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.
Think Like a Big Biller: How to Get Repeat Business and Referrals, with Rich Rosen, Ep #67
This week on The Resilient Recruiter our most popular guest of all time, Rich Rosen, returns for his second interview.
Previously, Rich shared the mindset and habits that made him a consistent top biller in the industry. This time, you will hear Rich’s unorthodox yet effective approach to client and candidate engagement, leading to high levels of repeat businesses and referrals. These are key factors for anyone who wants to achieve consistent billings and sustainable success in recruiting.
What is cool about Rich is that he is a ‘regular guy’ who achieves exceptional results. Most years, Rich bills around a million dollars from his home office just outside of Boston, yet he is very modest and is willing to share his knowledge and experience to benefit others.
You are going to hear about Rich’s recent shift from contingency to engaged search, including the exact pitch he uses to close 4 out of 5 recent assignments. Rich also talks about the recent increase in candidate dropout rates and shares a real anecdote about a candidate ghosting him at the offer stage, and the hilarious tactic Rich used to finally get the candidate to respond, plus much more!
Episode Outline and Highlights
[4:55] Transitioning from pure contingency to retained or engaged search [10:07] Rich’s key to getting the majority of his business from repeat clients and referrals. [15:36] Why did Rich fire a client at the beginning of this year? [18:30] Hear the different criteria that make a good client. [22:52] Revelation of Rich’s “zoo”-like experience during the pandemic. [29:35] How to deal with ghosting from clients or candidates. [33:00] Key pointers in rapport building. [42:35] Sending a ‘breakup’ note to a candidate. [47:54] Rich’s favourite tools and tech for recruiters. Consistent Repeat Clients and Referrals
Part of Rich’s success is getting most of his business from repeat clients and referrals. The partnership-focused spirit that he exudes as well as his approachable personality makes it easy for him to get repeat businesses. When I asked him about this, he shared a couple of key pointers.
Doing the right business with the right people. Rich said, “For me, it’s all about working with good people. I have zero tolerance towards working with jerks and people that treat you like garbage.” He shared actual experiences on what types of clients he avoids.
Being real with anyone. “I think I’m extremely real with everyone. I talk to everyone the same way whether you're the secretary or you're the CEO.” Hear how Rich relates this to having future referrals and how it can lead you to a ‘win in the end’. Have You Been Ghosted? Here is How to Deal with It
Being ghosted by a client or a candidate can be frustrating, but this is something that a recruiter should expect to happen. Nowadays, it seems acceptable for some to just stop communicating without returning a call or providing honest feedback. Rich shared a very interesting experience during my interview and how he used a very unconventional way of addressing it.
I also asked Rich what we can do to minimize or deal with ghosting from clients or candidates. For Rich, it boils down to building trust and relationships. “I think all that you can do is to build that trust with your candidate, build the relationship up and you got to be more than just a recruiter.”
Listen to Rich’s viewpoint and how he further shared, from experience, ways in which he is able to build that trust and relationship with his candidates and clients.
Sending a Break-Up Email to a Candidate
How do you deal with a candidate who suddenly disappears and has lost interest? Hear best practices on communicating with such cases. Rich and I shared our approach and how you can keep future options open. Also, hear a piece of really insightful advice that was shared to Rich b
How to Grow Your Recruitment Business by Hiring Top Recruiters, with Leanne Sara Jones Hunt, Ep #66
When scaling your recruitment business, one of the biggest challenges you have most likely experienced is finding good recruiters to join your own team. In this episode, my very special guest, Leanne Jones Hunt, shares her unique perspective on recruiting recruiters based on having successfully placed over 700 recruiters with growing recruitment businesses.
