Sep 20, 2023
Working 100+ hours a week nearly burned Gregg out. If running your recruitment business is stressing you out, Gregg’s story may be able to help you.
I am pleased to be joined by Gregg Salkovitch. Gregg is intentionally growing his recruitment firm to become a lifestyle business. Along the way, he learned a lot of things to achieve his goal while gaining more lifestyle freedom. You will hear insightful strategies on how Gregg is building his team and delegating tasks. We also discussed why it is critical to hire a COO to help you in scaling your business.
After a career as a top sales performer for 3 consecutive companies, Gregg co-founded a sales recruitment agency to combine the 2 things he loves most in business: sales and helping people. In 6 years, Gregg grew his company organically with no outside funding to 60 employees, reaching the Inc. 5000 for fastest growing companies 3 consecutive times. He then started a separate recruiting company, Right Choice Resources, which specifically focuses on the placement of salespeople, executives, marketing, account management, and customer success.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[01:38] Gregg’s journey of how he got into recruiting.
[04:30] When being laid off is a blessing in disguise.
[10:18] Transitioning from individual contributor to a recruitment business owner: Gregg shares the challenges that they overcame.
[14:51] Scaling team to 60 people in six years.
[17:07] Gregg reveals his key success factors.
[20:06] Character over resume: hiring strategies to get the right people.
[35:11] Discussion on growth strategies for a lifestyle business.
[37:02] When to hire a COO role to scale your business.
[42:49] Make less money in the short term to get long-term benefits.
[48:04] Transferrable skills from sales to recruiting.
[52:57] What is next for Gregg and his business?
Getting Laid Off Pushed Gregg Into a Recruiting Career
Gregg shared an amazing story of resilience on how he got into the recruiting industry. Getting laid off unexpectedly pushed Gregg into a recruiting career. He loved his sales job and was blindsided when he was laid off after 4 years as a top performer. This made interviewing difficult as he had to overcome the perception that he must have underperformed despite being an actual top performer. He also had non-compete from his old company which prevented him from staying in the same industry.
Facing these challenges pushed Greg to explore a new path by using his sales skills to transition into recruiting. This pivot into recruiting ended up being life-changing for Greg's career. You will hear how he used skills he learned from sales to be an effective recruiter. He even leverages his experience of being laid off to engage with candidates. “I think when I speak to candidates and we're seeing more layoffs right now, I have major empathy for them because it's not just like, I've sold like you. I've stood at trade shows for 5 hours like you. I've been laid off like you. And that really helps me, in my opinion, become a better recruiter because I've actually lived it.”
Though difficult, getting laid off opened new opportunities that Greg capitalized on. In his words, “It was a blessing in disguise. It was probably the best thing that ever happened.”
Character Over Credentials: Building an All-Star Team to Scale
Another topic that will also resonate with a lot of business owners is strategies for hiring recruiters and team members to scale. Gregg focuses on hiring people based on character and shared values over resume credentials. He wants people he genuinely enjoys working with. He told the story of how hiring a trusted person without recruiting experience worked well for their business.
This strategy works well for Gregg and his team. He has grown his first recruiting company (with no outside funding) to 60 employees, reaching the Inc. 5000 for Fastest-Growing Companies 3 times! These are some of my takeaways from their strategy:
Vetting the work ethic, values, and coachability is crucial
Greg wants employees he has a natural rapport
A team aligned in values helps ensure an ethical, collaborative culture
Why Hiring a COO is Critical
If you are a solo recruitment entrepreneur and planning to scale, hiring a COO is critical. This has been true for both Gregg and me, where hiring an effective COO became a game changer.
A lot of us may be able to relate to what Gregg said:
“I've been doing it by myself for twelve years and I've never really had help. And it's been exhausting. I mean, it's been an amazing ride, but it's been exhausting. And I like to have my recruiters focus on recruiting. I mean, that's what keeps the lights on and not worrying about doing side projects and onboarding employees and dealing with maybe a tough client, which I know is going to wear them down a little bit. So that's why I decided to hire somebody in operations, is that I have my recruiters recruiting. I'm doing everything else, and to do everything else, it's a lot. I just need a helping hand.”
Gregg is intentionally growing his firm slowly to have a lifestyle business. Hiring a COO helps him to focus on sales while delegating operations. Offloading operational tasks and delegating things that he does not enjoy doing creates more freedom and a better lifestyle. This resonates well with me. Some business owners may be apprehensive to take this approach because paying someone else can translate to lesser profit. But keep in mind that making less in the short term creates more freedom to earn much more in the long term.
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: https://recruitmentcoach.com/retained
Gregg Salkovitch Bio and Contact Info
After being a top sales performer for 3 consecutive companies, Gregg decided to co-found a company combining the 2 things he loved most in business, sales and helping people. Over 6 year period, Gregg grew this bootstrapped company with no outside funding to 60 employees, reaching the Inc. 5000 for fastest growing companies 3 consecutive times. He then started a separate recruiting company, Right Choice Resources, which specifically focuses on the placement of salespeople, executives, marketing, account management, and customer success.
People and Resources Mentioned
Allan Fisher on LinkedIn
Greg Savage on LinkedIn
Paul Warner on LinkedIn
Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call
Mark on LinkedIn
Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby
Mark on Facebook
Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach
Related Podcast You Might Enjoy
If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please take two minutes to leave a review. Your review is greatly appreciated because it helps us attract a bigger audience and help more recruiters. “Support the podcast and leave a review here”.