Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Resilient Recruiter

Oct 7, 2022

Want to know how a fast-growing recruitment firm generates 40 placements per month with a small team of only 11 people?

Then you’re going to love my interview with Elaine Tyler. She’s the CEO of Venatrix, a London based agency that specializes in recruiting and training SDRs for SaaS companies.

In 2015, Elaine partnered with James Caan and his recruitment venture capital firm, Recruitment Entrepreneur, to launch Venatrix. Since then, her company has consistently been one of the top performing businesses in the RE portfolio and she expects to double her headcount and turnover in the next 18 months.

What are the secrets to her success? Elaine shared so many golden nuggets, from branding and marketing strategies to creating a unique selling proposition that benefits both clients and candidates.

Elaine explained her sales and delivery model in detail and revealed the secret sauce that enables Venatrix to get such high performance and productivity from a relatively small team while achieving a Glassdoor score of 4.8.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:29] Elaine’s first recruitment job.
  • [05:17] Starting a recruiting career during the credit crunch in 2008.
  • [08:31] Selection criteria when recruiting for Sales Development Reps (SDRs).
  • [11:59] Why Elaine chose to collaborate with Recruitment Entrepreneur.
  • [17:02] Venatrix’s growth for the past seven years.
  • [20:07] The power of hosting events and building a community.
  • [25:01] Strategies for building a brand on LinkedIn.
  • [31:50] Contributing factors to getting a 4.8 Rating on Glassdoor.
  • [36:47] Representing the right clients - how to ensure you select the right partners.
  • [39:24] Venatrix’s business model and team structure.
  • [45:00] Speed and high standards - two critical success factors.
  • [48:00] Elaine shares their operational and quality standards.
  • [51:20] How to foster a fun work environment where people feel appreciated.
  • [53:00] What is next for Venatrix?

Starting Off with the Right Partners

Elaine started her career in recruitment 14 years ago, during the Great Recession of 2008. She shared her learnings and challenges - which a lot of us can relate to. What I liked about our discussion is her mindset of focusing on things that we can control - it worked for her during the recession, and the same principles are working for her today. 

She shared her story of how she had the opportunity to speak with James Caan which eventually led to her founding Venatrix. What made her decide to collaborate with James’ recruitment venture? “I was 29 years old and I had the feeling that something in my career was set to change and I needed a new challenge.” As the opportunity presented, she grabbed the chance! Originally she presented a business plan which she describes as ‘ridiculous’, but Recruitment Entrepreneur guided her to come up with a more realistic plan. 

After that, Venatrix was born - and is turning 7 this year. Elaine’s decision of choosing a reliable partner played a critical role in her success.

Building a Brand on LinkedIn

Elain and I also discussed marketing strategies and how the team at Venatrix are building a prominent brand on LinkedIn. Elaine explained how it happened organically: “It happened very organically. I think the reason why it worked so well and the reason why it became part of our brand personality… is that it is so authentic. Nobody told anybody to start doing videos. It just came naturally as part of our energy of business and we all subscribed to it as part of our brand personality.”


Elain also revealed that this ‘energy’ rolls down from the top - “It has to be led from the front, from the leaders and the most senior people from the business. You will see that … we post a lot and have that consistency. So that motivates the more junior people in the team.”


We also talked about another approach in marketing and community building in their respective niche. Elain also revealed the reason why they are rated with a high 4.8 rating on Glassdoor. 

Providing a Well-Qualified Pool of Talents for Their Clients

Venatrix’s value proposition is truly unique in that they provide extensive training and support for the candidates they place. This significantly reduces the risk associated with hiring entry-level salespeople. How do they do it? They offer a 9-module Virtual Sales Academy to accelerate the impact of the new hires. On top of that, they organize, sponsor, and host SDR meetups events in London which leads to peer-to-peer networking and learning.


Listen to the podcast to hear how Elaine came up with this idea and how this works for them, their clients, and candidates.

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:

Elaine Tyler Bio and Contact Info 

Elaine Tyler is the CEO & Founder of Venatrix, a specialist assessment, placement and training business that identifies high calibre Sales Development Representatives and introduces them to fast growth tech companies. As the candidates are typically entry level, Venatrix supports the businesses it works with by also offering a 9 module Virtual Sales Academy to accelerate the impact of the new hires, plus sponsors & hosts a number of SDR meet ups in London to encourage peer-to-peer networking & learning.

People and Resources Mentioned

Connect with Mark Whitby

Related Podcast You Might Enjoy

Subscribe to The Resilient Recruiter