thing for us is skill-matching. Look for a CV, you do XYZ in that CV, my job description says XYZ, that is a match, great! But look, your hiring decisions are motivated, it’s rarely on the skill, it’s cultural fit. Who is right for my organization? Who resonates with my values? … I think you can waste a lot of time looking at ‘CV to skill match’.” To emphasize, he also mentioned, “I think it’s dead because it lacks personality… our world is all about personality, we are service driven, particularly in the UK nation.”
Matt added, “If you look at the CV, how many times does a hiring manager look there and go either, “Wow they’ve worked at that place, they must be great,” or “They’ve worked for this organization they must be terrible.” These very quick assumptions based on length of service, who they work for, all of that, can be mitigated, all of that risk can be reduced, by showcasing another side of them. For us that is usually a recorded Q&A, still got a bit of competency into it. Shows personality, delves into some of the values and experience.” Listen to their other insightful takes on how to remain unique and relevant in the recruitment industry.
Property Recruitment Background and Contact Info
Property Recruitment was initially born out of the desire to change people’s minds about the relevance and value of recruitment agencies and that is still the key attribute to the culture within the company. The business prides itself on being a challenger recruitment company identifying emerging property sectors and deploying their solutions and expertise in helping organizations connect with incredible talent
The business was founded by Kevin Redman who has 12 years of recruitment experience having previously worked for the UK's fastest growth Public Sector Recruiter then later with a Global Recruitment Agency. Kevin has had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age and his can-do attitude are characteristics that have been a key influence in the growth of the business
In 2017 Matthew Halfpenny became the second equity director. Matthew was previously a Senior Director within one of the UK's largest recruitment companies with expertise in securing high volume recruitment accounts whilst managing large personnel teams.
Matt and Kevin are passionate believers that the traditional recruitment model will soon not be fit for purpose in the digital revolution. In line with their culture of changing mindsets, they have been early adopters of tech and made it part of the fabric of their business.Website link: www.propertyrecruitmentcompany.com Property Recruitment on LinkedIn
Connect with Kevin and MattKevin on LinkedIn Matt on LinkedIn 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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In this episode, I grill Doug Johnson on the secrets to his extraordinary success in recruitment. Listen in as I persuade him to reveal the strategies, skills and techniques he’s developed over the years that have enabled him to generate millions of dollars in placement fees.
Old-school sales and recruiting techniques are coming back in vogue during the Covid-19 environment. Out of necessity, recruiters are going “back to basics” with their business development and candidate generation.
Unfortunately, these classic skills have become something of a lost art. Especially if you started your recruitment career after 2003 (when LinkedIn was founded). Most recruiters would profit from the wisdom and insights of a veteran who developed their skills pre-LinkedIn era.
Doug is the president of Valor Partners, an executive search firm he founded in 2002. Doug specializes in recruiting leaders in sales, marketing and strategy within enterprise software. He has a particular focus on working with and placing female leaders in tech. Over the last 20 years Doug has placed 600 high performers with companies such as SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Honeywell, GE, and numerous startups. Prior to founding Valor Partners, Doug spent six years at MRI where he was a five-time top ten account executive of the year, and two-time national account executive of the year.
Episode Outline and Highlights[2:40] Doug’s “accidental” career in recruiting and why he wanted to quit every day for the first 3 months! [7:10] Doug shares his technique for getting referrals - a skill he developed in the pre-LinkedIn era which is just as relevant today. [11:18] Doug’s recruiting call script which is effective in opening conversations with potential candidates [19:10] How Doug went from a rookie to billing $1M two years in a row - the critical success factors. [25:24] An insightful perspective on why the “generalist is dying.” [32:20] The monumental challenge faced when he decided to go out on his own. [39:29] Doug’s take on our current market and how best to get through this. [46:15] How do you convince a client on why paying an engagement fee makes sense? [51:56] Doug’s story about summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro, and how this experience is transferable to the recruiting business.
Doing it Old School - How to be Good at Getting Referrals
Recalling the early years of his career that started in 1997, Doug shared the story of how they looked for referrals before LinkedIn or even before the internet was widely used in the recruitment industry.
“Let’s also remember that way back when you and I got started, the internet was not necessarily a thing. Cell phones were not a thing. LinkedIn wasn’t even an idea. So when I started, I would have to go home at night and I would have to do my research where I had an internet connection… If I wasn’t doing my research at night, [the office] had this big thick book called Corptech and there were about three volumes of it to find companies. I had to look through and find these phone numbers and then call.”
He added, “It wasn’t like I could flip through LinkedIn and find the next sales guy in Chicago or the marketing guy in Detroit. I couldn’t do that. So you had to get really really good at asking for referrals and networking and getting information from the people so you could maximize these phone calls.”
Listen further as Doug revealed his secret on how to be good at getting referrals in this episode.
Douglas Johnson Bio and Contact Info
Doug founded Valor Partners in 2002. He has been working with enterprise software executives to identify and recruit the people who lead, build and manage top sales and marketing teams for over 20 years. His expertise is in SaaS software. His practice focuses on helping his clients with the unique challenges of building the revenue side of their businesses- sales, marketing and customer success. He has one other unique aspect to his practice; working with and placing female leaders in tech.
"Discretion, exceptional judgment and over 20 years of industry expertise (with a heavy dose of humor and humility) allow me a network, relationships and market knowledge rivaled by very few people."
