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The Resilient Recruiter

Nov 18, 2020

“Our mums were best friends...” When Dan Matthews and Justin McGuire played together as children, nobody could have predicted that they would one day build a global recruitment company with offices in Amsterdam, Brisbane, Dubai, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London, New York, Perth and Singapore.

What makes this story even more remarkable is that as they grew up, Dan and Justin lost touch with one another but both ended up working in recruitment.  By a remarkable coincidence, they both ended up recruiting in the same industry -- advertising, creative, marketing, communications and ultimately they both ended up starting their own businesses, independently of each other. Years later, living in different parts of the world, they reconnected and realized there were incredible synergies to be had by merging their business to become a truly global organization.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:15] Dan and Justin share their origin story - from being childhood friends to merging their recruitment businesses to form DMCG Global.
  • [11:35] The pandemic’s impact on DMCG; how they have adapted their business model to future proof the business and accelerate growth.
  • [17:33] The Licensee model - how Dan and Justin are giving recruiters a turn-key business opportunity to become franchisees and partners of DMCG Global.
  • [24:25] The frustrations and challenges of growing a recruitment company that ultimately inspired Dan and Justin to create their new business model
  • [33:10] On mental health -- Dan and Justin share their own struggles with anxiety and burnout; how Justin “hit the wall.”
  • [41:50] How Justin has billed close to $1m this year despite a challenging market.
  • [50:00] Diversity and Inclusion as a differentiator; the technology platform that enables clients and recruiters to source, select and hire diverse talent.

A Radical Remodelling

Dan explained how DMCG Global is reinventing their business to encourage peer autonomy, reduce cost and increase revenue. Instead of “employees” they have “partners” -- self-employed recruiters who are effectively running their own business with the benefit of being part of a global brand.  Partners are provided with the technology, systems, back-office support and a dedicated marketing team. Plus ongoing mentoring and a peer community/support network.  centralized support team including digital marketing and back-office functions, and providing a  The support team enables the partners to focus only on recruitment - further motivated by an increased commission structure where they keep 60 - 80% of their billings. 

The rationale behind this change? Dan explained: “Under the new scheme, even if someone isn’t billing that much due to the pandemic, they still take home enough to get by. But at the top end, the 80% margin, that’s a lot of money. And we worked it out, our team in London and New York were making double or three times as much as they would have made on the original model.”

Justin added, “The goal really is… we are building budding entrepreneurs. And this is a great way of them still feeling part of a family. But also being able to take away the maximum out of their earning as well. It just seems to tick all the boxes. And also, we wanted to create something that was a point of difference for our consultants ” 

Definitely an exciting and interesting model, this has been very successful for DMCG so far. 

Dealing with Anxiety and Burnout

When talking about the greatest adversity that they have ever faced, Justin shared that recent circumstances in this period of the pandemic has caused him to feel burnout and anxiety. He admitted that this is not something that he had experienced previously. As Justin said, “Looking back at it, I think it's just a series of small things that started to build up over time.” 

How did he get through this feeling of burnout? He mentioned activities that give him a sense of normalcy and continuity. “Making sure the teams are motivated...Making sure my family was safe, secure, and happy…” He eventually felt things were going back to normal. To be open about this is truly admirable. A lot of people are going through the same situation.

If you are a recruitment business owner or recruiter, becoming aware of this feeling of overwhelm is a good starting point. As Dan also pointed out, “As a business owner... the last six months, 9 months, has been a very challenging period for everyone on the recruitment, or anyone all over the world right now. People are dealing with it in their own way. Justin has been great in actually noticing it, recognizing that, and actually dealing with it. And now coming to the other side and talking about it, that is admirable.”

DMCG Global Background and Contact Info

DMCG Global is a new recruitment agency created by the Founders of Daniel Marks, MCG&Co & SEVENTWENTY. It has 10 global offices in Brisbane, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, Perth, Sydney, and Los Angeles. DMCG has global recruitment specialists for the advertising, creative, marketing, communications and technology industries.

Co-founder Justin McGuire and Dan Matthews used to be childhood friends. 

Dan has twenty years of experience in Marketing, Advertising, Creative & Digital recruitment and has worked extensively throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Globally to deliver solutions to a broad array of leading blue-chip brands, consultancies and creative agencies.  

Justin began his professional career in London at the start of the digital boom, working in client servicing for a communications agency. He joined a headhunting firm based in London, setting up and leading the advertising and media business. Justin was then approached by a leading multi-national recruitment company and invited to relocate to Dubai. Following a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding two years, his experience in the communication industry combined with recruitment, training, and market knowledge, positioned him to set-up his own enterprise. MCG&Co (now DMCG Global) was born in Dubai in 2010 with a single vision: to connect the best businesses with the brightest talent in the marketing, communications and digital space

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