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The Resilient Recruiter

Aug 31, 2021

When you started in your recruitment career, how long did you visualize yourself doing this for? Many recruiters get into this profession because of the earning potential but don’t necessarily see recruiting as a long-term career.  There’s no question that recruitment is challenging. The failure rate among rookie recruiters is high and many experienced recruiters suffer from burnout. Is it possible to make recruitment a rewarding career for the long term?

My special guest, Michael Goldman, is an example of someone who has enjoyed longevity and sustained success in recruitment.  Michael started his recruitment career in 1980 and founded his own firm, Strategic Associates, in 1988. Michael has built an excellent reputation as an executive recruiter in manufacturing and supply chain nationwide, in both contingency and retained basis. He is a Founding Member and former President of the Pinnacle Society. Having run a successful desk for over 40 years, and being consistently a top producer, he also speaks on, and enjoys teaching, recruiting tactics and strategies to recruiters globally. In this episode, Michael shares his passion, learning, and what makes his recruitment career a fulfilling and rewarding path.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [4:22] Michael’s story on how he got into recruiting in the 80’s.
  • [7:54] The 3 keys to long term success and fulfilment as a recruiter
  • [10:42] Understanding the value you bring to clients and candidates. 
  • [17:48] How to become a "career conciliere" rather than just a "resume traffic cop"
  • [26:22] The power question to ask your client to engage them.
  • [29:01] Trying to convert a contingent client to a retainer: what are the best selling points?
  • [40:00] In his 40 years in the industry, what is the biggest challenge that Michael has faced?
  • [44:28] Michael reveals a quote he cut out of a newspaper years ago that drives him to this day.
  • [48:13] Michael's recruitment solo practice.

The 3 Keys to Long Term Success and Fulfilment as a Recruiter

Successfully running his desk as a consistent top biller for 40 years, I wanted to ask Michael on what can young recruiters learn from a seasoned veteran like him. He responded, “understand what it means to bring value.” MIchael is passionate about helping recruiters develop themselves as "counseling" rather than "transactional" recruiters. He has helped a lot of recruiters, candidates, and clients as well as changed people’s lives with this clear mission of bringing value. He further expanded on what this means and outlined three keys:

  • Understanding the purpose of your business
  • Understanding what value you could bring 
  • Understanding how to influence people rather than “sell, sell, sell.”

What It Means to Add Value

What does it mean to add value as a recruiter? Michael explained, “Providing expertise, a counsel to help guide people not just on where they want to get to from point A to point Z. But how to put tools and tactics and strategies together to get to that point. We are not about just transactionally being traffic cops and sending out resumes and setting up interviews. The better among us, the most self-fulfilled among us are ones that can tap into what will help motivate people for success. It is not just on the candidate’s side it is on the client’s side too.”

I absolutely agree with this mindset. Recruiting is indeed not about being too transactional as engaging with your stakeholders and motivating them. I believe this approach is the secret to Michael’s longevity in this industry.

Why Michael Does Things that Scare Him

Michael shared a fantastic quote from the Founder of Southwest Airlines: “I love to do things that scare me because without fear there is no courage.”  He cut this quote out of a newspaper years ago and it’s wisdom drives him to this day. This philosophy has helped Michael face challenges, adapt to changes and always stay out of his comfort zone. Do you have a favourite motivational quote you can share? Let me know in the comments below!

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: 

Michael Goldman Bio and Contact Info

Since 1980, both in his native New York and Austin, Texas, Michael Goldman has cultivated a respected reputation for achievement in nationwide manufacturing/supply chain executive recruitment on both a contingency and retained basis. In 1988, he founded Strategic Associates with the purpose of creating a highly specialized firm encompassing talent in the areas of supply chain, procurement, quality/regulatory affairs and operations (plant and corporate).  Clients span industries from medical devices to consumer packaged goods to industrial to high technology products–from perishable goods to durable–from food products to computers and personal communication devices to biomedical technology to capital equipment. They are from Fortune 500 and 50 to mid-sized privately-held firms.   

Michael is an original Founding Member of the Pinnacle Society and, from 1991 to 1995, served two consecutive terms as its second president.  He was awarded the Honorary Lifetime Membership in recognition of both his accomplishments in recruiting and service to Pinnacle.  In addition, he has earned his CPC through the National Association of Personnel Services.   

Along with continuously maintaining his consistent success as a “desk-running” recruiter for over 40 years (and currently), Michael also speaks on and teaches domestically and internationally advanced and basic recruiting tactics and strategies. He has been requested to provide grass-roots recruitment seminars and speaking engagements to American state and national organizations as well as international audiences. To date he has personally educated recruitment professionals in the US, Ireland, England and South Africa.  In addition, he has conducted webinars for state recruiting organizations and Pinnacle Society meetings and Pinnacle Panel events.

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