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.
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 Increase Your Billings with Split Fees, with Jason Elias, Ep #8
Have you thought about incorporating split fees into your business model but are worried about the financial impact? In the competitive world of recruiting, is it better to embrace this model versus losing out? Is it easier to partner and collaborate with other recruiters to fill a position?
My guest today, Jason Elias, has built a successful recruiting firm specializing in the legal field—while incorporating split fees. He’s found a way to leverage the competitive niche to benefit his business and his clients.
Jason and I converse about how he got into the recruiting industry and chose his niche. We also cover why he started utilizing the split fee model and how it’s led to success. If you’re considered giving this model a go, be sure to listen to this fascinating episode.
Outline of This Episode [2:11] Jason Elias’ journey from lawyer to recruiter [5:16] How did his first split fee come about? [7:20] How he started collaborating with other recruiters [12:14] Why a split fee model is worth adopting [15:30] Learning lessons from building a team [19:45] Jason’s plans for the future of his firm [25:24] What do you do when clients are your competition? [32:41] How does Jason juggle all of his roles? [35:35] Why Jason believes managing is worth the reward [38:00] Jason shares his favorite tech tools How did Jason start collaborating with other recruiters? Years ago—when Jason was self-admittedly a young and naive recruiter—he spent a chunk of money to place an advertisement in a publication. That advertisement failed to get him any leads. While turning the pages, he noticed another recruiter’s ad in the accounting section. So he called him up and they met up to discuss their lack of success with the advertising. They completely hit it off. He also found out that his newfound friend collaborated frequently with other recruiters.
The NPAworldwide Australian conference just happened to be two days later. They fast-tracked Jason’s membership and he walked in and instantly felt comfortable. Everyone was transparent and honest, and he felt like these were his people. The organization claims to allow recruiters to collaborate with others in a safe environment—and he believed this from day one.
Fast forward to today, and Jason has been involved with NPAworldwide for over 16 years. He had the opportunity to serve as the director for the Australian region of the NPA for 4 years. Now, he serves on the executive team as Secretary/Treasurer and Chair-Elect. Once he has served his term in this position, he will be appointed the Chair of NPAworldwide for a two-year term.
The natural segue from networking to split-fees Jason’s first split came from a fellow council member at the RCSA—she worked for an organization that needed a lawyer. She connected the two parties and Jason provided a lawyer that was a perfect fit. Since that day, he estimates that one-third of his business is from split fees. Jason has reached gold-level with the NPA, which means he had made at least $2,000,000 in placements at the time he reached that level (over 5 years ago). Of that amount, he would estimate at least $500,000 was from split-fees with other recruiters.
Jason continues to see the benefit of collaborating with other recruiters and splitting fees. For example, he has a client in the Northern Territory of Australia. He called her up one day and she didn’t have any placements for him—but she was looking for someone in IT. He told her that while he doesn’t specialize in IT, he knew someone who did. He connected the two and his fellow recruiter filled the position.
For his effort and cooperation, he got a thank-you fee from his colleague. Jason points out that if he hadn’t connected her with someone else she would have gone to a mega-recruiter to fill the position. In the end, he likely would’ve lost that
From Ballerina to Recruiter: What Drives Erin Devlin’s Success? Ep #7
How do you build a successful recruiting agency? What mindsets are needed to thrive as a business? When Erin Devlin became the managing director of people2people in the state of Victoria, Australia, she achieved 70% growth in a 3-year timespan.
Erin humbly claims that when she merged her firm, Devlin Alliance with people2people that they had already established a brand with amazing leadership and accomplished recruiters. She simply built on their success when she launched their Melbourne division.
Join me as I talk with Erin about how her company plays to the strengths of its recruiters, their hiring process, and their staff development strategies. Erin also talks about the characteristics from her professional career as a ballerina that led to her success as a recruiter. Don’t miss her unusual and inspiring story!
Outline of This Episode [1:06] Meet Erin Devlin—Managing Director of people2people [2:57] Why did Erin merge her firm with people2people? [4:03] What Erin means by ‘celebrating wins’ [7:51] How are team members allowed to leverage their strengths? [11:21] Professional Recruiter of the Year with RCSA - why was she selected? [13:35] Why the 360-degree recruiting model works for people2people [15:05] Developing a team member from rookie to consultant [21:58] Back to the hiring process: how do you assess those things [24:50] Erin’s background as a professional ballerina [30:18] The mentoring program at people2people [33:09] What is Infront Sports Consulting? [36:50] Leveraging success to give back [40:19] Technology as a key to success Celebrating wins and leveraging strengths is the backbone of people2people Erin points out that in order to be successful as a recruitment team, you must provide adequate recognition for the accomplishments of your team in every stage of success. It can be as simple as verbal recognition for a job well done—or a spa day for the whole team. Telling people they’ve done a great job is a wonderful motivator for success. How does people2people accomplish that?
