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The Resilient Recruiter

Aug 18, 2022

My next guest, Helen Plumridge, doubled her revenue last year and is on course to double again this year. But she didn’t achieve success overnight - it’s been more of a marathon than a sprint.

Over a 20 year career, Helen’s experienced her share of setbacks and disappointments including the failure of her first recruitment business startup. Other areas of huge learning include choosing the right business model, hiring the right people and growing into leadership. Plus, the usual challenges of balancing business, fitness goals and family life.

In this episode, you will hear Helen’s story of resilience and how she grew her recruitment business with the right combination of motivation, strategy, team, and partners. She discusses her partnership with Recruitment Entrepreneur and shares the key factors that contributed to doubling her revenue in the last year.

Helen is the founder of King Recruit and King Executive, a partnership-led recruitment and search industry working with high-growth, small and medium sized companies in the South-West of England.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:10] Why Helen’s first recruitment business didn’t succeed and what she learned from that experience. 
  • [5:08] Looking back at her career, what would Helen have done differently?
  • [7:18] Why Helen launched King Recruit after taking a break to have kids.
  • [12:50] How Helen won a large account which helped grow their business drastically.
  • [16:40] How to articulate your candidate’s ROI to potential clients.
  • [30:00] Helen’s insights on scaling her team.
  • [34:37] King Recruit’s business model, why and how they partnered with Recruitment Entrepreneur.
  • [41:37] How King Recruit doubled their turnover last year.  
  • [47:07] Managing and motivating your team / the “build a business within the business” approach.
  • [51:05] Helen reveals some hiring learning from the past and what their hiring process looks like today.
  • [59:04] The pros and cons of hiring experienced recruiters.
  • [1:02:00] Helen shares her adventure when she ran the Great Wall of China marathon.

Articulating the ROI of Hiring Your Candidate

One of Helen’s incredible success stories is how they won a large account when they were just starting as a small business. On her 40th birthday, they signed up a fast-growing client with whom they ultimately placed over 200 people. You will hear from Helen how they won that account - including how they got their foot in the door. Helen revealed best practices for marketing your hot candidates and how to articulate the potential return-on-investment when presenting them to clients. The following takeaways were elaborated in our discussion:

  • Wordsmithing.
  • Use compelling subject lines when introducing your candidate.
  • Identifying and communicating the quantifiable achievements of your candidate.
  • Putting forth the value and result they can provide for the company.
  • Bob Marshall’s FAB presentation (Featur, Accomplishment, Benefit)

How They Doubled Revenue Last Year

Another key highlight of this interview is how they doubled their turnover last year and are on the way to again double their turnover this year, after partnering with Recruitment Entrepreneur. What were the key factors that led to this momentum? “Setting that bar higher,” is how it was described by Helen. 

It involves understanding the P&L (Profit and Loss) in more detail, looking at performance per head, and being more strategic by using real-time data. Setting the bar higher and believing that it is achievable is what moves Helen’s team. By joining the Recruitment Entrepreneur platform, Helen also found that it is far more achievable to reach the next level. 

A Culture of Building a Business Within a Business

Helen also fosters a culture of hiring highly motivated people and giving them the freedom to run their desk in their way. This culture of ‘building a business within a business does not in any way compromise the King Recruiting’s way of doing things. As Helen explained, “It is not without systems and processes and vision.” 

Helen is not a fan of micro-managing. They empower their recruiters in business development, marketing, and client approach so long as it is aligned with King Recruiting’s way of working. This is also one of the reasons why they are more inclined to hire seasoned and mature recruiters - on which we discussed the pros and cons in this call.

Our Sponsors

This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro and Recruitment Entrepreneur.

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:


Recruitment Entrepreneur is the world’s leading Private Equity firm specializing in the international recruitment industry. If you’ve dreamed of starting, scaling and selling your recruitment business, this is your chance. James Caan and his team at Recruitment Entrepreneur are actively seeking ambitious recruiters who they can invest in. They provide everything you need to grow a successful recruitment business including: funding, financial expertise, coaching and mentoring, operational strategy, backoffice support, marketing and talent attraction solutions. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter. Start a conversation here:

Helen Plumridge and Contact Info 

Helen Plumridge, Founder, and Owner of King Recruit and King Executive. We're a partnership-led recruitment and search agency working with high-growth SMEs in the South West. I've enjoyed a 20-year career in recruitment, I started my business 5 years ago and last year, partnered with Recruitment Entrepreneur - to grow, scale and exit my business - in the next 5 years. 

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