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The Resilient Recruiter

Dec 9, 2021

In this episode, you will hear how Susie Farrell built a really successful executive search firm under challenging circumstances.  This podcast is called The Resilient Recruiter for a reason -- the path to success is often paved with adversity.  This was certainly the case for Susie. 

You will hear her share the story of why her first attempt to launch a recruitment business in Ireland failed - and how she applied what she learned from that experience to make it work the second time around. While this setback took a huge toll on her confidence, it also made her more determined than ever to succeed.  In this interview, she reveals some of her most effective marketing strategies for building her brand and growing a thriving business. 

Susie is the Founder and Director of Addison, an executive recruitment and search firm based in Dublin, Ireland. She has 17 years of experience working for global and specialist recruitment brands in Ireland, Australia and the Middle East.  Susie has extensively delivered in Banking, Utilities, Telecoms, Retail, Consumer and Government sectors in the areas of Corporate Affairs, Marketing and Business Transformation.

In this episode, you will relate to her experience and learnings. Enjoy!

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [2:11] From marketing to recruitment: Susie shares her career milestones.
  • [10:44] How Susie built a 7-figure change management practice from scratch and the biggest challenge she overcame in doing so.
  • [13:59] Susie’s brilliant strategy for building their brand and providing a platform for collaboration among her clients.
  • [22:30] Returning to Ireland and setting up a new business.
  • [28:40] Resilience and bouncing back from a devastating setback.
  • [36:30] The secret to Addison’s continued success.
  • [40:31] Transitioning to retained model and the thought process behind that decision.
  • [46:15] Hear about Susie’s involvement with the CovidComms Awards.

Great Ideas on Branding and Collaboration

Susie shared her career milestones of being a recruitment specialist for 17 years. Her solid experience working with specialist and global brands equipped her well to succeed in setting up her own business. However, it was not a walk in the park as you will hear in our conversation. You will relate to the challenges and failures she experienced, and how those learnings ultimately helped her get where she is today.

Susie credits the amazing team she worked with at her previous firm, Ampersand International as being pivotal to her successful career in recruitment.  One of the phenomenal ideas they came up with which she has replicated at Addison is the strategy of creating a forum or networking group within your niche, leading to collaboration, credibility, brand recognition and the development of key relationships.  

Bouncing Back from a Devastating Business Experience

Another takeaway from our conversation was Susie’s resilience. She shared a very challenging stage in her career that really took a toll on her confidence and almost made her quit the agency life altogether. This happened when she returned to Ireland from Australia in 2015 for personal reasons. Her former employers asked her to open an office in Ireland, which seemed like a perfect opportunity. She launched the business and built a brilliant team, but in spite of working incredibly hard things didn’t work out and they eventually had to close down after two years.

As you can imagine, this was a devastating experience for Susie.  However, it prepared her for the challenge of setting up her own search firm. 

Transitioning to the Retained Model

I have always advocated for the retained search model - it is a win-win solution not only for recruiters but for clients as well. This is the case with Susie, she used to work in contract staffing but now doing permanent placements on a retained basis. So what was involved in making that transition? 

Susie said, “I felt it was really risky running a business and being the only person in the business and having all this contingent work never really knowing what’s going to come in next month… It just helps you forecast guaranteed revenue but it also guarantees that I am going to deliver the results. I absolutely have to do it, they paid for it.”

Our Sponsors

This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro®. 

i-intro® is an end-to-end retained recruitment platform. Our technology and methodology allows recruiters to differentiate themselves from the competition, win more retained business, bigger fees and increase their billings. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter for a 25% discount. Book your free, no-obligation consultation here: 

Susie Farrell Bio and Contact Info

Presenting with a Masters’ Degree in Marketing and Business Studies, Susie is an Executive Recruitment and Search Consultant with 17 years experience working for global and specialist recruitment brands such as Ampersand Executive, Talent2 and Michael Page International in Ireland, Australia and the Middle East. She is Director and Founder of Addison, an Executive Recruitment and Search firm that partners with organisations looking to attract exceptional talent, focusing exclusively on mid to senior appointments in Communications, Corporate Affairs, Public Affairs and Marketing. 

Susie has extensively delivered across Financial Services/Banking, Energy/Resources, Telecoms, Retail, Consumer and Government sectors in the areas of Corporate Affairs, Marketing and Business Transformation. Her industry experience in Marketing, combined with her strong work ethic and passion for the executive recruitment and search industry, allows her to understand the specific requirements of her clients and candidates.

Susie is immersed in the current thinking of the essential customer functions by continually engaging with top talent from a diverse range of sectors and across multiple markets and geographies. She prides herself on integrity and professionalism and places a high priority on relationships and driving commercial results. Leading Addison, Susie will continue to support organisations deliver and manage critical appointments by providing a full range of recruitment solutions from executive search through to contract consulting appointments.

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