Away from the office, Doug is a single dad with two kids, Grace and Murphy, and two dogs (Ash and Moose). He is a competitive tennis player (played in college), he runs Spartan races and is a year and a half into learning to salsa dance (so frustrating). He feels very fortunate that his career in search has allowed him the opportunity to travel the world with his kids- highlights have included reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro and watching the Northern Lights in Iceland.Doug on LinkedIn Valor Partners website link: https://valorpartners.com/ 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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From working in a recycling facility to becoming a million-dollar biller, my special guest Tyler Frisbie shares his inspiring story on how hard work, building sincere relationships, and staying humble helped him become a successful recruiter today.
Tyler is a Managing Partner of Global Recruiters of McKinney (GRN), based in McKinney, Texas. He specializes in recruiting exceptional leadership talent in environmental and industrial sectors globally. Tyler launched his search firm in 2012, with no prior recruiting experience, and has become the number one office in his network.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:23] Tyler reveals his amazing story leading up to his recruiting career. [16:49] Tyler didn’t close a deal in the first 6 months - here’s how he stayed positive and turned things around. [21:18] Always be open to opportunities - hear how attending one event became a game-changer for Tyler’s recruitment business. [32:28] How relationships and connections enhance your brand. [40:40] Becoming selective - why you should not be afraid to say NO to business. [56:47] Memento mori - how remembering our own mortality can help us make better decisions and live a good life
Tyler’s Journey from Garbageman to a Million Dollar Biller
Driven by his motivation to support his family, Tyler’s story is amazing in terms of his transition from working in a recycling facility to becoming a million-dollar biller. He shared his struggles when he started working while in high school, doing several jobs while attending night school. It took him eight years to get his degree, but the challenges he overcame laid the foundation for his future success.
Do Not be Afraid to Say No to Business
One of Tyler’s key learnings is to eliminate the fear of saying no. “From early in my recruiting career… I say yes to everything. I wanted to get experience and I learned a lot of hard lessons in doing that. Working for cheap and working for … people that I didn’t like.” In hindsight, Tyler appreciated the value of being selective in the assignments to take on for his business.
“There is so much power when you say no. It really shifts psychologically. I think in the minds of people you are saying no to, and in your own confidence.”
Hear how Tyler applies the above principles especially on fee negotiation and other aspects of his recruitment business.
Tyler Frisbie Bio and Contact Info
Tyler is the Managing Partner of Global Recruiters of McKinney (GRN), based in McKinney, Texas. Since 2012, he has been recruiting exceptional leadership talent in environmental and industrial sectors globally. He is a member of The Pinnacle Society since 2019.
Tyler’s route to becoming a big billing recruiter was quite unconventional. At the age of sixteen, Tyler began working the second shift at a telecommunications manufacturing plant in Dallas, Texas. One year later he took a purchasing agent position at a different manufacturing facility that specialized in-flight safety-critical parts for Boeing, LearJet, and Cessna. Shortly after being promoted to purchasing manager, Tyler realized his passion for people and took a sales position at Balcones Resources where he worked with Fortune 1000 companies in implementing creative landfill diversion strategies throughout the US.
Through his hard work and determination, Tyler became the top sales producer and began developing his extensive professional network. During his 14 year tenure at Balcones, Tyler worked his way up to Business Development Manager and ultimately Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He gained expertise in commercial recycling/trash service, plastics recycling, electronic recycling, metals recycling, glass recycling, document destruction, product destruction, fuel technology, and various zero waste initiatives. While working full time, Tyler earned his BA in Business Management from LeTourneau University. Tyler is happily married to Heather of 23 years and they are recently empty nesters. They have two daughters - Rylee 23 & Waverly 18.Tyler on LinkedIn
People and Resources MentionedThe Meditations by Marcus Aurelius The Pinnacle Society website link Rob Bowerman on LinkedIn Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Robert Cialdini 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
Related Podcasts You Might EnjoyTRR #32 How to Build a 7-Figure Search Firm with a Small Virtual Team, with Rob Bowerman
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As a recruitment business owner, how do you balance internal operations while strategically generating revenue? In this episode, my special guest Kris Holmes shares fascinating insights and ideas on internal operations - from rewards and compensation, peer to peer evaluations, and culture.
Kris is an executive recruiter and partner at the O’Connell Group, which is a leading search firm in consumer marketing and market research. She is also the best-selling author of Ignite Your Career! which is a book she launched in July 2020. Before becoming a recruiter, Kris worked for a decade in consumer marketing with companies like Johnson & Johnson and Kraft Foods. She is also a member of the Pinnacle Society which is a consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America.
Episode Outline and Highlights[2:19] Kris shared the biggest challenge she’s faced in her 25 year recruitment career. [14:10] Internal recruitment is a major challenge for recruiting firms - what are some best practices and KPIs? [20:06] How to manage internal operations while strategically generating revenue. [23:46] An insightful approach to rewards and compensation. [30:26] Peer to peer evaluation - effective metrics to measure performance. [33:25] The four steps O’Connell Group are taking to face the C19 challenge. [37:30] How to add new revenue streams including coaching services. [40:00] What inspired Kris to write Ignite Your Career? [44:45] The “One-Two punch” business development approach. [48:00] Stoicism - its relevance today for recruiters.
Insights on Recruiter Compensation, Company Culture and the Power of Peer to Peer Evaluations
In this episode, Kris was able to share insightful approaches on different aspects of managing internal operations. One of the best practices she shared is the compensation program that they implemented that effectively rewards the “superstars” or their high performing recruiters. She also shared their practice of peer to peer evaluations, on which they evaluate each other’s performance using at least 20 peer metrics! Hear this fascinating idea from Kris.
Although the mentioned practices sound like it would create a very competitive environment, you might be surprised at how O'Connell is able to inculcate a very nurturing and supportive culture for its employees. This has fostered fantastic staff retention and enabled some of their employees to stay with them for more than 15 years.
