Join "the Recruitment Coach" Mark Whitby as he and his guests unpack the secrets of what it takes to be a profitable and long-lived professional in the recruitment industry.
How to Triple Your Billings in 12 Months by Improving Systems and Processes, with Karen Lloyd
“Everybody struggles. Building a business is really hard.”
“But I’m going to keep listening to these podcasts and I’m going to keep pushing with my business… There’s no silver bullet, there’s no magic recipe, there’s no pill. You just need to keep going and going and going and eventually you get there.”
These are the wise words of my next podcast guest, and valued client, Karen Lloyd. In October 2020, Karen set herself the goal of transforming her recruitment business and coming on The Resilient Recruiter podcast to tell her story. Well, she has achieved her goal and more.
In the last 12 months, she has increased her billings by 300% through her relentless commitment to making small improvements to every aspect of her business, making her systems and processes more efficient and most importantly by never giving up.
In this episode, you will be inspired by Karen’s humility and resilience as she’s bounced back from multiple setbacks and regained her confidence.
Karen is the Managing Director of Armstrong Lloyd, a leading recruitment firm in the technology marketing space. Karen specializes in helping CMOs and marketing directors within technology companies to grow their teams and exceed their targets.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[1:14] Karen’s story of resilience and how she was inspired by the Resilient Recruiter Podcast. [4:20] How Karen started her recruitment career at age 21 and initially felt like a failure. [10:54] The steps Karen took to triple her billings in 12 months, and doubled her best ever year from pre-covid times! [18:34] What Karen’s learned from co-founding her first recruitment business at the age of 24 and scaling to a team of 20 people. [24:15] The huge setback that knocked Karen’s confidence, but ultimately led to Karen to launch her second recruitment business, Armstrong Lloyd, in 2014. [30:45] The turning point in her life and the parallels between running / personal fitness and running a recruitment business. [35:35] Karen reveals the biggest challenges she faced when growing her business. [35:20] Changes Karen made to her recruitment business to accelerate growth. [46:04] How Karen leverages content marketing and automated campaigns to get new clients. [50:55] Transitioning from contingency recruitment to a retained model. [54:55] Deciding whether to stay on your own or grow a firm. Starting a Recruitment Business at a Young Age and Growing to a Team of 20
“This is something I have learned for myself at a young age. Don’t doubt yourself. Just try it, just do it, and see what happens.” This mindset equipped Karen with the determination to start her business with another person at the young age of 24. It was a challenging feat on its own – given that a transition from being a full-time employee to a business owner can sometimes be daunting. But they managed to grow their firm to a team of 20.
“It was an incredible journey and I have learned absolutely so much,” says Karen. She was involved in the major decision-making, marketing, hiring and launching new divisions from scratch. In this interview, Karen shares her insights and main learnings from this transition.
Bouncing Back from Setbacks
Karen also shared a time in her career ten years ago when her confidence took a knock. This was when she left the company she co-founded and had spent 14 years of her life building. It was heart-wrenching for Karen to walk away, but looking back she now knows it was the right thing to do.
What helped her overcome an experienced that was hard? For Karen, it is learning to ask for help. Karen started seeking support from a coach. This was an eye-opening experience and a game changer for her. Any roadblock she experiences, may it be related to her personal life, her personal fitness or her business, she finds getting help from a coach is one of the best courses of action. “The coaching part has been a phenomenal change,” is how she puts it.
How this Top Producing Recruiter is Putting Health, Fitness and Family First, with Jordan Rayboy
Jordan Rayboy is famous within the recruitment industry for billing millions of dollars from his RV. In this interview he reveals that now at age 43 with 3 young kids, he’s no longer interested in accumulation, significance, ego, keeping score or trying to impress people.
Jordan says he’s rebalanced his life to prioritize health, fitness and family. He told me “I try to be the best husband and father I can be, try to be healthy and my work supports the rest of my life, rather than living to work… I’m in a much happier, positive mental place since the last time we talked.”