Leanne is my Chief Operations Officer, and also a fellow coach here at Recruitment Coach. Leanne started her recruiting career in 2010, after completing her Master’s Degree in Law. Eventually, she launched her own recruitment agency in the recruitment to recruitment or “Rec to Rec” space which she ran for five years before entering the coaching industry.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[2:20] Leanne’s career highlights, including billing £47,000 in her first 5 weeks and being promoted to director within 12 months [5:55] What is “Rec to Rec”? [13:15] Discussion on career progression in the recruitment industry. [16:04] Characteristics of successful recruiters that business owners should look for [21:05] How Leanne started her own recruitment business at a very young age. [33:46] Business model: 180 vs 360 degree billers - which is better? [38:15] Effective assessment methods for recruiting recruiters. [45:00] Best practices for hiring great recruiters. [48:30] Improving your employee retention. [55:05] Resilience: What was Leanne’s biggest challenge in her recruitment business? The Challenge of Recruiting Recruiters
What are the characteristics of successful recruiters that business owners should look for when they are hiring for their own teams? Indeed, one of the ironies in the recruitment industry especially for growing businesses is that it can be challenging to find and recruit good recruiters. Having been a top-performing recruiter herself, as well as running her own recruitment agency and placing recruiters with some of the fastest-growing recruitment companies in the country, Leanne is well placed to provide perspectives on the characteristics of effective recruiters.
This is how Leanne puts it, “There are quite a few different traits that make up a good recruiter. But for me, it was work ethic and urgency.” During our interview, Leanne shared her own experience and how it shaped her mindset on why she places such value on work ethic and having a sense of urgency.
Leanne encourages business owners to think beyond the typical profile of salesy, extrovert types who are very confident, maybe with a background as a real estate agent or telesales.
“Throughout my career, I tried to challenge the status quo and it did work.” Leanne gave an example of someone she placed who was celebrating their 7th anniversary with the company who broke the mould of what a stereotypical recruiter looks like.
Assessment Methods: How to Ensure You Hire the Right Person for Your Growing Recruitment Business
What are some of the most effective assessment methods when hiring a good recruiter? Having a thorough hiring process can definitely help when increasing the success rate and retention of new recruiters. So based on experience, what are the best hiring processes that Leanne has seen when working in the recruitment space? Some of her top methods include:
Introduce a working interview/trial day as a stage in the hiring process Focus on assessing their skills, not just a subjective decision based on the way they come across Develop a structured training program Listen to the full interview to hear other takeaways, especially on mistakes and success factors when scaling your business and growing your team of recruiters.
Leanne Sara Jones Hunt Bio and Contact Info
Leanne Sara Jones Hunt is our Chief Operations Officer here at Recruitment Coach. Prior to joining forces with Mark, Leanne worked in the recruitment-to-recruitment space in London for 1
Recruiting Success: How to Bill $700k+ While Achieving Work-Life Balance, With John Schlegel, Ep #65
Success in your recruitment business requires a lot of effort and commitment. If you’re being honest with yourself, are you working too hard for too little return? What if you can still be successful, and at the same time spend time on things that matter most? My special guest, John Schlegel, openly shared strategies that helped him be truly successful in his solo-practice while “having a life.”
From mindset, and utilizing contract recruiters, to building meaningful business relationships, you will hear valuable insights and best practices that may help you balance work with your personal life. John is the CEO and Founder of Stonebridge Search in Austin, Texas. He places professionals in the financial advisory services arena, for global and boutique consulting firms, PE firms, investment banks and accountancy firms.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[2:42] How can a solo practitioner bill $700k+ and still have a life? John shares 4 key factors. [9:00] With no investment banking background, how did John become a strategic advisor in the financial services arena? [21:52] What made John decide to set up on his own? Hear the life changing events that led him to start his own recruiting practice under extremely challenging circumstances. [28:20] How joining the Pinnacle Society significantly impacted John’s business. [32:00] The mindset shift that leads to greater success. [34:40] Best practices for contract relationships and outsourcing (1099 arrangements). [46:20] With recruitment being really time consuming, how does John spend more time with his family? [51:02] Hear John’s two suggestions if you are working too hard to get things done. Going Solo and Getting the Right Balance
How can a solo practitioner bill $700k+ and still have a life? John started his firm in 2009 and says it took a while to come up with the right mix and balance. Some of the successful strategies he put in place include:
Focusing on these questions: How am I able to serve my clients better? What are my clients trying to accomplish? Forging relationships with contract recruiters. Transitioning to the position of a trusted advisor rather than a vendor. Can you relate to the above practices? In our conversation, John further discussed specific steps he took in applying the above strategies.
