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The Resilient Recruiter

Sep 6, 2022

One of the core competencies of successful recruiters is influence.

When Cathy Stewart became a recruiter 15 years ago, recruiting seemed like a perfect fit based on her ability to build trust and influence others. In this episode, Cathy reveals her exact approach to influencing people which has enabled her to become a top biller. 

Recruiting is actually Cathy’s third career. Prior to becoming a recruiter, she started out as a music teacher before going on to achieve great success in direct home selling, building a multi-million dollar organization.  

Cathy Stewart is the Vice President of the Senior Living Division with Jeff Harris and Associates. Since she began her recruiting career in 2008, Cathy has been a consistent top biller and she became a Pinnacle Society Member in 2018.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [2:43] How Cathy went from music teacher to top-producing recruiter.
  • [6:31] Exploring the Senior Living niche.
  • [08:37] Cathy’s greatest accomplishment as a recruiter
  • [11:38] The ‘doctor’ mindset in recruiting.
  • [14:10] How to maintain a positive mindset.
  • [24:06] How to master the art of becoming an influencer and trust builder.
  • [38:17] Cathy’s comparison of contingent vs retained.
  • [47:46] Client development and not putting all your eggs in one basket.
  • [57:10] Work-life balance and creating your dream life.

The Keys to Success in Recruitment

Cathy is an achiever. Since she began her recruiting career in 2008 she has been the lead recruiter and top biller in the office her entire recruiting career and she became a Pinnacle Society Member in 2018. But what would she consider her proudest accomplishment as a recruiter? 

“I don’t see myself as a super special awesome person. I just think that I am really good at the basics,” is how Cathy describes it. Here are the key things that she believes have contributed to her success:

  • Mindset
  • Influencing Skills
  • Building Trust
  • Work-life Balance and Creating Your Own Dream Life

Creating and Maintaining a Positive Mindset

A positive mindset is not something you will get from someone else. You must create and maintain it within yourself. Cathy shares this from a recruiter’s perspective: it is about being passionate about your selected niche. It is about having a solid foundation of ‘Why’. Her love for seniors really motivates her to consistently do her best in her chosen niche which is senior living. She also added, “Being able to stay positive is really about gratitude. You can’t feel anxiety and negativity if you feel gratitude.”

Honing Your Influencing Skills and Building Trust

Cathy believes that influence is her “superpower.” How does she do it? As a DISC profiler, Cathy applies her knowledge and understanding of personalities when communicating with her stakeholders. An important key is having conscious self-awareness about both your own personality profile and the other party’s. This plays a huge role when influencing and building trust. 

Her sales background trained her to hone this approach when dealing with hiring managers, and interviewing candidates. She explains in detail how she incorporates these influencing skills in the recruitment process.

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:

Cathy Stewart Bio and Contact Info 

Cathy Stewart is a national leader in the senior living recruiting industry. From clinical to sales and marketing to operations leadership roles at both site and corporate levels, Cathy has spent nearly 15 years producing top talent for senior living organizations nationally. A native of Greensboro, NC, she began her recruiting career in 2008 with Jeff Harris and Associates and has been the lead recruiter and top biller in the office her entire recruiting career. At the heart of what she does lies her commitment to serving seniors and finding candidates who share that same mission. Despite starting a new career just as the economy was collapsing in 2008, because of their specialized niche in healthcare, JHA not only weathered the recession, but grew as more than 50% of firms across the nation closed their doors. Cathy began to build a team of researchers and recruiters in 2014, allowing her to deliver top talent with unmatched speed and accuracy to her clients in both retained and contingent search. Her commitment to her clients is evident in her determination to identify quality candidates quickly and efficiently.  Her team consistently averages between $800K and $1M in annual billings.  In November of 2018, Cathy was formally asked to join The Pinnacle Society, the premium consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America.

People and Resources Mentioned

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