In this episode, Jordan gives his inspiring take on prioritizing what matters. He reveals how he is able to balance his priorities while being laser-focused on managing his recruitment business. We also talked about the importance of having a peer group, and he shared his thoughts on valuing mental health as well as practical tips on planning and productivity.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[2:52] Jordan describes his daily routine while running a recruiting business from his RV. [13:20] How being intentional enables Jordan to balance his priorities while running a profitable recruitment business. [17:50] Jordan’s “Power Planning” process, how to eliminate distractions and execute your plans. [25:43] Being laser-focused and why you need to have a scheduled planning time. [30:33] Jordan reveals what he is prioritizing at the moment and why he quit marijuana. [42:25] Insights on current events and his mindset towards recessions. [49:30] Why now is the time to keep learning and growing in your respective niche. The Importance of Being Intentional
It has been around 15 months since we’ve heard Jordan in this podcast. He now shares his latest endeavours: having a new baby, focusing on his health, and prioritizing his family. “Being on the road and living the dream with three little kids and two dogs, still doing it 16 years into the adventure,” is how he describes it.
He detailed what his daily routine looks like, and it was interesting to hear how busy yet balanced it is in terms of quality of life. Jordan is able to rank a lot of things to improve personal well-being and family life while doing well in his recruitment business. What is the key to his success? For Jordan, it is all about being intentional.
He schedules his and his family’s health before scheduling phone calls. He knows his sleep is an important component of his health. He puts his sleep in his schedule. He schedules his time with his family first. Doing so, Jordan is in his best shape when it comes to “ground and pound” and is able to manage his business effectively.
How to Avoid Distractions and the Myth of Multitasking
Jordan is well-versed when it comes to power-planning. But for many of us, having a plan is not enough – the challenge is staying focused and executing our plan. How does Jordan stay on track? Jordan shared two tips:
Having Open and Closed hours for both business or personal time. When somebody calls or texts him while biking, he doesn’t answer. Likewise, when he’s working, no one can disturb him in his air-conditioned trailer/office.
Having a good plan allows you to be the author of your own story. It is about being proactive versus being reactive. Planning ahead and focusing on executing your plan can help out in eliminating time-wasters.
Having a scheduled planning time. Jordan shares that this is the money-maker in the recruitment industry. You will hear him discuss this and why it makes sense.
Focus on the Right Priorities
With Jordan’s success in both business and personal life, what are his current priorities? He believes that he is past the accumulation stage. He has changed his priorities and is now more focused on things that allow him to find balance and happiness. Jordan's top priorities these days are more on his health and energy - both physically and mentally.
He has shifted his
How to Break Out of a Slump and Bill an Amazing $420k in 5 Months, with Wes Ashworth
“Turning around worst ever billing through the pandemic, to record-setting results currently.” In this episode, my special guest Wes Ashworth shares his story of the proactive steps he took to overcome a perfect storm of business during the height of the pandemic. He also explains how he went from 100% contingency to 100% retained!
Wes is the Vice President of Executive Search at Lee Group Search, and specializes in partnering with packaging companies nationwide to find the talent they need to grow and scale their business operations. He joined the company in 2014 as an Executive Search Consultant and was promoted to his current position in April 2020.
I’m especially proud of this episode because Wes credits The Resilient Recruiter as being a “lifeline” during the toughest period of his career, and helping him access the motivation, strategies, role models and resources he needed to turn things around.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[2:27] How Wes finds the Resilient Recruiter podcast value-adding. [4:30] Wes shares his story on how he came into recruiting. [6:45] Why 2020-21 were the worst years for Wes and how he turned it around. [19:02] Key changes implemented to shift from the worst times to the best. [25:18] “The world belongs to askers,” - how moving to the engaged model drastically changed Wes’ recruitment results. [33:15] Great ways to pitch the engaged model to your existing contingent clients. [39:30] Turning around the worst ever billing through the pandemic, to currently record-setting results. [42:05] How having a peer group to pace yourself against can give better results. [46:00] How to develop your messaging approach to stand out in a world of noise. From Worst to Best Times - Key Success Factors
Wes’ recruitment journey is indeed colourful in terms of successes and learnings. He joined the industry around 2014, and three years later he was stable and was billing $550k with his own book of clients. He had high hopes for 2020 and he even got promoted to VP.