On Mondays they highlight the successes of the previous week in their team meetings. Perhaps placements that occurred, targets reached, or company growth. On Fridays, they celebrate together and talk about the best thing that happened and what they enjoyed the most that week. People show up and do their best when they’re rewarded for it, even in the smallest of ways.
At people2people they allow their team to play to their strengths. They set goals and have a general guideline of what the process to reach those goals could look like. But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty work, they allow their staff to accomplish it in a way that fits them best. They don’t dictate how things get done. Erin states, “We definitely do have a high-performance culture, but there is that flexibility and autonomy in how they achieve the outcome”.
What sets their hiring and development standards apart from the rest? When hiring recruiters, Erin notes that they don’t always hire the most experienced person in the industry. Instead, they look for people who have demonstrated commitment, shown that they’re responsible, and demonstrate success—whether it was as an athlete or in academics. They want someone empathetic, intellectual, and team-oriented. Above all, they look for people who have strong interpersonal and communication skills and a positive attitude.
Once hired, their new team member has a plethora of growth opportunities available to them. They have structured classroom-style training, access to Recruitment Juice, RCSA courses—as well as on-the-job training. They have weekly mini-training lunches where a topic is chosen and discussed for half an hour. These opportunities are very simple, yet so effective for continuous learning. To hear how Erin assesses experienced recruiters, what their interview pro
Habits of a Million-Dollar Biller, with Rich Rosen, Ep #6
It’s tough work being a solo recruiter. Everything in your recruitment firm depends on you. Many in the industry choose to remain solo and struggle while others who make that same choice do extraordinarily well.
Rich Rosen fits into that latter category. He consistently bills $1M per year and has lots of repeat business and clients. What’s his secret? I wanted to talk with him to find out and we recorded this episode as a result.
You’ll hear Rich transparently share how 2019 was one of his worst years in the industry in over 20 years—and how he made a comeback to close out the year with right around $700,000 in placements. You’ll also learn how he sets goals, prioritizes his time, and sets himself up for success every day. I hope you listen. This is a fun conversation full of insights from an everyday guy with a successful track record of recruiting success.
Outline of This Episode [0:40] Getting to know Rich Rosen, million-dollar producer year after year [2:01] Why Rich has focused entirely on recruiting for software sales professionals [4:36] The reasons Rich has chosen to stay a one-man firm [13:15] Rich’s toughest year in the last 20 years - what happened [21:40] Setting ground rules with clients enable Rich to work smarter, not harder [30:29] What does it take to become a million dollar biller? [42:01] Rich’s tips for being as productive as possible and planning well 2019 was a disastrous year but Rich rebounded nicely 2019 was a perfect storm for Rich’s recruitment firm. Market conditions, industry trends, and outright strange events combined to prevent him from progressing at a normal rate. He started the year with only $30,000 billed within the first 4 months, which was far below his normal average for that time of year. Many deals fell apart at the last minute and $522,000 in billings evaporated. Rich says that among those losses were a handful of clients who rescinded deals weeks away from hiring the candidates Rich had provided. He says he’s only seen that happen a handful of times in over 20 years in the industry.
But by the time we recorded this conversation—early November 2019—Rich had rebounded to a hopeful $700,000 year-end revenue total. It was still shy of his $1M average but far above what many recruiters realize even in good years.
How did he do it? Part of the recovery came from restructuring of his fees. Up until that point, his business operated 99% of the time on a contingent fee structure. He pivoted to a partial retainer model and included up-front fees of $8,000 to $16,000 for many clients. He said this change helped him discern which opportunities were serious and which would likely turn out to be a waste of his efforts. It also enabled him to attract clients who were truly serious about their search. Listen to hear the details of how Rich learned to scrutinize opportunities, increase his cold calling, and reconnect with old clients to overcome his early deficit.
Setting ground rules for good communication is key to success as a solo recruiter Every client's situation will be different but Rich has learned that there are fundamental understandings that need to exist if a recruiter is going to work efficiently and effectively for the client. The most important of those ground rules is good communication. As an example, Rich communicates deadlines to his clients to impress on them the degree to which he’s willing to help them accomplish their hiring goals quickly. He routinely says to clients that if he sends a message or piece of information to them and does not hear from them within 48 hours, he will put his work for them on hold and send any candidates for their position that he’s communicating about to others in his database. This urgency tells his clients that if they truly want to get things done, they need to communicate.
