32 episodes

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.

The Resilient Recruiter Mark Whitby

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    • 5.0, 4 Ratings

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 Build a 7-Figure Search Firm with a Small Virtual Team, with Rob Bowerman

    How to Build a 7-Figure Search Firm with a Small Virtual Team, with Rob Bowerman

    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. Th

    • 46 min
    Protecting Your Team's Mental Health While Scaling Your Search Business, with Paul Hallam

    Protecting Your Team's Mental Health While Scaling Your Search Business, with Paul Hallam

    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

    • 51 min
    How to Open Doors and Build Relationships at C-Level, with Natasha Makhijani

    How to Open Doors and Build Relationships at C-Level, with Natasha Makhijani

    Reaching out to new clients can be intimidating, especially when the person you want to speak to is a senior executive. What mindset should you possess in order to have the courage to contact key decision-makers?
    My special guest, Natasha Makhijani has been extremely successful at opening doors at C-level. She’s won major accounts such as British Airways, DHL, Royal Mail, Engie, Mitie, and many others.  What makes this accomplishment even more impressive is that she started her recruitment company working by herself from the spare bedroom of her parent’s house.  In this interview, she shares her strategies and best practices for new business development. 
    Of course, winning a piece of work is one thing - but being able to consistently over-deliver against the client’s requirements and developing those accounts is quite another matter.  Especially when the client asks for the near impossible -- in one case Natasha and her team filled 150 roles for a client, completing executive searches within 2-3 weeks and lower level roles within 2-3 days.  
    Natasha also shared proven strategies for building relationships with your clients and how it relates to long term thinking.  Her approach to building relationships has led to some of her clients becoming friends and mentors.
    Natasha is the CEO of Oliver Sanderson Group PLC and Co-Founder of Snapp CV Group PLC, a mobile job app and video platform. Oliver Sanderson is a dynamic brand in Executive Search & Selection who look after Perm and Interim assignments to FTSE 100 & 250 clients. They offer retained, exclusive and contingent end to end recruitment in a variety of disciplines and serving major UK & Global sectors.
    Episode Outline and Highlights
    [1:23] Natasha shares her main strategy to open doors for opportunities. [7:10] How long term thinking is inter-related to building relationships with clients. [33:44] Best practices to apply when reaching out to C-level executives. [36:50] Growing too quickly too soon - Natasha talks about her learnings. [41:50] How Snapp CV applies innovation and artificial intelligence. [49:45] Natasha discusses the biggest challenge in her career The Key that Opens Doors to New Opportunities
    When Natasha started her recruitment business nine years ago, she was a one-person business who was able to break into major blue-chip companies, being given C-level roles to fill. How was she able to get such opportunities? For her, the main key is being genuine when building relationships. When building her network, she doesn’t “go in with the premise that she wants the business.” This is how she puts it: “My biggest strength has always been opening a door...I call it networking and building relationships and just being genuine… So my biggest strength is opening a door connecting with CEOs, connecting with chief people officers, connecting with group chairman, and basically, meeting them, building relationships.”
    She added, “I don’t go in with the premise that I want business from you. And that’s not the way I build relationships. I think the key to success is that you have your short term gains, your medium-term and your long term gains. And for me, that is about mapping out the people that I wanted to connect with.”
    Natasha’s Biggest Career Challenge
    When asked to share about the biggest challenge she had to face in her career, her response is: “Going from being a recruiter to managing a business and becoming a CEO.” For her, the transition is not easy as you’ve got to always be thinking five steps ahead. She also emphasized the value of continuous learning. Despite the challenges, was it worth it? As she says, “No longer am I the soft recruiter that I was who just delivers. I’m a businesswoman, I'm an entrepreneur, I’m someone who knows how to achieve. I know how to take a business from zero to hero. An

    • 57 min
    Why Executive Search Firms Must Innovate to Remain Relevant, with Mike Brennan