Then suddenly in March 2020, Wes’ high hopes came crashing down. Due to the pandemic, businesses and clients started to go away. His personal production plummeted and he was feeling the pressure. Being newly promoted, he had to carry his team’s performance which added more stress. Like with many others, the negativity brought about by the pandemic placed a great toll on Wes both personally and professionally.
Wes was never a quitter. With the support of his wife and the proactive actions that he took, he was actually able to turn from the worst times to the best times of his career. This is a story I am sure you will want to hear. What are the key factors that enabled him to overcome this colossal challenge? Here are some takeaways from our conversation:
Revisiting his business development and quantifying his efforts. Wes discussed how doing so made him realize that he lost around $600k+ in billings.
Transitioning from 100% contingent, to 100% engaged/retained. This was not easy, but as Wes discussed it, he had to “put his stake in the ground and don’t look back”.
Listening to the Resilient Recruiter podcast and reaching out to those whose stories resonated with him.
Having a peer group - applying for and getting accepted to the Pinnacle Society. Wes discussed each of the above in this episode and even shared other best practices.
The World Belongs to Askers
One game-changer that contributed to Wes’ success is how he transitioned from 100% contingent to 100% retained. This was not easy at the onset as he had to be willing to walk away from businesses. Initially, Wes focused on implementing this approach to his new clients. How did Wes transition from pure contingent to engaged? He is a firm believer in the advice that “the world belongs to askers.” Asking the right questions enabled him to apply the retained approach to new clients and to some legacy clients as well.
Wes is con
How to Make Better Placements with Performance-Based Hiring, with Lou Adler
If you want to make more (and better) placements, you owe it to yourself to study “Performance-based Hiring.” The creator of Performance-based Hiring is Lou Adler, and I’m excited to have him on the podcast to learn from his four decades of recruitment experience.
In our interview, you will hear Lou’s philosophy on figuring out the “performance objectives” for each role, instead of simply focusing on the skills that are needed. Lou’s models, examples and anecdotes are rich with insights for agency recruiters who want to gain the respect of hiring managers and get better results for their clients.
With over 40 years in the recruiting industry, Lou's company ‘The Adler Group’ has trained over 40,000 hiring managers and placed over 1500 executives for many of the fastest-growing companies with clients including Disney, General Dynamics and Paycom. Lou has over 1.4 Million followers on Linkedin and is one of the top bloggers on LinkedIn’s Influencer program writing about the latest trends in hiring, employment, and recruiting. His articles and research have also been featured in Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Bloomberg, SHRM, and The Wall Street Journal.
Lou is the author of ‘The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired’ and the Amazon top-10 best-seller, ‘Hire With Your Head - Performance-Based Hiring to Build Outstanding Diverse Teams.’
Episode Outline and Highlights
[1:24] Lou’s fascinating story of how he became an executive recruiter. [6:46] The concept of “applicant control.” [9:30] How to become a thought leader in your recruitment niche. [12:46] What is the “One Question Interview?” [22:30] Get the respect and co-operation of hiring managers and other stakeholders with the Challenger Sales Model. [33:45] Lou shares his insights on Performance-Based and Evidence-Based Hiring. [37:00] Lou discusses the one-question interview with the analogy of peeling an onion. [43:01] How the performance-based approach can increase candidate engagement. [48:40] What is the most important piece of technology in recruitment? The Sherlock Holmes of Recruitment
Lou has had a diverse experience in his career, from becoming a nuclear missiles engineer to running manufacturing companies as a financial analyst. It is in recruitment that he found his calling. Lou’s background gave him a unique perspective when he joined the industry. This led him to invent what’s now known as the ‘Performance-based Hiring' model. In this interview, you will hear out-of-the-box ideas that you may find useful in your own recruiting practice. Some of these are:
Performance-based Hiring Evidenced-based Hiring The One-Question Interview Challenger Sales Model His insights are invaluable and I am sure you will find them beneficial.