Establishing Contract Recruiter Relationships
One of the major contributors to John’s success as a solo practitioner is his relationships with contract-based specialists. The core idea behind this strategy is to compute your yearly revenue, convert it into an hourly rate, then delegate tasks that would cost less than your own hourly rate, and focus more time on those activities that enable you to earn more revenue.
This is how John puts it: “One of the things that I learned from Jordan Rayboy, who is a great friend of mine… He shared this on the episode he is on with you, where he talks about if you make X amount per year, and you extrapolate those hours out that you are gonna work, say $300 an hour, what are the activities that are $300 or less that you are spending your time on every day? And I thought, he is right, I am spending 60% of my time on things that are less meaningful than I should be.”
Some of the practices he shared are employing seasoned specialists, utilizing 1099 arrangements, and splitting the fee. Listen to the interview with John for full details.
If You Are Working Too Hard...
So how do you get things done and spend more time on your personal well-being, family, and other meaningful non-business/work-related activities? I asked John what advice he can give to someone who is able to successfully attain his job targets but is working too hard. John shared two suggestions:
Take inventory of how you are spending your time. Take inventory of your digital time. Hear John’s experience on what made him focus only
The Recruiter Roadmap to Recovery: How to Thrive in a Post-Pandemic World, with Greg Savage, Ep #64
As many parts of the economy open up again, recruiters are starting to see a surge in demand for talent. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a return to “business as usual.”
There are lessons to be learned from the pandemic, and important steps you must take to ensure you thrive in the coming hiring boom. If you go back to doing things exactly the same way you did before, we’ll miss out on the greatest opportunity in our lifetime to change some of the things we don’t like about recruitment.
That’s according to my special guest, Greg Savage who is making a repeat appearance on The Resilient Recruiter. Greg is of the most respected voices across the global recruitment industry, hear his insights on the pandemic, leadership, and reconfiguring the way you do your business.
With 40 years in recruitment, Greg is also the author of the Savage Truth which was published only about a year ago selling more than 10,000 copies - highlighting the loyal following he has built. If you have not been exposed to Greg’s no-nonsense approach to recruitment before, then you are in for a treat.
Episode Outline and Highlights
3:00 Greg shares his perspective on the pandemic - who are those that dealt with it best? 13:06 The best lockdown marketing idea - “flipping the dynamics.” 22:44 Enduring lessons from the pandemic that recruiters must adopt as standard practice. 33:08 Are KPIs outdated? 38:30 What are the key characteristics and values that owners should be looking for in potential new hires recruiting now compared to what they looked for in the past? 47:25 Thoughts on reconfiguring the profile you look for when hiring rookie recruiters. 55:28 Greg revealed one very important element out of his 14 business pillars, “Leadership Style.” Some Exemplary Performances From Recruitment Businesses in the Pandemic
When I launched this podcast in December 2019, I was very fortunate to have interviewed Greg in episode #1. Following up with him after more than a year, I am really keen to hear his perspectives on dealing with this crisis. In particular, I hoped he would be able to share examples of people or businesses rising to the occasion.
Greg has a unique vantage point as an advisor to and sitting on the board of, 14 different recruitment companies. How businesses reacted is comparable to the five stages of grief. Here are some key takeaways from him on how some businesses thrived during the pandemic:
leadership behaviour played a key factor - those who reached the acceptance stage first were the most successful. understanding the concept of goodwill equity made a big difference. transparency, communication, becoming visible and valuable was really critical. Best to hear directly from Greg both best and bad examples on how some leaders behaved when the pandemic and lockdowns took place.