Game Plan to Address the Challenge of Covid19
How does Kris plan to lead O’Connell Group through the C19 crisis successfully? This is what she said: “I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’ve seen September 11th, I’ve seen the Financial Crisis. I have never seen anything like this that is rocking everybody to their core… But the steps we’re taking work. Our philosophy is whenever we go into these times of crises, where we cannot control the external market, we can control what we do. And so we have taken many steps.”
Listen to the four steps that they are proactively taking that you may find also beneficial to your recruitment business. Yes, this may not be a good year, but with focus and determination, Kris was able to confidently say: “This is not gonna be a good year at all. But I think we’re gonna come out of it much stronger than when we went into it because we’ve been very strategic and focused on how we streamline, cut cost, and how we increase our capabilities going forward.”
Kris Holmes Bio and Contact Info
Kris Holmes is an executive recruiter and partner at O’Connell Group, a leading executive search firm in consumer marketing and market research. With more than twenty-five years of experience, she is also a member of the Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America. She is also a best-selling author of Ignite Your Career! which launched in July 2020. Kris has counseled tens of thousands of candidates in setting goals and leveraging their strengths. Before shifting to recruiting, Kris worked for a decade in consumer marketing with major corporations like Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, and Ralston Purina. She’s a graduate of Tufts University and has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.Kris on LinkedIn O’Connel Group website link O’Connel Group on Facebook You can purchase the Ignite Your Career! Book here: www.igniteyourcareerbook.com
People and Resources MentionedThe Meditations by Marcus Aurelius The Pinnacle Society website link 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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To thrive in tough times requires us to embrace change and make adjustments - both in terms of our business model and our mindset. In this episode, my special guest, Patricia (Tish) Conlin shares how she was able to future-proof her recruitment business and create multiple revenue streams. She also shares one of the most difficult times in her life, when she felt like she’d “hit the wall,” and the step-by-step process she used to manage her emotions, rebuild her business and ultimately reach new levels of success and fulfilment...
Tish is President of Global Consulting Group Inc., based in Canada. She has delivered strategic Talent Solutions to build great teams for her clients for over 25 years. During that time, Tish has produced millions of dollars in fees and built an office with 20 people at its peak. Fortunately, prior to the pandemic, Tish had already moved to a remote working environment with a small team of full-time and part-time employees. In addition to running her recruiting firm, Tish is an international speaker, author, and trainer delivering educational and engaging programs to boost performance and build tomorrow's leaders.
Episode Outline and Highlights[4:06] How and why Tish started her recruiting firm. [11:12] Hitting the wall - Tish shares the story of an especially difficult period in her life and business and how she turned things around. [17:00] Three practical tips to rebuild - changing our personal reality, micro-goal setting, and transitioning from negative emotions. [25:43] Creating multiple revenue streams by adding soft skills training - both live group training and online learning - for her corporate clients globally [31:20] The shift from contingency recruitment to a retained business model [34:45] Getting money upfront! Moving to an RPO model / winning Managed Service Agreements with two tech clients who outsource all recruiting to Tish’s firm [42:06] Why this is a great time to retool and continuously learn. [44:05] How being a blackbelt martial artist translates to the recruitment business.
Hitting the Wall and Going Through Tough Times
During the global recession of 2008, Tish had a very chaotic journey of not only struggling in business but also having to take care of her husband’s and mother’s health as well as caring for her two kids. Despite the difficulties and overwhelming situation, Tish took action to focus on what she can do to bring things in order. Listen to how she turned these challenges into inspiring stepping stones to success.
Recent studies show that the key to success is more than intelligence (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ). Adversity quotient (AQ) plays a major factor, which is defined as the ability to handle adversity, which is in other words, resilience. A recruiter’s career is full of adversity and challenges that can come from both internal and external sources.
And a very practical tip from Tish: “When you find that you have a lot of negative emotions, you can break it down simply… your whole personality is made up of your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. And when you take control and change those, you can really change your personality which is only your personal reality. So you can change your whole life.”
Hear three practical tips to help you rebuild when encountering tough times - changing our personal reality, micro-goal setting, and transitioning from negative emotions.
Practical Business Strategies During this Covid19 Pandemic - Multiple Revenue Streams, RPO model, Retained, Getting Money Upfront
To thrive in tough times, during the pandemic, Tish made sure that effective business strategies are in place. Hear about some of the best practices she took such as using her hobby as part of her sidegig, like doing training and webinars. Amazingly, this gave her multiple revenue streams. Her expertise in emotional resilience gave her opportunities, as she puts it “I saw the burnout in the workplace… we all see that as recruiters, there is disengagement… that is when it started and the passion of how I started speaking on that but it shifted into performance and now it is moving from both to mentor and coach, all of these soft skills.”
She also moved from contingent to retainer model, with the agreement that all leads will come through her firm. She moved to an RPO model as well, which proved to be very successful as some of her clients even signed up annually! “What I like about that model, and I think it could be useful for recruiters.. Then you’ll get their email address, you get their database, you have the flexibility working remotely.. You can be part of their internal team, and you can build really good relationships with the manager.”
Also, hear very creative ways of charging fees to your client (depending on client’s revenues and what they will take) such as flat fee monthly, tiered based on volume, or straight hourly rate with guaranteed minimum hours per annum. This gives Trish’s client flexibility in reducing their costs while giving the recruiter stable recurring revenue streams.
