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The Resilient Recruiter

Dec 15, 2021

A highly successful career in a large recruitment agency does not always translate to becoming a successful business owner. As challenging as it can be running a desk, the challenges are multiplied when running a business.  As my special guest Amanda Brandenberg explains, you suddenly find yourself wearing “42 different hats.” 

Yet in spite of those challenges, Amanda has grown from startup to revenues of $2,000,000 in just three years. That puts her firm in the top 1-2% out of 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Her journey to building a successful search and staffing firm has never been easy, and the insights Amanda shares are hard-won.

Amanda Brandenburg is the Founding Principal at OpusLex Partners, a legal recruiting boutique servicing law firms and corporate legal departments throughout the country. For over a decade, she was a top producer at two of the country’s largest legal staffing firms where she provided interim solutions and direct-hire placements to law firms and corporations within the continental U.S.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:30] “Long and winding road“ - how Amanda joined recruitment.
  • [8:00] What are the qualities necessary to achieve a high-performance career? 
  • [11:22] Hear the two keys that contribute to Amanda’s success.
  • [14:20] Amanda talks about the services they deliver.
  • [16:30] What separates a top performer from an average performer?
  • [19:30] How self-awareness can help you build a solid team.
  • [26:10] Opening a new office during the great recession - Amanda shares her story.
  • [32:09] The journey of building Opus Lex.
  • [41:54] From a top biller to starting her own business - a few ‘surprises’ Amanda experienced along the way
  • [46:00] Looking back: what learnings can Amanda share from her career?
  • [51:26] The mindset of a high achiever.

From Being a Top Biller to Recruitment Firm Founder: Success Formulas

Amanda is a consistent high achiever. From being a consistent top biller, overcoming recessions, she eventually quit a steady lucrative role to start her own gig. I wanted to get insight from Amanda on her key factors to success. What separates a top performer from an average performer? She laid out a few differentiating factors:

  • Taking Ownership & Responsibility
  • Integrity and Transparency
  • Empathy

Are you planning to startup or currently in the painful phase of setting up your own business? Amanda shared that it is important to find your own motivator. This is how she puts it, “For anyone starting out, you have to find your own motivator and I think especially with this younger generation that we have right now, they are really motivated by helping people. We are in a business, so you would have to dollarize that in some way and dig a little deeper because this can be quite transactional sometimes but I think you have to really think about what motivates you. If it’s changing lives, then think about how many placements per year in terms of how many lives changed.”

Why Self-Awareness is Critical When Building a Team

Having a great team around her previous roles and currently in Opus Lex is a critical factor in her success. She shared her thought process when putting together an awesome team, “Self-awareness. First of all I have a very long list of things that I am not good at, that are not my strengths. I really do understand what my strengths are… I am not the most organized person, I’ve got a lot of loose ends at any given point.”

This awareness enables Amanda to build a compatible and solid team. Her strength is in client-facing and allows her other team members to handle operational tasks.

Painful Phases and Surprises When Starting Up Your Own Business

When Amanda was working with her previous employer, she had the opportunity to open up a new office. This happened during the great recession whilst pregnant and she had just moved into a new house. You will hear her fascinating story during this phase of her career which gave her confidence in building her own business. It was not a walk in the park though, as she also had a lot of ‘surprises’. I hope you will relate to her story and be inspired to overcome challenges when running your own recruitment business.

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: 

Amanda Brandenburg Bio and Contact Info

In 2018, Amanda founded OpusLex Partners to bring a hands-on, customized, and personalized approach back to legal recruiting. At OpusLex, which translates to “legal body of work,” our body of work includes finding the very best for every search.

Amanda is passionate about her work and enjoys the challenges and competitive nature of the business. When she’s not sourcing top legal talent for her clients, you can find her spending time with her husband, their three children, and two rescue dogs at home in Atlanta. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

People and Resources Mentioned

  • Non-Profit Org that Amanda Supports: Chris 180 website link

Connect with Mark Whitby


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