Ask the Right Questions
Lou is famous for the concept of the “One Question Interview.”
You will hear the interesting story of how Lou came up with this idea. The logic behind it is very straightforward - how would a candidate identify broken processes? How would the candidate solve it? What has the candidate accomplished comparable to how he responded to the two previous questions? Lou used the analogy of peeling an onion when describing this approach which is the basis of the evidenced-based and performance-based hiring. In fact, the process can be outlined as follows:
Figuring out the performance objectives Having the candidate present what they accomplished Having the candidate present evidence of what they have accomplished It does make sense that this pragmatic approach can increase the probability of hiring the right candidate by focusing on accomplishments without emotional bias.
The Most Important Piece of Technology in Recruitment
You may also be intrigued with Lou’s perspective on the most critical piece of technology in recruitment. With Lou having around 1.4m followers on the platform, is it LinkedIn? Is it high-end CRM platforms? Here is what Lou s
How to Build a Premium Recruitment Brand, Deliver Superior Service and Attract Higher Fees, with Rob Bowerman
There are significant advantages to being known as the premium brand in your market. For one, you can charge higher fees than your competitors. Secondly, your job as a recruiter is more fulfilling because you’re focused on delivering exceptional client and candidate experiences.
Rob Bowerman is President and Executive Recruiter at The Bowerman Group, focused on recruiting for specialty and luxe brands. As you’ll hear from Rob, earning a reputation as the premium recruitment firm in their market has been a critical factor in their long-term success. Rob’s background in the retail sector gives him credible insights and perspectives on the topic of delivering outstanding customer service in the recruitment field.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[2:21] How The Bowerman Group are winning more retained searches and increasing their average fee. [9:33] Customer experience - lessons from premium retail brands that Rob has applied to recruiting. [14:54] Powerful questions you can ask your clients to assess their specific needs. [16:26] How to partner with HR while having access to the hiring manager. [21:13] Rob reveals their processes for ensuring a positive customer experience for both the candidates and clients. [27:48] What defines a positive client experience? [39:11] What could stop a recruitment firm from delivering a positive client experience? [43:49] How to consistently deliver a great experience to candidates even if they are not moving forward in the hiring process. [47:00] Rob reveals the burning issues discussed at a recent Pinnacle Society meeting, including preventing and handling counteroffers. [56:20] Why it is a great time to be in our industry. How The Bowerman Group Increased their Average Fee by $6,200
The last time I collaborated with Rob in this show was two years ago. It was indeed an amazing conversation (link of the episode below) and as the head of the Pinnacle Society, Rob also introduced me to other members who became guests of this show. This kind of support brought tremendous value to our audience and I am truly grateful. What has happened in the last two years? As with all businesses, the last couple of years were truly unprecedented. Rob shared a lot of learnings and strategies.
You will hear how they intensionally focused on higher-level roles. The benefit of this has been twofold - winning more retained searches while also increasing their average fee from $21,800 to $28,000.
The success of the Bowerman Group can be attributed to how they value client and candidate experience, which became a core topic in this episode.
Becoming a Premium Brand in Recruiting Through Client and Candidate Engagement
Coming from the Retail and Merchandising industry, Rob learned a great deal when it comes to customer experience. From his standpoint, a customer is not only your client but your candidate as well.
He recently did a LinkedIn post (link below) about notifying a candidate that will not be moving forward with the recruitment process. The main theme is, “How can you not approach recruitment - either as an internal recruiter or external recruitment partner - without empathy and appreciation for the candidate's work in the process?” This post got hundreds of reactions and responses. It amazes Rob that since we are in the people business, the reactions and number of reactions were indicative that it is a massive issue within our industry.
In this episode, Rob gave a great analogy on what defines a great customer experience. He then shared their process of engaging with clients and candidates consistently. He also gave insights on what could be preventing a recruitment firm from providing the same positive customer experience to its clients and candidates.