On Continuous Growth and Learning
As you listen to my interview with Tish, it is obvious that she is someone who strongly believes in continuous improvement and learning. From being a black belt martial artist to becoming a recognized international speaker on performance and leadership, to moving from a successful recruitment career to becoming a talent expert. She encourages the same for all recruiters, especially this time of the pandemic. In her words:
“Learning new skills all the time keeps you energized, keeps you happy. We are living beings, we need to grow just like plants. And so constantly learning and breathing and nourishing our minds are so important. I think, all recruiters, this is a great time for us to retool and learn something. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to our business… I do recommend decluttering your business and your life. Because that takes the weight off you for the next time.”
Patricia (Tish) Conlin Bio and Contact Info
Tish is President of Global Consulting Group Inc. and has delivered strategic Talent Solutions to build great teams for her clients ( Talent Acquisition, Leadership Training, Coaching, and Career Transition) for over 25 years. Tish's passion, energy, and professionalism have established her as an outstanding leader, mentor, and coach and earned her a nomination for a Toronto Business Leader award. Tish is an International Speaker, Author, and Trainer. She delivers educational and engaging programs to boost performance and build tomorrow's leaders. She is a Certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer, Black Belt Martial Artist, and Registered Holistic Nutritionist and speaks French, German, and some Spanish. Tish is currently working on her second book, which is about Emotional Resilience.
Tish is a mother of two boys and an active member of her community. In her spare time, Tish loves playing soccer, being in the forest, tending her large vegetable garden, or spending time with family and friends at her cottage.Tish on LinkedIn Tish website link: www.tishconlin.com Global Consulting Group website link Tish on Facebook Tish on Twitter @TishConlin Tish on Instagram
Special Offer for listeners of The Resilient Recruiter:
Tish says, “Our Soft Skills Mastery training programs include live monthly training on 14 different core topics and she is selling them to companies all over the world. They are available as individual training products at www.tishconlin.com. For listeners of this podcast, I can offer a 20% discount code-ResilientRECRUITER25 for a limited time.”
People and Resources MentionedABCs of Food: Boost your Energy, Confidence, and Success with the Power of Nutrition, by Patricia Conlin Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals | Stephen Duneier | TEDxTucson The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo Scott Adams podcast 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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Most people are afraid of failure. Especially in recruitment, we’re very focused on achievement -- making placements and hitting sales targets. We’re concerned about how we’re perceived by clients, candidates, coworkers, friends, and family. We naturally want to project an image of being a successful person.
In reality, success is like the tip of an iceberg. Beneath the surface, success is built on a vast multitude of challenges, mistakes, failures and struggles. In this episode of The Resilient Recruiter, my very special guest, Nick Price, shares his perspective on why he celebrates his mistakes and downplays his successes.
Nick is the CEO of Bright Purple Resourcing which he co-founded in 1995. They are headquartered in Edinburgh, with 25 staff specializing in placing technology change and transformation professionals. Listen to the entire episode and hear Nick share a number of critical mistakes that he made during his 25 years in business -- and why he believes those setbacks have been stepping stones to sustainable success.
Episode Outline and Highlights[3:30] Nick shares his recruitment journey and the biggest challenge he dealt with as a CEO. [14:58] Nick’s perspective on business growth - and why he prefers to remain small. [18:06] A mentor’s insight on “big pitfalls” that new business owners should avoid. [27:50] What it means to stick to the core of your recruitment strategy. [30:14] Why Nick turned down a big offer to buy his business. [35:13] Hear about “Fvck Up Nights” and Nick’s views on success
Avoid the Mistake of Not Making Mistakes
Nick is a mentor to several founders of start-up technology businesses. When asked about what advice he can give to those aspiring to be recruitment business owners or those who are new to the industry, he believes that learning from mistakes is essential.
In his words, “I suppose the important thing is that they make the mistakes. One of the things I am a firm believer in is if we don’t try and take those risks, we will never know.” Listen to the entire episode and hear Nick share a number of critical mistakes that he made and why he believes it is key to him successfully running his 25-year-old business.
Why We Learn More from “Commonality of Failure”
Nick also shared a very interesting perspective on why he’s sick and tired of hearing “success secrets” from ultra-rich entrepreneurs and self-appointed experts. “I am 59, I am not a young recruiter anymore… I still have the spark and energy when I entered this industry. But what happens when you get older is you start to realize that the people who tell you how successful they are -- and how they can afford their Ferraris and Lamborghinis and their yachts etcetera -- they never really teach you anything. You go along to a chat by some amazing guy or some amazing lady, you get super motivated. You feel invigorated.”
“I’ve been on many of those over the years, but I never learned anything. Because their view of success isn’t the same as my view of success… The problem with trying to view success is it means different things to everybody else. So how do you teach success? That’s impossible. But one thing you can learn from is the commonality of failure.”
Nick Price Bio and Contact Info
Nick is the CEO of Bright Purple Resourcing which he co-founded in 1995. They are headquartered in Edinburgh, with 25 staff specializing in placing technology change and transformation professionals. Nick is someone who is deeply involved in business and community in Scotland, including industry associations, entrepreneurial groups, and charities. He is also currently working as Director of Communications of PRIMED, an information technology business, as well as a Non-Executive Director of Lifelink, a non-profit organisation supporting mental health.Nick on LinkedIn Nick’s email: email@example.com Bright Purple website link Bright Purple on Facebook Bright Purple on Twitter @BrightPurpleR PRIMED website link Life Link website link Fvck Up Nights website link
People and Resources MentionedRichard Hoon on LinkedIn 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
Related Podcasts You Might EnjoyTRR #24 Father’s Day Special: Bringing Honour Back to the Recruiting Profession, with Richard Hoon
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Why do some recruiters bill $200k while others bill $750k in a single year with similar work ethics? This is a question that my special guest, Jeremy Sisemore will answer in this episode of the Resilient Recruiter. In Jeremy’s words, “luck has nothing to do with it.”
