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The Resilient Recruiter

May 18, 2021

This week on The Resilient Recruiter our most popular guest of all time, Rich Rosen, returns for his second interview. 

Previously, Rich shared the mindset and habits that made him a consistent top biller in the industry. This time, you will hear Rich’s unorthodox yet effective approach to client and candidate engagement, leading to high levels of repeat businesses and referrals. These are key factors for anyone who wants to achieve consistent billings and sustainable success in recruiting.

What is cool about Rich is that he is a ‘regular guy’ who achieves exceptional results. Most years, Rich bills around a million dollars from his home office just outside of Boston, yet he is very modest and is willing to share his knowledge and experience to benefit others. 

You are going to hear about Rich’s recent shift from contingency to engaged search, including the exact pitch he uses to close 4 out of 5 recent assignments. Rich also talks about the recent increase in candidate dropout rates and shares a real anecdote about a candidate ghosting him at the offer stage, and the hilarious tactic Rich used to finally get the candidate to respond, plus much more!

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [4:55] Transitioning from pure contingency to retained or engaged search
  • [10:07] Rich’s key to getting the majority of his business from repeat clients and referrals.
  • [15:36] Why did Rich fire a client at the beginning of this year?
  • [18:30] Hear the different criteria that make a good client.
  • [22:52] Revelation of Rich’s “zoo”-like experience during the pandemic.
  • [29:35] How to deal with ghosting from clients or candidates.
  • [33:00] Key pointers in rapport building.
  • [42:35] Sending a ‘breakup’ note to a candidate.
  • [47:54] Rich’s favourite tools and tech for recruiters.

Consistent Repeat Clients and Referrals

Part of Rich’s success is getting most of his business from repeat clients and referrals. The partnership-focused spirit that he exudes as well as his approachable personality makes it easy for him to get repeat businesses. When I asked him about this, he shared a couple of key pointers.

  • Doing the right business with the right people. Rich said, “For me, it’s all about working with good people. I have zero tolerance towards working with jerks and people that treat you like garbage.” He shared actual experiences on what types of clients he avoids.


  • Being real with anyone. “I think I’m extremely real with everyone. I talk to everyone the same way whether you're the secretary or you're the CEO.” Hear how Rich relates this to having future referrals and how it can lead you to a ‘win in the end’.

Have You Been Ghosted? Here is How to Deal with It

Being ghosted by a client or a candidate can be frustrating, but this is something that a recruiter should expect to happen. Nowadays, it seems acceptable for some to just stop communicating without returning a call or providing honest feedback. Rich shared a very interesting experience during my interview and how he used a very unconventional way of addressing it. 

I also asked Rich what we can do to minimize or deal with ghosting from clients or candidates. For Rich, it boils down to building trust and relationships. “I think all that you can do is to build that trust with your candidate, build the relationship up and you got to be more than just a recruiter.” 

Listen to Rich’s viewpoint and how he further shared, from experience, ways in which he is able to build that trust and relationship with his candidates and clients.

Sending a Break-Up Email to a Candidate

How do you deal with a candidate who suddenly disappears and has lost interest? Hear best practices on communicating with such cases. Rich and I shared our approach and how you can keep future options open. Also, hear a piece of really insightful advice that was shared to Rich by an industry veteran with regard to “chasing” candidates.

Keeping Up with Technology

A big bonus in this episode is that Rich shared the tools he is using for CRM, campaign management, and all recruitment related tech tools you might have not heard before! Links are below, but hear how these tools can be effectively used.

Rich Rosen Bio and Contact Info 

Rich is the president of Cornerstone Search, named by Forbes Magazine in the Top 20 Executive Search Firm in America for two years in a row. Rich has run his own recruiting firm for 25 years and is one of the top billers in the industry. Quietly billing $850k to a million dollars year after year from his home office in Boston. Rich has been a leading member of The Pinnacle Society, a consortium of the top 80 headhunters in the world, since 2016.

People and Resources Mentioned

  • Chris Schoettelkotte on LinkedIn
  • Outplay Email Campaign Manager website link
  • Interseller website link
  • Appsumo website link
  • Clearout email validation website link
  • WhoKnows website link
  • Chatterworks website link
  • Crystal Knows website link
  • Traq365 website link

Connect with Mark Whitby

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