    Why Executive Search Firms Must Innovate to Remain Relevant, with Mike Brennan

    In these challenging times, staying the same just won’t cut it. Rather than just battening down the hatches and weathering the storm, what strategic changes can you implement now so you emerge in a position of strength? My very special guest, Mike Brennan shares his thoughts on why redesigning your service offerings is key to success in this challenging environment. Learn how Mike drives innovation to become relevant as a partner to his clients.
    Mike joined Norman Broadbent Group Plc as a ‘turnaround CEO’ in 2016. With his team, Mike has repositioned the Group as a leading Professional Services firm focussing on Talent Acquisition & Advisory Services. In 2018, the business posted its best annual revenues in over a decade, and in 2019 returned to profit.
    Episode Outline and Highlights
    [4:53] Why the executive search market needs to up its game. [9:35] How innovation helps Norman Broadbent achieve a 95% closure rate. [13:00] What is the main challenge with traditional executive search firms? [14:50] What can you do to be relevant as partners to your clients? [21:11] Three best practices to get you through these difficult times and be in a position of strength  [38:24] Mike shares pivotal moments in his entrepreneurial journey [44:03] What significant values contribute to Norman Broadbent’s success? [47:45] Hear Mike’s answer to this question: “If you could speak to your younger self, what advice would you give to that young entrepreneur?” Innovation and Why the Executive Search Needs to Up its Game
    According to Mike, there hasn’t really been anything innovative happening in the executive search market since 1965. He is both a fan and critic of search, and he believes that it has not evolved or developed as much as it should have done. This is how Mike puts it: “I think traditional search has become very transactional.” He added, “There is a frightening statistic, that 37% of all executive search assignments fail in the UK. So if you think about the market in the UK is worth about £1.5 Billion a year, that’s half a billion in wasted spend every year. That’s indefensible. At Norman Broadbent, we’ve got 95% closure rates. We work hard to see how we can mitigate all the risks in the search process. And how can we make sure that there’s a successful outcome.”
    Mike is a strong believer in innovation and being relevant as partners to clients. Listen to his best practices especially in these difficult times when recruitment businesses are hurting.
    Living in a “Darwinian Moment” - Covid’s Impact on the Recruitment Industry
    Mike and I discussed the impact of the coronavirus to major businesses and specifically to the recruitment industry. While there are struggles, successful and resilient businesses are usually agile and innovative. We see businesses completely revolutionizing themselves at warp speed. 
    As shared by one online business, “We’ve evolved more in the last three months than we thought we would within the next three years.” Mike said, “These are truly unparalleled times. I think this is a Darwinian moment for our industry. And we need to stay focused as a business, as an industry, and help our clients through these very difficult times.” Hear how being agile, promoting change and transformation while helping out clients can be significant factors in weathering these challenging moments in our economy.
    Mike Brennan Bio and Contact Info
    Having spent most of his career in the global Professional Services markets, Mike has lived and built businesses in London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. He also established/managed operations in New York, Dubai, and Singapore. 
    Starting his first business aged 27 with investor backing from Alexander Mann Group, Mike was one of four founding Equity Partners involved in its sale to PE firm Advent International. He subsequently started an aw

    • 50 min
    Recruiter Midlife Crisis: Boredom, Burnout and Reigniting Your Passion, with Sharon Hulce

    Recruiter Midlife Crisis: Boredom, Burnout and Reigniting Your Passion, with Sharon Hulce

    In these unprecedented and challenging times, a recruiter can easily lose sight of the “why” and fall into the trap of boredom and burnout. How do you recover from burnout and reignite your passion? My special guest, Sharon Hulce explains how creativity and continuously reinventing yourself can help you overcome these challenges. 
    Sharon is the president of Employment Resource Group Inc. (ERG) in Wisconsin and has twenty-four years of expertise in Executive Search specializing in placing outstanding leaders. She has won numerous awards including MRI’s Person of the Year and also Account Executive of the Decade.
    She is also a Forbes Author who recently published her book, “A Well Done Professional Midlife Crisis: How To Bleed Passion & Energy Back Into Your Career”.
    Episode Outline and Highlights
    [2:07] Sharon shares the story behind her book, “A Well Done Professional Midlife Crisis”  [7:18] How do you fight “recruiter’s burnout?” [12:29] Running a desk during a crisis - three specific steps you can take. [25:00] How do you uncover an MPC’s real value? [29:07] How inbound marketing is changing the landscape of the recruitment industry. [31:07] Hear the four “buckets” that Sharon applied in order to generate more inbound leads. [41:10] Sharon explains her company structure and how it works. [48:22] How Sharon shifted from contingent to retained search. Resilience in This Time of Crisis
    In this challenging environment, many recruiters can easily forget their “why.” What helped Sharon operate during times of crisis? As she puts it, “I have been through two recessions, 9/11, and now a pandemic. So, in my career, I’ve been through a lot. The one thing that I think has made us resilient and stay optimistic and energetic, and actually continue to build through all of this is really understanding what does value mean for your customers.” Hear three specific steps she took to stay in shape during times of crisis. 
    Shifting to a Retained Search Business Model
    Sharon has been doing a retained search business model for 18 years. I am an evangelist of the retained model for the benefits it brings to the client, candidate, and the recruiter. However, shifting to this model from a contingent business model can be challenging to some recruiters especially if their client would prefer the former. 
    How did Sharon come about shifting to the retained search? “I had worked a contingent desk for just shy 17 years… The day I decided I wasn’t doing it any other way [shifting to retained] I lost my top 3 clients. So fifty percent of my business went away. And I held my ground… I said listen, “You have changed your value proposition multiple times since we’ve started working together. I am now changing mine. I am good at what  I do. I am a top 5 construction practice in the country. If you want to work with me as the owner of this organization and have my work on your searches, you need to pay me to do it.” Listen to how being firm and being able to deliver helped Sharon shift to the retained business model.
    Sharon Hulce Bio and Contact Info
    Sharon is the President and CEO of Employment Resource Group Inc. and has twenty-four years of expertise in Executive Search specializing in placing outstanding leaders. Her unique approach to business is as follows:
    “A business and community’s most valuable asset is the people within.  For our clients, our role is to understand the necessary competencies, knowledge, social interaction, and personality critical for integration and outstanding performance within their organization.  For our candidates, our purpose is to help them define their purpose, attain goals, and find their life’s vocation.  We are proud of the emotional intelligence we have been able to share with our clients and candidates alike” 
    She has won numerous a