Jeremy is the founder of ASAP Talent Services and has been a leading IT Executive Recruiter for 20 years, achieving $14 million in personal production during his career. In this interview, Jeremy gives an in-depth overview of his business development process, including some fantastic verbiage for handling objections. Plus, we explore the mindset required to create sustainable success and longevity as a top-producing executive recruiter.
Episode Outline and Highlights[2:56] How Jeremy became “Rookie of the Year” at MRI. [10:30] Jeremy breaks down his business development process. [15:53] Jeremy shares his exact verbiage for handling the objection from HR/Talent Acquisition, “Don’t talk to the hiring manager.” [23:10] How to use “transitional statements” when selling - e.g. “If I, Will You?” [28:30] The impact of niche / specialization on your success as a recruiter. [32:10] Business development and marketing - volume vs quality. [44:30] The top 3 digital marketing strategies for generating inbound business. [55:38] How do you channel your inner grit?
On Niche and Specialization
One of the key catalysts in Jeremy’s success is when he understood the importance of niche and specialization. When he attended an event, a very successful co-participant in his field gave him advice on setting himself apart. How much of a big difference did it make? It increased his fees from $320k to $450k just in one year. Jeremy is convinced that specialization is a game-changer and a significant factor why some recruiters are more successful than others.
In Jeremy’s words, “How can some people do three to four to five placements a month when someone else can only do one or two a month? Well, that is one of the key lightbulb moments. The epiphany moment that said ‘I feel like I’m working super hard and I billed this, how come that guy over there is billing that?’ Well, that was one of the things.”
Channeling Your Inner Grit
Jeremy’s early life played a major role in his current success and why he has such a solid grit. Growing up poor, and small for his age, in rural Texas taught him not to give up and to fight for everything he is going to get. This shaped his character and explains how he deals with unwelcome circumstances as a recruiter.
“Our early life helps to make us who we are. How do you channel your inner toughness? In this business, it’s a big thing. Because bad things happen. And so let’s say you thought you have a $50,000 fee and next thing you know they backed out… That’s demoralizing for some people. And it’s like, how do you internalize that? Are you gonna let it get you for an hour or two? Are you gonna let it get you for two or three days? Are you gonna let it get you for a week or two? If you can shorten that, you’re gonna have a better year.”
He added, “Even how you internalize a “NO.” In business development, if you are told “no, no, no, no, no” are you hearing “no, no, no, no, no?” I actually hear, “not right now.”
Jeremy Sisemore Bio and Contact Info
Jeremy Sisemore has been one of the leading IT Executive Recruiters throughout North America for the past 20 years. He started his career with MRI and was Rookie of the Year in 2000 and quickly became the go-to resource for SAP & ERP talent acquisition needs nationally. Jeremy billed millions of dollars in placement revenue over 6.5 years with MRI, received a CSAM Certification, and became known for public speaking on “best practices” within the recruiting industry. In his career, Jeremy has over $14 Million in personal production (billings) and has placed IT Executives and Cyber Security talent at all levels up to and including CIO, CTO, CISO levels across all areas of emerging technologies. ASAP Talent serves over 75 major Fortune 500 clients throughout North America and internationally in Singapore, Germany, and the UK.
Today, Jeremy is CPC and CERS Certified and is a former member of the Board of Directors as Education Chair for The Pinnacle Society, a premier consortium of 80 industry-leading recruiters in North America. He speaks regularly at industry conferences such as NAPS, NCASP, The Fordyce Forum, HAAPC, and MASA among others.
Jeremy and his business partner, Erek Gerth, founded ASAP Talent Services in 2006 and haven’t looked back since. Today the ASAP Team of 5 supports well over 75 of the world's leading companies and generates annual revenues around $1.7-$2M. Their mission has been to create a boutique talent acquisition firm focused on the highest quality service and to form lasting partnerships with clients that are poised for growth, to be a total solution provider with respect to SAP & Cyber Security Talent. Jeremy writes industry articles and has been quoted in CIO magazine. On a personal level, Jeremy graduated from the University of Missouri where he was on the Swimming & Diving Team. He's married and is a father to two daughters and a son based out of Houston, Texas.Jeremy on LinkedIn Jeremy on Twitter @SAPheadhunter ASAP Talent Services website link ASAP Talent Services Facebook page ASAP Talent Services Youtube channel
People and Resources MentionedRich Rosen on LinkedIn Pinnacle Society website link The Pursuit of Happyness (book) by Chris Gardner The Pursuit of Happyness (movie) with Will Smith PRWeb Vyral Marketing 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
Related Podcasts You Might EnjoyTRR #6 Habits of a Million-Dollar Biller, with Rich Rosen
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What are the parts of your job you’re best at? What are the things you don’t enjoy or aren’t very good at? How much of your time and focus is devoted to just those few things you’re best at, versus all the other tasks that eat into your day?
This self-awareness of one’s strengths and limitations, together with a conscious decision to specialize with laser focus, have been key to the success of serial entrepreneur Maarten van der Kwaak. In this episode of the Resilient Recruiter, I had the opportunity to talk to Maarten, co-founder at MatcHR, Apollo Executive Search, ConsulantcyExit, Legal Top Talent, and The Legal Bench.
Surprisingly, Maaten started his first recruitment business while still in university studying law, recruiting his fellow students and placing them with law firms. On occasion, he would find himself recruiting people while chatting with them in bars! Later, he kept his recruiting firm going as a side-hustle while working full-time as a management consultant for an international strategy consulting firm. Since then he’s founded or invested in multiple start-up businesses in both recruitment and technology.