What We Should Have Learned From the Pandemic
What are the enduring lessons we should learn from the pandemic as an industry? This is how Greg put it: “Well let me start with a rather cynical, but unfortunately true comment… Owners of recruitment companies will come out of this situation, so relieved that they have survived, so grateful that the markets are peaking up, but they will go back, Mark, and do everything exactly the way they did it before.”
This is where it gets more interesting, Greg continues: “Any second article you read on LinkedIn is about how the pandemic has changed recruitment. Absolute bullsh*t! It will not change it. But, the opportunity to reconfigure the way you do things, is HUGE. You can change, and I’ve got some great stories.”
Question from Our Listener
Prior to recording this episode, I asked connections on LinkedIn for questions I should be putting in to ask Greg. A very interesting question came from Greg Benadiba, who is the CEO of Bilingual Source. Now that we are e
Winning is Everything: How to Grow Your Business by Leveraging Recruitment Technology, with Eloise Sutton Kirkby, Ep #63
Are you a small to mid-sized recruiter who wants to beat the big boys and be recognized as a market leader? Or perhaps you’re super-ambitious and dream of expanding your recruitment business nationally or even globally?
In either case, you’re in for a treat as I interview Eloise Sutton Kirkby. Eloise is the Co-Founder and Director of Growth at Vincere, a market-leading all-in-one ATS CRM which is run by ex-recruiters. Vincere means “to win” or “conquer” in Latin, and they specialize in weaponizing recruiters through tech.
Eloise believes that recruitment technology levels the playing field for scrappy underdogs to win against their bigger competitors. In addition to her knowledge of recruitment technology and automation, Eloise shares her hard-won insights gleaned from scaling her company to 80 employees and offices in 5 countries.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[3:10] Eloise’s recruitment career takes her from Leeds to Tokyo; why she and her partner Bernie Schiemer started a software company. [8:20] Recruitment technology: what is a “Frankenstack”? [11:40] Which of your recruitment and business processes should be automated? [13:40] Eloise’s entrepreneurial journey and scaling her software company to 80 people. [18:18] Discussing the pros and cons of setting up an office offshore. [24:55] Business challenges that Eloise faced being headquartered in Vietnam. [31:31] Inbound marketing strategies and building a personal brand on LinkedIn. [45:17] Dealing with adversity: Eloise shares the toughest experience she’s ever faced. What Processes Should Be Automated with Recruitment Technology?
Being in the recruitment technology space, I asked Eloise if she can give an example of a workflow or part of the recruitment process that can be successfully automated. This is how she responded, “I think for mid-sized recruitment firms … the area of automation that is weak usually is between the front-middle-back office.”
She further elaborated, “Around your pay and bill systems, collecting of time from your candidates. Often what we see is that placement is made in the CRM, pushed out to the pay and bill software, and never seen in the CRM again. So the consultants don’t know if timesheets have been submitted if they are paid on that timesheets coming in and that is kind of important and that is just one example of how data is being siloed between different teams in a mid-sized organization.”
Inbound Marketing Strategies
Eloise and her team focused really heavily on product development with the sincere belief that word-of-mouth will do the marketing for them. Eloise recalls, “What we have really woken up to is the fact that we don’t really need to spend a lot in marketing. We don’t want to have a massive sales team, that is not us. What we do want to do is to have our customers not see us as a vendor, to see us as a partner and as part of that partnership, they will be our marketers.”
So what marketing strategies do they effectively employ? Some are as follows:
Referral and reward system for their existing clients Content marketing via LinkedIn Hear our discussion and sharing of practices on how to strategically use LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
Resilience in Adversity
I also took the opportunity to ask Eloise on what would be the most challenging experience and how she faced the challenge. She shared a very moving personal story which I believe you will find interesting. Best to hear it from Eloise in this episode.
