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The Resilient Recruiter

Dec 8, 2023

This episode celebrates the 200th episode of the Resilient Recruits Podcast with special guest, founder of Recruitment Coach, Mark Whitby. 


Mark is the founder of Recruitment Coach and one of the world's leading coaches for the global recruitment industry. Since 2001, he has trained over 10,000 recruiters in 34 countries. He's helped countless recruiters double or triple their billings in just 6-12 months, and business owners grow their companies 10x.


Mark shares his journey into recruitment, starting with a failed business venture that led him to discover his passion for sales. He then talks about his first job in recruitment and the hunger and drive that propelled him to success. Mark also reflects on the past four years of the podcast and the valuable insights he has gained from interviewing over 100 successful recruitment professionals.


Having worked closely with hundreds of recruiting, staffing, and search firms, Mark has unique insight into how the top-producing recruiters and fastest-growing companies operate. 


Episode Outline and Highlights


  • [02:20] What led Mark to pursue a career in recruitment?

  • [06:20] How hiring a professional coach impacted Mark’s performance.

  • [14:01] The value of training when scaling your recruitment business - hear training solutions for growing teams.

  • [17:44] Mark transitioned from a recruiter to a recruitment coach.

  • [19:41] What has changed in the recruitment industry in the 22 years Mark has been coaching?

  • [25:24] Key challenges and lessons that Mark experienced over the years.

  • [38:17] Celebrating 200 episodes - What motivated Mark to start the Resilient Recruiter podcast?

  • [44:47] What is Mark most proud of in his entrepreneurial career?


Hiring a Professional Coach Became a Game Changer


Mark told the story of how he started his own business at the young age of 19. Without any prior experience, it ended up failing but it also led him to discover his love for sales which eventually directed him to become a recruiter. 


His experience in his first recruitment job made him realize a critical challenge in the recruitment industry at that time: “So the first company I joined there was no training. It was like, or very little. There was a little bit of shadowing of people and like, but pretty much you just like you're in the bullpen and you had to sink or swim and just figure it out by looking at what other people were doing and copying them. But unfortunately, a lot of the people around me weren't very good or didn't know what they were doing either.”


Mark was then headhunted to join a larger recruitment firm of around 200 recruiters. Even though Mark was meeting his target and was in the middle of the leaderboard, he felt that he could still do way more. Mark hired a brilliant coach and this was a game-changer for Mark. 


“He helped me double my billings in about 90 days and my manager was like what the heck is going on? So that was such a transformative experience that it kind of planted the seed later for me to decide to become a coach myself.”


Mark's dual role as a recruiter and coachee laid the groundwork for discovering the secret sauce for aiding recruiters and business owners. For those venturing into recruitment business ownership, Mark's narrative is valuable in recognizing the pivotal role of training and coaching in the growth and scaling of your business.


Reflections on the Evolving Landscape of the Recruitment Industry Across Mark’s 22-Year Coaching Tenure


Mark also shared how the landscape of recruitment has changed over the last couple of decades that he has been recruiting. He remembers the day their key focus was cold calling, networking, and getting referrals. He also recalled his learnings when he lost 80% of his revenue overnight during the 2008-09 recession. 


Mark emphasized how embracing digital marketing became a pivotal move, leading to increased success post-recession. This also transitioned his key focus areas for training. As Mark said, “Originally when I was training people, it was how to self-retain, search, how to do business development, how to negotiate, you know how to close offers, all that kind of stuff right. And suddenly people could see what I was doing with marketing, with branding, with email marketing, and they're like, hey, could you help us to do that, because that looks like the way forward, right?”


This recollection underscores the importance of adapting to changing circumstances and highlights the importance of continuous learning and development.


Key Challenges and Lessons Learned


Mark also discussed the key challenges and lessons he had to go through over the years. He outlined several critical topics that resonate well with a lot of the listeners. Here are some takeaways:


  1. The value of seeking mentors and role models.

  2. The importance of digital marketing for solo recruiters and entrepreneurs.

  3. Realizing that you cannot do everything by yourself - hire a team of virtual assistants.

  4. Overcome the fear of hiring a full-time employee or partner to complement.

  5. Appreciating the concept of “One plus one equals three.”


Mark then recalled how he started this podcast four years ago. Leanne and Mark discussed how this has impacted their clients and other recruiters who have ventured out to start their recruitment firms. 


What are Mark’s proudest coaching moments throughout the years? “So what I'm most proud of is the results that our clients obtain. It's kind of comparable to, for our listeners, when you make a placement and you really have that impact and you change someone's life for the better both the candidate, of course, in a better opportunity, but then the client company also benefits from that talent that you've brought to them. 


So the equivalent for us is when we're working with a client and they achieve incredible results whether it's shifting to retained search, whether it's launching a podcast, whether it's hiring a virtual assistant, and then that being such a life-changing thing, game-changing, to free up all that time and be able to accelerate your billing. So I live for those success stories. When, at the beginning of every coaching call, we start out with wins and everyone needs to share a win, something they've made progress on, something they've achieved since we last saw them. That's my favorite part of the week is hearing those wins from our members.”


Our Sponsor


This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro 


i-intro® is an end-to-end retained recruitment platform. Their technology and methodology allow recruiters to differentiate themselves from the competition, win more retained business, bigger fees, and increase their billings. Their software combined with world-class training enables you to transition from transactional, contingency recruiter to consultative, retained recruiter. Instead of being perceived as a “me too” vendor, you’ll be positioned as a “me only” solutions provider. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter. Book your free, no-obligation consultation here:


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