Maarten shares his wisdom on self-awareness, specialization, transparency, and really valuable insights about successfully running your business even in this time of difficulties.
Episode Outline and Highlights[4:41] Maarten’s insight on getting quickly into profit from the startup phase. [10:17] On specialization - hear the big difference between sourcing and recruitment. [16:00] How Maarten successfully applies specialization within his different business lines. [29:02] Thoughts on marketing - lessons learned on video outreach campaigns. [38:22] What made Maarten decide to choose a career in recruitment. [51:48] How MatcHR adjusted when the coronavirus pandemic hit. [1:02:00] What special quality can help strengthen company culture during this pandemic?
Applying the Concept of Specialization
Given that there are many different types of activities in a recruitment business, Maarten shared his insights on how to apply the idea of specialization. His analogy is to compare the business in a production facility. “If you would have so many different activities in a production facility, you would have a dedicated person for each activity. But what we do in this industry, we say to one person, ‘These are all the activities, please go ahead and be successful at all of them.’”
From there, he elaborated on the difference between the skills of sourcing versus recruiting which further emphasized his point on the importance of specialization. “If we specifically pick out the responsibilities of the sourcing part, if you look at sourcers and recruiters, very often sourcers have very technical backgrounds, more data-oriented background and what they need to do is very different from that of a recruiter to be successful.”
He continues, “If we look at the recruiting part … you need to turn those candidates into hires, it’s a lot about building relationships, selling the company, managing the process, both on the internal side as with the external side… I do not still understand why many companies still have all these responsibilities within their recruitment team without specialization within the team”
How Transparency Contributed to the Strength of Culture During Covid19
In these difficult times when tough decisions had to be made, what helped Maarten’s group maintain a strong culture even if they had to let some people go?
“I’m a big fan of transparency...Everything was going extremely well with the company and then one week after people needed to be fired... I think also research has proven that transparency and having them involved (employees) in the business is also better for their engagement.”
This commitment to transparency led to a strong internal culture. Even when Maarten had to let go of some valuable employees, they understood why. Even when they were leaving, they wore their MatcHR T-shirts supporting the brand.
Maarten van der Kwaak Bio and Contact Info
Maarten is a serial entrepreneur in the recruitment industry and started his first company, Legal Top Talent, while still in university. After five years in strategy consulting including an MBA at INSEAD, Maarten decided to become a full-time entrepreneur. In just four years, Maarten co-founded four other companies. The Legal Bench, focused on contract lawyers, ConsultancyExit, focused on former top tier strategy consultants, Apollo Executive Search, focused on leadership roles for PE-owned and VC backed companies, and MatcHR, a sourcing and recruitment outsourcing company based out of Kyiv, Ukraine. All companies are profitable and, despite COVID-19, growing.
Next to running his companies, Maarten actively invests in technology companies and serves as a board member of several start-ups. Maarten is known for his sharp analytical mind and his vision of the recruitment industry.
As a former skiing instructor, you can find Maarten every winter for multiple weeks on the slopes in the Alps.
If you wish to contact Maarten, you may reach him through email firstname.lastname@example.org.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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“This is a unique opportunity. We have a choice here. We can either sit back and wait for this whole thing to blow over. Or we can go on the offensive. We can have the mindset that there are companies that are going to be hiring, despite the pandemic, and we’re going to find them.”
Meet George Atuahene, Founder and Managing Director of the Kofi Group.
George’s parents wanted him to study medicine. Instead, he dropped out of college to pursue a career in sales, eventually becoming a recruiter instead of a doctor.
Were they disappointed when he broke the news?
“Their first reaction was not positive… but after they saw that I was very determined to go a certain way they decided to throw their support behind me and they’re pretty happy with what I’ve done so far.”
What has George accomplished so far?
In 2018, he billed $500,000 in perm fees and decided to shift his focus towards building recruitment teams around the country. He currently leads two recruitment teams in San Francisco/Silicon Valley and New York City, with plans to scale Kofi Group to 50+ recruiters by EOY 2025.
During this pandemic where the vast majority of recruitment firms are in difficulty, George’s business is bucking the trend. In this episode, George shares the mindset and practical steps he took to maintain his firm’s revenue at pre-COVID levels and continue winning new business.
Episode Outline and Highlights[4:54] George talks about competing in Taekwondo and its parallel with recruiting. [9:15] Why George dropped out of college to pursue a career in sales. [19:26] Two critical success factors when starting a recruitment firm. [26:00] George explains his chosen niche, it’s unique advantages and challenges. [32:50] Solo practitioner vs building your team - What are the factors you should consider? [36:07] The three biggest lessons George learned while building his team [45:39] Two significant factors that have helped Kofi Group to maintain their billings during the pandemic. [56:46] Best practices in managing content marketing.
Don’t Start a Recruitment Business Unless You’re Willing to Work 10x Harder
When George started his recruitment firm, the first couple of years were tough. A lot of people start their recruiting firm with the goal of having more freedom. But George believes that starting your own business requires you to work ten times harder compared to being an employee. In his words, “If someone wants to start their recruitment firm and they expect to have freedom in the first couple of years, I tell them not to do it.”
“I would get up, first thing in the morning, get ready for about 10 to 15 minutes, get to work, and then work until I can’t work anymore… As long as it took to get the results I wanted to get. I did nothing but work, for the first couple of years. I barely went out. You would have thought I was quarantined.”
What drove him to work so hard? “My ultimate goal is freedom and having an impact on the recruitment industry. And the most gratifying thing for me is when I am able to bring someone on my team, coach them, and mentor them and see them blossom. And I see them able to enjoy a lot more freedom and autonomy… so that’s a big driver for me.”