    • 56 min
    4th of July Special: Boris Epstein On Company Culture, Values and Growing to 150 People

    4th of July Special: Boris Epstein On Company Culture, Values and Growing to 150 People

    With the paradigm shift of working remotely in a distributed setting, how do recruitment businesses create a cohesive culture for their employees? In this episode of the Resilient Recruiter, my special guest Boris Epstein shares how he managed to build a company culture consistently aligned with their values while rapidly growing his business to 150 people in three and a half years.
    In line with the 4th of July Independence Day celebration, hear how values and company culture, recruitment service differentiation, and value proposition development can give a sense of independence and self-sufficiency to your recruitment business.

    Boris is the Founder & CEO of Binc, the technology industry’s dedicated flexible recruiting team. Winning best workplace awards two years in a row, their clients include big names such as Paypal, Tesla, Airbnb, Pinterest, DropBox, just to name a few.
    Episode Outline and Highlights
    [3:00] Binc’s service model and what makes it effective  [11:46] How to create a cohesive culture when your employees are distributed. [17:58] Values alignment - how to infuse your business values with different levels of accountability. [20:10] Shifting to a remote culture - how to train your people while promoting camaraderie in a distributed setting. [29:00] From startup to 150 people in three and a half years - how to manage a very fast level of growth [37:04] Boris shares their current challenges during the coronavirus pandemic economy [43:11] How to maintaining your culture in these challenging times [50:23] Boris shares best practices in recruitment differentiation   
    Building Your Business Culture with Values
    Boris strongly believes in building a cohesive culture despite his business model, on which employees are distributed in different locations. How do you create such a culture? Values development. For Boris, consistent alignment with your values creates a strong sense of unique business culture. As Boris puts it: “Values are really big. To define our values it took quite a bit of time, it took almost nine months to define our values. The right words, the right level of resonance. Then once you define your values, it’s ‘what are the ways we can make these values visible?’ How are our values visible in business development? How are our values visible in our review and promotion cycle? How are our values visible in our client engagement? Once you go through that exercise, you could very clearly see, oh this value is very visible here. This value is not very visible here.”
    Recruitment Differentiation - How to Develop a Clear Value Proposition
    To stand out from competitors, it is important to have a unique value proposition. This is something that is not easy, otherwise all recruitment agencies would have a clear value proposition. So what advice would Boris give to leaders? “Our philosophy from day one, from 18 years ago, ... was to offer a differentiated alternative to growing technology companies. So we always wanted to offer something differentiated… We think the status quo is something to fight against in perpetuity.” He added, “In general, you have to acknowledge what it is that the market wants. You have to acknowledge what it is that other people in the market are already doing. You have to acknowledge what your assets are. And from those assets, you have to go through a very creative exercise to explore how you could position your assets. Through that, you can land on something distinguished.”
    Boris Epstein Bio and Contact Info
    Boris is the Founder & CEO of Binc, the technology industry’s dedicated flexible recruiting team. He has personally made hundreds of hires in his 16-year recruiting career and is an expert in the development and management of the top recruiters in our industry. He serves on the Board of The Pinnacle Society, an organization co

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

1timothyjames ,

This Podcast is Valuable

Mark is a phenomenal speaker and interviewer. His process of deconstructing hardworking recruitment business owners to uncover their routines, methods, mindset, and nuggets of wisdom is unmatched in this industry. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of recruiting and learn from the best, THIS is the podcast for you!

Edhunterfl1957 ,

Great podcasts for recruiting professionals

Love listening on my morning runs , sitting down afterwards to pour through the podcast notes ... and listening again.

bgbgbgngnh ,

Great Motivation

The podcasts are useful and full of great advice! They are also motivating and help you keep in the right frame of mind to achieve your goals!

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