The Bowerman Group Difference
So what makes the Bowerman Group different from other recruitment brands? How do they consistently ensure positive customer engagement from both clients and candidates? Rob elaborated on the followi
Boutique vs Behemoth: How the Little Guys Can Beat the Big Recruitment Firms, with Paul Taaffe
Last time Paul Taaffe came on the podcast, we heard how this former CFO has enjoyed extraordinary success running a boutique search firm. He revealed how he managed to bill €4,000,000 in revenue with a small team.
Nearly two years later, Paul is back for his second appearance on the show. You’ll hear fascinating insights on how to gain an advantage over the competition and outperform even the biggest search firms in the world.
Paul’s philosophy is about providing “return on energy invested.” He and his team provide an efficient service without compromising quality by leveraging their relationships and market knowledge. You’ll learn how he achieves market mastery by carefully cultivating his network so he can deliver a shortlist in 30 days or less. On multiple occassions, Paul has made a €100,000 placement fee in 7 days!
Paul is the founder and CEO of FINANCE People Solutions (FPS) based in Frankfurt, Germany. Prior to starting his business in 2014, he was either a CFO or CRO for US global corporations as well as high profile private equity funds and their portfolios where he mastered various change management challenges, from turnaround and restructuring to the implementation of new growth strategies.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[1:43] Paul shares the latest developments at his firm, Finance People Solutions. [6:15] FPS’ focus market, revenue stream, and marketing strategy. [10:35] How to choose the right client to work with - and when to walk away. [15:30] Coaching your clients on their recruitment process [16:53] Paul’s top tips on how to market a candidate. [20:36] FPS’ new Benchmarking Products as a differentiator [23:30] Why Paul launched his own podcast. [27:26] Why ‘head-hunting’ is an outdated term and Paul prefers ‘resource matching.’ [33:58] How to build your brand on LinkedIn. [43:01] Paul reveals what he learned from working for Phil Knight, Nike’s co-founder. [51:00] Why Paul likes to hire students when building his team Choosing the Right Clients
Paul is a fan of positive energy which means he is selective of the clients he works with. He only works with committed clients, no contingency, only retained or exclusive. In our interview, Paul shared his criteria in client selection and when to ‘fire’ or let go of a client.
“If we do not enjoy working together, if the process is not good, in this day and age if you get your hands on top three candidates or two or even one for this matter, we never say we are going to produce a shortlist, we will produce at least one … and the customer is not coming back, not setting up appointments, not picking it up, that is no good we are wasting people’s time,” is how Paul described it. He shared concrete examples based on experience how in some cases it did not work with some clients.
Also, given the current situation in the market where recruitment needs to adapt, how do you coach your compatible clients on improving their recruitment process? Paul shares his best practices.
Marketing and Brand Building Best Practices
Although Paul’s background is in finance, he is actually excellent at marketing. In this interview, you will hear some of his marketing strategies including:
FPS Benchmarking Product Podcast Partnership with FINANCE Magazin LinkedIn content Paul believes US companies are the best at marketing and says his experience at Nike helped him to become a great marketer.
Why Head-Hunting is a Term of the Past
Another interesting topic we talked about is the term “headhunting” which Paul believes is outdated. As Paul said, “The difference for us is we have relationships with these people… That is why I don’t like this term head-hunting… I call it resource matching. We match resources. We don’t headhunt people, we have them already in our network. So it is about what is the best position for these people. So it is an evolution from the old headhunting.”
Paul doesn’t need to “h
Excellent interviews and industry content
I’d highly recommend anyone in the industry whether you are new to recruitment or a veteran. Mark does amazing job digging into what makes a variety of really interesting industry leaders as to either what makes them successful and or what they do within their organisation which benefits the industry. 👍🏼
Very useful pre-launch
I’ve been listening to Mark for about 6 months and have just launched my own firm. The insights he and his guests give have been extremely useful. There are other podcasts with a similar format, but Mark manages to keep it about his guests and when he does talk about himself and his own experiences it always adds value as opposed to taking away from the topics.
Some great tips from Greg Savage in this week’s episode
Be brave and 100 day milestone plan