Eloise Sutton Kirkby Bio and Contact Info
Eloise is the Co-founder and Director of Growth for Vincere, an all-in-one platform for recruitment and staffing agencies worldwide. She started her career in recruitment as a consultant with Michael Page in the financial sector. She had experience working in Leeds, Tokyo, Singapore, and is now based in Saigon.
The Recruiter On a Mission to Increase Female Representation at Board Level, with Venesa Klein, Ep #62
Why do companies struggle to hire female executives? How can we, as recruiting professionals, help our clients to address the gender-gap particularly in C-suite level searches? What steps can be taken toward a long-term solution?
By sharing her own experience, my special guest Venesa Klein gives her take on how businesses and organizations can make a meaningful, long-term impact on the gender-gap at executive levels. Venesa is a partner at Calibre One, a leading executive search boutique with offices in San Francisco, London, New York, and Singapore. Based in LA, Venesa manages the Women Board Member Recruiting as well as Diversity Recruiting specializing in VP and C-level searches for consumer internet, e-commerce, CPG and category-defining tech companies.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[1:48] Why do companies struggle to hire female executives? [5:38] What is the long-term solution to close the gender gap into recruiting C-suite levels? [10:08] Are your clients serious about addressing the gender gap in your organization or just playing lip service? Venesa shared the signs to distinguish which is which. [21:00] Venesa shares her own experience in balancing motherhood with work during the pandemic. [30:34] Critical roles husbands play for their working partners. [34:00] How boundaries and flexibility in schedule contribute to actively working mothers. [38:00] What could companies do to get an edge in attracting women top talents? [42:50] Venesa shares her experience in helping out build Google’s internal executive search function. [49:59] Hear our discussion on effective tools and recruitment technology. Addressing the Gender Gap: Small Steps for a Long-Term Strategy
As businesses and companies focus on gender diversity, it can be a challenge to close the gender gap. The reason? Venesa said, “That is the important question, what is the strategy? What is the long game? I think that’s the piece that companies are missing, is it’s very reactionary to pressure from aboard, you know social media pressure...We need to think much bigger than that.”
Although it can be difficult, Venesa laid out a few solutions as a starting point to address the challenge of closing the gender gap, especially in C-suite levels by creating pathways for women to progress within their respective organizations. Some of the pointers are as follows:
Recruiting women early and often into entry-level roles and defining career paths for them. Providing mentorship opportunities. Moving them through the organization in a thoughtful and structured way. Venesa also added, “You have to have a strong HR function that is thinking this through with you.”
A Roller-Coaster Ride
One of the life-changing events that Venesa shared is her “jolting experience” of motherhood and how she was able to balance it with work. While everybody has a different experience, becoming a mom (especially during the pandemic) was a wake-up call for Venesa. This is how she describes it, “I know that when I became a mom, it had felt like it wasn’t talked about. I don’t know whether because I didn’t have children or I wasn’t just tuned in to the conversation or that the conversations just weren’t happening.”
Some of the challenges she relayed, on which some of our listeners may be able to strongly relate to are:
From work being the priority and the ability to work all hours to having finite stop-start working hours and feeling exhausted. The challenge of focusing at work with so little sleep like it was survival mode. The challenge of spending as much time with children as possible while being an effective business partner. Have you had the same struggles when juggling work with motherhood?
Business Best Practices to Attain Female Top Talent
What can give a business an edge in terms of employing female top talents? Based on Venesa’s e
Best content for recruiting professionals
I’ve listened to many podcasts over the years related to the recruitment profession, but this one by far has the best content. Mark does a great job of finding the top people in our field and extracting how they do it.
Great content and format from Mark with very good guests that are actually in the arena fighting the good recruiting fight with actionable advice. Keep them comin’ Mark.
Great Content, Delivered Well
Always enjoy Mark’s style and he helps his guests deliver valuable messages. Worth your time and attention.