Having an Internal Locus of Control During this Pandemic
During this crazy pandemic, the vast majority of recruiters are finding the market extremely tough. Yet Kofi Group was able to maintain their billings and even brought on new business. George believes that two things are contributing to their resilience.
George says, “We’ve been very fortunate … the niche we’re focused on, the demand is constantly going up… it’s somewhat recession-proof.” In addition, George talks about a daily focus on business development and their unique message.
In addition, George points to two significant factors. One is his mindset, having an internal locus of control and believing that although the pandemic brought about a lot of challenges, there is always a silver lining and unique opportunities for people that take advantage of them. Secondly, they took really practical steps in order to keep in touch with their market. This includes working together as a team and going on the offensive.
George Atuahene Bio and Contact Info
George Atuahene is the Founder and Managing Director of Kofi Group, an executive search firm that helps early-stage startups hire highly sought-after software engineering and machine learning talent.
Kofi Group's clients include:Series-A open-source framework that is an industry-standard for software engineers Stealth mode artificial intelligence startups A computer vision R&D startup Robotics and RPA software companies Series-B FinTech that is democratizing financial services Cloud security startups Autonomous driving startups
Before founding Kofi Group in early 2017, George started his career in B2C/B2B wireless sales, built a six-figure affiliate marketing business that drove online traffic for major online retailers and worked for 2 national recruitment firms along with a boutique agency.
George has placed dozens of professionals, ranging from mid-level software engineers to a VP of Data Science. He has bootstrapped Kofi Group from the very beginning, reinvesting profits to grow the company. In 2018, he billed $500,000 in perm fees and decided to shift his focus towards building recruitment teams around the country. He currently leads 2 recruitment teams in San Francisco/Silicon Valley and New York City, with plans to scale Kofi Group to 50+ recruiters by EOY 2025.
When he’s not growing his firm, George loves spending time with his wife and family, competing in Taekwondo tournaments, and reading books about leadership, investing, and philosophy.George Atuahene on LinkedIn Kofi Group Website link Kofi Group on LinkedIn Kofi Group Facebook page Kofi Group on Twitter @kofigrp Kofi Group on Instagram
People and Resources MentionedRetained Recruiters Academy - How to Leverage Content Marketing by Mark Whitby video link Justin Satterfield on LinkedIn Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins The Master-Key to Riches by Napoleon Hill Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio 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
Related Podcasts You Might EnjoyTRR #5 How Justin Satterfield Hit $1M Within 2 Years of Starting A Recruitment Agency
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When I ask recruiting and search firm owners, “what is your Vision for your business?” the answer is often a variation on the following theme. They tell me, “Mark, I don’t want to build a large firm with hundreds of employees and huge overheads. I’d much rather have a small, high-performing team so we can generate 7-figures while keeping overheads low and staff management issues to a minimum.”
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Few in our industry manage to make the leap from 6-figure solo practitioner to the 7-figure firm owner. After all, hiring and managing remote employees can be a real challenge. For many, the additional hassles and headaches involved are not worth the effort. Yet if you get it right, the rewards are obvious. How do you set things up so the business runs like a well-oiled machine?
To answer that question, I invited Rob Bowerman to share his experiences as someone who’s successfully made that journey. In this episode, Rob talks about his transition from being an executive recruiter to building his own recruitment team. Rob shares his best practices and as well as the hurdles he’s faced, giving practical insights on several key business issues, from managing your workload to managing staff turnover.
Rob started The Bowerman Group (TBG) in 2009 after having been a successful Executive Recruiter since 1994. TBG serves the retail industry, particularly specialty on luxury brands, and has developed long-standing relationships with many respected American and European designer apparel, accessory, jewelry, and home furnishing companies. Rob currently serves as the President of The Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America.
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:33] Rob talks about the Pinnacle Society and why he got involved [9:30] How the Bowerman Group is dealing with the current challenges brought about by the pandemic. [13:46] Lessons learned from starting his firm in 2009 during a recession. [21:26] Two critical elements of managing a team remotely. [26:20] Should you stay as a solo practitioner or should you build your own team? Listen to Rob’s great career advice. [28:40] Managing your workload - the formula for when to outsource certain tasks. [32:41] How to avoid hiring mistakes and high staff turnover - a common challenge faced by the many recruitment business owners [35:55] Rob shares his greatest achievements and biggest hurdles.
Effectively Managing a Small Virtual Team
Even before the pandemic, Rob has been successfully running a small virtual team. When discussing best practices on managing a team virtually, he gave two key pointers: (1) Stay connected as a team, (2) Stay involved and support them as you can.
“It’s daily setting out what are your goals for the day, and on Monday what your goals for the week, and holding people accountable for that. So I think honestly that morning time together is the most important function. Like everyone sharing, “this is what I’m doing,” “this is my focus,” “this is where I need support,” And how is this affecting the team relationship? “We actually only physically see each other, even in good times, three or four times a year but we feel like we see each other every day.”
The Formula for Deciding When to Outsource Certain Tasks
Managing a small recruitment team can also be daunting. As a business owner, you have to run the company, run your desk, and you are also a manager - you have to do training, coaching, on top of process management. How should you juggle all those responsibilities? Rob shared a very practical formula.
“Figure out first and foremost what you can outsource… If you do the simple math… look at your annual earnings, what you want it to be. Divide it to calculate your hourly rate. Say that comes out to be $400. Then, anything that’s not worth $400 an hour, somebody else should be doing that.”
Rob Bowerman Bio and Contact Info
Rob started The Bowerman Group in 2009 after having been a successful Executive Recruiter since 1994. He discovered his passion for Search following a career in merchandising and shares his love for the industry with his team, clients, and candidates every day.