Rich realizes this might sound ex
How Justin Satterfield Hit $1M Within 2 Years of Starting A Recruitment Agency, Ep #5
Starting a recruitment agency is a daunting task - one that my guest on this episode warns is not for everyone. The hard work required and the agony of the ups and downs can only be endured when you are deeply committed to building something worthwhile, can manage your time wisely, and keep your head when you inevitably lose deals you worked hard to cultivate and were counting on. He says it’s simply how the recruiting industry works.
But in spite of those kinds of setbacks, Justin Satterfield has built Norwood Staffing Solutions from the ground up and has been able to reach the $1M revenue mark in less than two years.
Join me for this engaging conversation. Justin shares the story of how he was fired from his previous recruitment position for unsubstantiated reasons, how he started his company from scratch, his team-building philosophy, how he learned that the way he perceives the challenges he faces dictates how he handles them, and more.
Outline of This Episode [0:23] Get acquainted with Justin Satterfield - on the road to $1M in net income [3:30] The benefits of establishing a public speaking platform [8:28] Why reputation matters immensely in the recruitment world [10:08] How being treated unfairly at his company led him to start his own [16:31] What is resilience, and why is it so important for recruiters? [18:47] The first 12 months of starting a recruitment agency [21:30[ Things done right and wrong in that first 12 months [24:02] Making decisions to deselect certain activities [29:43] How building a team enabled Justin to turn a huge corner [37:38] Future plans for Norwood Staffing Solutions Justin knew being fired was the best thing that had ever happened to him Straight out of college Justin got a job at a startup staffing company, thinking that he’d plug away at the role until he could find something he was more interested in. But he was a quick study and within 2 years he was number 22 in production out of over 600 producers. He was doing well, clearing $200K annually and had developed a great book of business. That’s when the unthinkable happened. He was called into a room and fired.
Why? The team was behind budget and the only remedy was to let someone on the team go. The person in charge at the time decided that Justin was the one who needed to be let go - and promptly took over his book of business. Justin was left in a personally difficult situation. He had signed a 12 month non-compete and admits that he didn’t want to honor it due to the way he was fired. Legal counsel told him that he was likely to win if he took his employer to court but he couldn’t afford the legal fees required to see it through.
So he honored the agreement - and spent the year off improving himself so that in the future, his hard work would be to build something for himself, not a corporation or boss. Today, he sees the loss of his position as the best thing that had ever happened to him because of how it set him up to start his own firm and forced him to prepare himself for that task.
The painful first 12 months of starting his own recruiting agency A one-man recruitment agency is a grueling endeavor. The founder is the entire recruitment department and the only salesperson on staff - and both of those are full-time jobs upon which the success of the business depends. During the 12 months he was waiting to start his company Justin made the most of the time by developing himself as a leader. He knew he needed to be the best version of himself that he could be if he was going to build and lead a successful company.
Once he was able to get started, his company gained traction quickly. He successfully spun the relationships he already had into big clients that helped give him an initial boost. But he soon discovered that his approach to getting the business running had set him up for the biggest mistake of that first y
How Robin Doenicke Is Guiding His Recruitment Service To 10X Growth In Just 3 Years, Ep #4
It isn't very common for a recruitment agency to hit a plateau and then grow beyond that plateau years later - but that’s exactly what happened when Robin Doenicke implemented a new recruitment model for his agency. His recruitment company - Tokyo-based Zensho Agency - has reimagined the structure and culture of its executive search service and as a result, has changed the model upon which the company operates and by which its team is built.
It’s this reimagining that has fueled an amazing recruitment agency growth of 10X. Naturally, I became very curious when I realized this, so I invited Robin to be my guest for this episode of the podcast. In his characteristic style, Robin was extremely generous in sharing the how, but more importantly the WHY behind the decisions he’s made regarding the structure of his company and team. The remarkable success they are achieving flows directly out of those decisions and you’ll hear him describe his approach in detail on this episode.
Outline of This Episode [1:15] Starting an Executive Search Firm in Tokyo - the journey to here [3:10] Ideas for structuring his staff as Independent Contractors [6:34] Robin’s view of the relationship between martial arts and business [11:29] How Zensho exploded after a long time of plateau [16:38] The journey of discovering the “why” behind the company [18:15] Challenges in 10X-ing the company in 3 years [33:01] Plans for expanding the company into Australia [40:08] The Stoic Thought for the day The skill of being fully present is behind much of Robin’s success Robin is a martial arts expert - and that is not an exaggeration. He moved to Japan to study with grandmaster Bujinkan Ninjutsu and Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, both world-renowned martial arts instructors. As a result of his diligent study in a variety of martial arts, Robin has earned a top-rank 15th-dan black belt. It’s this background and experience that's lead him to one of his most vital philosophies about business: Be fully present in the events that make up life.
