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The Resilient Recruiter

Jan 7, 2022

In this interview, my special guest Craig Paisley shares his secrets to billing close to 7-figures as a solo recruiter.  He finished the year on $950,000 to be exact. How was he able to accomplish this amazing feat? There were several factors, of course, but Craig believes that the biggest key to his success was his tech stack. In this episode, Craig reveals his preferred automation tools and how he leverages recruitment technology to fill jobs faster than his competitors.

Craig started his recruitment business, Industrial Resource Group, in 2009. He specializes in recruiting for companies from the food and beverage manufacturing and distribution industries across the United States and Canada. In 2021, IRG was awarded 56th Forbes Best Recruiters – Professional Search.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [2:57] Craig shares how he got into recruiting and what inspired him to set up IRG.
  • [6:43] Bravely setting out to start a new venture in the most challenging economic climate
  • [9:19] How scaling down became a key to Craig’s success 
  • [15:42] Billing more while being solo with the help of an effective tech stack
  • [17:18] Craig shares an overview of his tech stack (Bullhorn, Herefish, TextUs, Daxtra, 3DIQ)
  • [21:10] Understanding Herefish and making the most of automation to save time and increase profits
  • [26:25] How to choose an optimal tech platform
  • [38:29] Craig breaks down his step-by-step sourcing process and typical turnaround time for vetting and submitting candidates.
  • [41:20] Choose your clients wisely to enjoy success
  • [47:31] The metrics simplified – Craig’s system for self-management
  • [52:08] Quality vs quantity – Craig explains why less is more in his business
  • [53:22] Emphasizing the importance of working in a niche market

Starting a Recruitment Firm During the Great Recession

Prior to becoming a business owner, Craig was a successful full-desk recruiter with the same firm for 10 years and worked his way up to VP of Sales. When he eventually launched his own staffing firm in 2009, the timing wasn’t ideal. When I asked how he survived the first 12 months as a new business during the great recession, Craig described it as “kind of fighting… you claw and you edge your way in any place that you can… it was tough, it was a grind, I just pounded the phones and I worked hard.  Any opportunity and position I got, I worked hard on it and luckily I was able to make placements and string enough together to where I sort of built up some momentum.”

Leveraging Automation Tools

Craig was able to make 2021 his best year yet in terms of personal production, just shy of one million dollars.  How did he do it? By leveraging automation tools. Some of the recruitment technology stack we discussed include:

  • Bullhorn
  • Herefish
  • Textus
  • Daxtra
  • 3DIQ

Craig reveals his exact system and end-to-end sourcing process. He’s built a “candidate generation machine” that enables him to source, vet and submit candidates quickly and efficiently.  Even though the majority of his searches are contingent, he is able to outperform his competitors and win the day.

Automating mundane tasks can be extremely profitable by saving time and increasing productivity. As Craig puts it, previously the majority of his phone calls were reaching out to candidates to try and talk to them about a position. Now the outreach part is automated and his phone calls are more focused on screening candidates, getting them prepared for interviews, and closing deals.

Vetting Your Clients Well

With the rising demands for candidates, how is IRG able to compete with other recruiting companies in such a tight job market with more openings than candidates available? Craig’s secret is choosing their clients wisely. “I think I have more success because of where I am starting from. What I mean by that is if I partner with good companies that have good reputation, that have good positions with great opportunity of growth, good salary, bonuses, all that stuff, if I am going to the market with those kinds of positions, it is going to be easy for me to get more candidates.” 

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: 

Craig Paisley Bio and Contact Info

A dedicated business owner with over 20 years of experience in the staffing industry.  Experienced in all areas of staffing including Clerical, Accounting & Finance, Maintenance & Engineering, Sales, Light Industrial, etc.  With honesty and integrity, Craig’s passion lies in the successful recruitment of personnel in the food, beverage, and pet food manufacturing and distribution industries for companies across the United States.

Specialties: Over 10 years of manufacturing and distribution based recruitment experience with a focus and emphasis on partnering with companies from food, beverage and pet food industries across the United States and Canada.

Craig started his career as a full desk recruiter placing exempt and non-exempt maintenance personnel in California.  He then moved into a regional management position within the same division before moving on to build a clerical division for a joint venture/new company.  From there, Craig moved into a director role focused on light industry and left the company after 10 years as the VP of Sales responsible for multiple states and offices.

Craig started IRG in 2009, building the company to 8 internal employees before downsizing to a solo operation in early 2020.  Currently ranked the 56th best staffing in the US by Forbes.

People and Resources Mentioned

  • Bullhorn website link
  • Herefish website link
  • Textus website link
  • Daxtra website link
  • 3DIQ website link

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