Carving out a unique niche that focused on specialty and luxe brands, he has developed long-standing relationships with many respected American and European designer apparel, accessory, jewelry, and home furnishing companies. Rob had a vision of creating a boutique firm that matched the unique profile of this niche—excellence, brand heritage, and an unwavering dedication to quality. This vision has manifested itself into a dynamic group that is experiencing consistent year-over-year increases in successfully completed searches within TBG’s unique niche.
Rob currently serves as the President of The Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America. He is proud of his association with this group of the “best and brightest” within the search profession as well as honored to be the only “retail guy” in the organization.Rob Bowerman on LinkedIn The Bowerman Group website link The Bowerman Group on Facebook The Bowerman Group on Instagram The Bowerman Group on Youtube
People and Resources MentionedRich Rosen on LinkedIn Sharon Hulce on LinkedIn Next Level Exchange on LinkedIn Pinnacle Society Website link 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 Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy TRR #6 Habits of a Million-Dollar Biller, with Rich Rosen TRR #28 Recruiter Midlife Crisis: Boredom, Burnout and Reigniting Your Passion, with Sharon Hulce
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Recruitment is a tough job. High pressure and long hours are the norm, combined with extreme emotional highs and lows. It’s no wonder that burnout has always been a big problem in our industry. Now the issue is compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought increased anxiety and feelings of uncertainty. How do you build a high-performing team while taking care of your employees’ mental health and well-being - especially in this time of crisis?
My special guest, Paul Hallam is a founding member of Six Degrees Executive, Australia’s leading independent, specialist executive recruitment consultancy. In this interview, he shares how they grew to net fee income of $25 million AUD a team of 85 people in 3 offices, while placing mental health and well-being at the heart of their people strategy.
Listen as Paul reveals Six Degrees Executive’s holistic approach to ensuring that their employees’ well-being and mental health are protected. Hear simple yet effective practices that they apply to ensure that people in their recruitment business are “doing OK.”
Episode Outline and Highlights[1:20] Paul shares how they are dealing with COVID19’s impact on their business. [6:00] A holistic approach in addressing your employees’ health and well-being. [14:50] Paul shares three key success factors that enabled him to scale his business to 85 people and $25M. [26:05] Paul’s valuable insights on people retention and diversity and inclusion. [37:02] Best practices for planning and creating business strategies. [40:49] Specific investments in technology that enabled Six Degrees to amplify their success.
A Holistic Approach to Addressing Mental Health
For Paul, the mental health and well-being of his people is the most paramount thing.
Paul shares, “The hardest and toughest day of my life in Six Degrees’ history was when I had to tell people that one of their team members… had taken his own life. We had always been conscious of people’s mental health, but when something like that happens, mental health is probably the most important that we look at when looking after people.”
At Six Degrees, they make sure that people are not worked to the bone, not working too hard but have a really good balance in life. They would even enforce vacations if people haven’t taken the holidays they’re entitled to.
In Australia, annually on the second Thursday of September, they hold what they call R U OK? Day which encourages Australians to connect with people who have emotional insecurity, address social isolation, and promote community cohesiveness. For Paul, it is “not just asking are you okay, but asking second and third questions and also educating people to make sure they see the signs that when people are not okay. In Six Degrees, every day is R U OK? Day. not just one day a year.”
When Scaling Your Business, Diversity and Inclusion Contributes to People Retention
“One of the things we are very proud of is in our business, we are a diverse organization. Historically recruitment companies hire like-minded people. We have great diversity and representation of females and females in leadership positions as well. We also have very progressive policies when it comes to maternity/paternity leaves...We also have a father and mother with the same child in this office and they have flexible working arrangements to make it work for them.” Paul proudly shared how they value diversity and inclusion when talking about scaling their business and retaining valuable employees. Additionally, they ensure the learning and development of their employees while being engaged and actively listening to their needs as well.
Paul Hallam Bio and Contact Info
Paul is one of the founding directors at Six Degrees, an equity shareholder and board member. Paul’s recruitment and search career began in 1996 and he is widely renowned as one of the most connected executive search consultants in Australia. He manages executive search engagements for Retail, Consumer Goods, and Healthcare industries, recruiting General Manager, CEO and Director and C Level roles.
Prior to establishing Six Degrees, Paul spent eight years with Michael Page International, establishing their newly formed Sales & Marketing Division in the Victorian market. In 2002, he was promoted to the Australian Board of Directors with responsibility for the National Sales & Marketing Division, as well as managing some of the company’s major preferred supplier relationships.
Paul’s philosophy in life and in recruitment is: “look for three things in people, intelligence, energy, and integrity. If they don’t have the last one don’t even bother with the first two." - W. BuffetPaul on LinkedIn Paul on Twitter @paulmhallam Six Degrees Executive website link Six Degrees Executive on LinkedIn Six Degrees Executive on Instagram Six Degrees Executive on Twitter @SixDegreesExec Six Degrees Executive on Facebook Six Degrees Executive on Youtube
People and Resources MentionedBeyond Blue website link R U OK website link Culture Amp website link Xref Tool website link Recruitment Growth Accelerator website link Greg Savage on LinkedIn Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed Connect with Mark Whitby Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call: www.RecruitmentCoach.com/Breakthrough Mark on LinkedIn Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby Mark on Facebook Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy TRR #1 The Future of Recruitment: Strategies To Stay Relevant and Effective, with Greg Savage TRR #2 Setting Up A Recruitment Business For Scale, with Jonathan Coxon and Alex Elliot TRR #12 The Commercial Value of Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment with Raj Tulsiani
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