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The Resilient Recruiter

Apr 19, 2024

Building a scalable recruitment business that operates seamlessly even without recruiters' direct involvement should not be just a dream—but a tangible goal. Balraj's achievement with Envision Education serves as a testament to what can be accomplished through strategic planning and execution.

Today’s episode explores how recruiters can build high-performing teams and a scalable business with a special guest, Balraj Guraya. As the founder and director of Envision Education, Balraj has not only grown the company into a high-performing team of 23 individuals but also strategically positioned himself to focus solely on scaling the business by replacing himself in the hands-on role in 2022

Tune in to gain valuable insights from Balraj's unique approach and what's working and not in building a scalable business that can thrive even when the founder isn't in the driver's seat.

Episode Outline And Highlights

  • [01:46] Why Balraj got into recruitment and started Envision Education 

  • [05:20] How Balraj began his business and how things worked in the first year

  • [08:07] The biggest challenges Balraj encountered before building a team

  • [12:04] The key milestones of growing a team from 2 to 23 people 

  • [15:06] How to structure the interview process and get the right people onboard

  • [22:37] Ways to structure your team and create an excellent candidate journey 

  • [20:45] Steps to building a recruitment business that runs without you 

  • [33:20] What contributes to creating a high-energy environment  

  • [44:23] How to hire right and create a smooth transition into your culture

  • [48:28] The key to building successful business partnerships with Rec2Rec 

  • [55:42] What candidate's journey is all about, and how it works 

  • [59:11] How to design, roll out, and improve processes for scale 

  • [01:02:04] Tip to conquer staff turnover and self-doubt as a business owner

How to Become a Manager and a Leader and Build Confidence in Your Effectiveness

During our discussion, Balraj and I discussed his recruitment strategies at Envision Education. Founded in 2014, Envision Education addresses staffing shortages in Primary, Secondary, and Special Schools across London and the home counties. Balraj's vision has led Envision Education to become a high-performing team of 23 individuals. His journey includes transitioning from a hands-on role as a builder in 2022 to focus on scaling the business.


Balraj shares six key principles for recruiters aspiring to become effective managers and leaders in their business. 


  1. Self-motivation: As a recruiter, Balraj shares that you have to be very self-motivated and have the drive, energy, and focus to grow your business in the beginning to build a strong foundation for growth and expansion.

  2. Be consistent: Balraj emphasizes maintaining a steady workflow and understanding that success takes time and effort. It’s not going to be an overnight achievement. So be consistent, produce the right quality and quantity of activity, and stay motivated. 

  3. Willingness to make mistakes: Recruitment takes work. It takes resilience, courage, and a willingness to put yourself out there, try uncomfortable things, make mistakes, and embrace them as learning opportunities.

  4. Get the right people on board: Balraj emphasizes the pivotal role of team composition in driving success. He explains the importance of recruiting people who align with the company's values and attributes and possess the necessary skills to contribute meaningfully to the team's objectives. Having the right people on board is a game changer. It’s the difference between success and failure.

  5. Structure your team: Structuring allows individuals to maximize their strengths and enhance overall performance. According to Balraj, structuring your team will help the team keep up and improve your turnover.  

  6. Coaching and development. Balraj highlights the importance of ongoing coaching and development in building a great team. Rather than solely focusing on placements, he emphasizes sharing knowledge and nurturing talent within the organization.


Ultimately, running a business transcends mere profitability; it represents a journey of personal development and collective growth—the continuous evolution of oneself and the team.

Steps to Building a Recruitment Business That Runs Without You


Balraj shares invaluable insights into transitioning a recruitment business from a one-person 360 operation to a structured departmental setup, effectively replacing oneself in key roles. The key to this evolution lies in making strategic and sometimes costly decisions, recognizing that letting go of control is essential for scalability. Central to this process is: 


  1. Finding some key people you can trust: Find people you can trust, people who treat your business as more than just a job and are excited about helping your business succeed. They are the backbone of your business, embodying a commitment to its success beyond personal gain.

  2. Have some high performers who you are consistently billing. Nurturing a cadre of high performers is critical for sustaining momentum and driving growth. These individuals excel in their roles and embody the energy and drive necessary to propel the business forward, even in the absence of its founder.

  3. Design a structured, clear career ladder: According to Balraj, this is one of the best things you can do within your business as a recruiter. Designing and implementing a structured career ladder from the outset provides clarity and direction for employees within the organization. The framework creates professional development and instills a sense of purpose and belonging among the team.

  4. Create a high-energy environment: Creating a vibrant, high-energy environment is key to enhancing engagement and cohesion within the team. Balraj emphasizes the need for regular team briefs and goal-setting sessions to align everyone with the company's vision and objectives. 

  5. Appreciation: Show appreciation not just to the sales team making the placements but to everyone, including the compliance team and the resource team. They are important in the work they do. Appreciation for all reinforces the value of every team member's contribution.

  6. Work on what is most important: Balraj's "4 Ds" approach—Do, Defer, Delegate, Delete—provides a framework for delegating tasks and freeing up time to focus on strategic initiatives. Investing in the sales team and expanding recruitment consultant roles are essential steps before relinquishing direct involvement in day-to-day operations.

  7. Develop processes: designing and implementing processes is indispensable for scalability. Balraj advocates for hiring or partnering with individuals possessing complementary operations skills to ensure the efficient execution of tasks and the seamless functioning of the business.


Scaling a recruitment business beyond the founder's requires strategic planning, delegation, talent cultivation, and process optimization. Embracing these principles paves the way for scale, sustainable growth, and long-term success. 


Our Sponsor


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:


Balraj Guraya Bio and Contact Info


Balraj is the founder and director of Envision Education, a recruitment firm he established in 2014 to address staffing shortages in schools across London and the home counties particularly within special needs education. Barlaj has grown Envision education to a high performing team of 23 people and was able to replace himself as a builder in 2022 so he can concentrate on scaling the business.


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