He believes that when you learn to be present you are able to effectively respond to the reality of what’s going on around you, and do so ways appropriate to the situation. This is in contrast to reacting, which is based on negative past experiences or according to ego-driven or fear-based motivations.
Robin finds this discipline to be extremely helpful in business and in recruitment in particular. The fast-moving, ever-changing environment of the modern recruiting agency demands a calm, measured approach - and mindfulness to being present allows that to happen. Robin has used the principle to shape the culture within which his team of recruiters drives the agency business forward.
Culture is more than a buzzword for Zensho Agency When he read the book “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek, Robin realized that he wanted to build a business that fueled the “why” of those it employs - not one that serves the “why” of its founders or board of directors. He believes that team members who are free to work on their own terms, completely empowered to be entrepreneurs in their own right will foster the most powerful and passionate recruitment service in the world - and as a result would fuel his recruitment agency’s growth. He was right.
The team at Zensho enjoys a community and support structure that readily and eagerly shares ideas and strategies so that everyone can succeed and clients and candidates are the beneficiaries. Though each recruiter is a contractor rather than an employee and is thus in business for themselves, they are never by themselves. Each of them enjoys the reputation and prestige of being affiliated with the Zensho brand as well as a generous compensation package of 70% to 90% of the profits from their placements. Truly, the strength and power of the whole trickle down to the individuals
The 4 Qualities of The World’s Top Recruitment Leaders, with Doug Bugie, Ep #3
Recruitment leaders who build and lead industry-dominant recruitment firms haven’t risen to their place of prominence by accident. Each of them not only has the experience to inform their leadership decisions but also possesses the personal character traits and habits that set them up for high levels of success. Would you like to know the traits and habits these world-class recruitment leaders have in common? So would I, so I invited a guest on the podcast who has had a front-row seat into the lives and leadership of these amazing individuals for the past 36 years.
Doug Bugie’s career in recruitment spans over three decades where he’s mainly worked in the niche of recruitment franchising. His current role is with FPC, a top 1% performer in the recruitment industry as ranked by Forbes. The company is also ranked “Top 50” in franchisee satisfaction by Franchise Business Review. Team members like Doug are one of the reasons the company excels as it does. Doug himself has had a hand in successfully aiding 800 recruitment franchises in 40 countries fill over 100,000 assignments. That’s a mind-boggling amount of success.
Join me for this fascinating look into the characteristics that make the top recruitment leaders who they are, which in turn, enables them to rise to the top of the industry and stay there year after year.
Outline of This Episode [0:33] Doug’s accomplishments over the past 36 years (100,000 placements) [6:05] The key quality of recruitment businesses that do well and those that don’t [10:46] At what point to leaders take a non-billing role in their recruitment firm? [14:06] The renaissance outlook of the most successful recruiting leaders [21:54] The biggest changes in the industry most recently, and Doug’s take on the future [28:36] How did we become an industry that’s racing to the bottom? [35:21] How Stoicism relates to Doug’s comments The top recruitment leaders don’t lead from the sidelines Many people have the mental image of a successful leader calling the shots from a vantage point well away from the action - like a coach, calling plays from the sideline at a sporting event. But they forget that every coach was once a successful player in their own right, which is where they learned the game.
Doug says that in working alongside leaders in the recruitment industry over the last 36 years, he's seen that the ones who gained the respect and admiration of their followers are what he calls “front line action-takers.” Going back to the sports analogy - they were outstanding players who developed their skills through proving their mettle on the field.
During our conversation, Doug highlights how action-taking leaders he’s worked with have set the example for their teams and built cultures that drive success. He also explains how these front-line leaders eventually move to the play-calling role behind the scenes but do so while maintaining the respect of their teams.
Great leaders develop a renaissance outlook Stop for a moment to recall the most interesting people you’ve ever met. What are the things about them that make them so interesting? Doug says that the most interesting individuals he’s met are recruiting leaders who are well-read and who take the time to educate themselves about what’s happening in the world - and he says the benefits they receive from these activities are multiplied in their recruiting careers.
Leaders who are actively engaged in a process of ongoing self-education can connect with clients and other stakeholders about their interests and passions, across a broad spectrum of industries. It’s that type of engagement that opens the door to the human connections that are at the heart of the true recruitment professional.
As you might imagine, Doug has many stories to share and even offers suggestions about how you can develop a renaissance outl
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