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The Resilient Recruiter

Mar 16, 2023

Running a desk while growing and managing a team can be extremely challenging. Someone who has managed to pull it off is Allan Fisher, founder of Premier Financial Search. 


Allan’s got an amazing track record of personally billing over a million dollars for ten years straight. Then during Covid, Allan decided to turn a threat into an opportunity and grow his practice from a small, office-based team of 4 people to a remote team of 15 people based across the country.


According to Allan, the secret to his success involves excellent an operational support team, robust systems and processes, leveraging automation technology and commit to ongoing staff training & development. 


In his long recruiting career, Allan has faced his share of adversity. As a recruiter and recruitment business owner, he went through the 9/11, the dot com bubble, the 2008/9 great recession, COVID and now the economic uncertainty and slowdown of 2023. 

However, Allan believes that after every recession, prosperity follows. 


Some of the key highlights that you will hear in this episode are:


  • The importance of consistent Quality output regardless of market condition

  • The value of hiring an integrator in your team to focus on the operational aspect of your business

  • How to build your business by putting up a remote team 

  • How to create a great training and team culture in a remote setup


Episode Outline and Highlights


  • [01:30] How Allan became a recruiter; the value of his Pinnacle Society peer group.

  • [06:43] Allan candidly reveals his career lowlights that many recruiters can relate to.

  • [12:30] Three learnings from coming out of economic recessions.

  • [20:40] How to prep your team to face challenging periods.

  • [24:08] Allan shares his career highlights and accomplishments.

  • [30:10] As a recruitment business owner, how critical is it to find someone to help you who is operationally focused?

  • [38:04] How Allan scaled his business from 4 to 15 team members remotely.

  • [42:17] Creating a great culture in a remote environment.

  • [48:10] The value of tracking performance and metrics.

  • [50:08] How Allan manages his internal recruitment just like any other successful search process. 

  • [58:50] How Allan manages his time to be a top producer and recruitment business owner at the same time.


Insulating Your Team During Downturns


“If we are consistent with what we do, if we never change the quality that we present, we are really trying to make ourselves the firm of choice in any market. So it is not gonna make us recession-proof, but it will insulate us.” This is how Allan summarized how they have dealt with economic downturns and recessions since he started his recruitment business.


Allan started his recruitment business just around 2001, prior to the 9/11 attack. However, he had been a recruiter since 1988. So you can just imagine how many downturns Allan had undergone as a recruiter and business owner - the dot com bubble, the 9/11 attack, the real-estate bubble leading to the 2008 recession, and COVID. Now that we are all facing a similar uncertainty it is invaluable to hear Allan’s thought process and insight, and below are the takeaways:


  • Coming out of a recession, the market usually rebounds in a dramatic way and this period usually brings prosperity. You will only lose out if you quit.

  • When the market changes for the better, clients will have more choices and they will revert to QUALITY. Be consistent with what you do and never change the quality that you present in any market.

  • Never stop doing business development. When things are doing well, it may be easy to get clients but never stop doing business development.


Why Having an “Integrator” is Key to Operational Success 


Being a successful business owner is not the same as being a successful recruiter. On the other hand, the best recruiters are not necessarily always the best business owners. The best business owners are actually the ones who are good at marketing, sales, and leadership. Hence, if you are a successful recruiter transitioning to becoming a business owner, hiring someone complementary to your technical skills is a key to success. 


This is the case with Allan, and he shared his journey of discovering this logical approach with his team. By finding his and his team’s strengths, he was able to find the best role for his members. From within his team, he was able to find an integrator who is very effective in operational execution. 


As a recruitment business owner, things you may need to ask yourself: Do you have an integrator to help in the operational aspects of your business? Are you able to set up your team for success by having them work primarily on their strengths?


Growing Your Business by Building a Team in a Remote Working Environment


A key highlight when growing Allan’s business is when they started to grow the team from 4 to 15 members in a couple of years by hiring people remotely. “A couple of years ago when we realize that location was not really a factor for our clients. Then I realized, maybe it should not be a factor for us,” he recalled. So Allan started to work on building his team, by first running a search. He looked for candidates that have been doing what they do for 3-4 years and ran a national search. He was able to find rockstar team members in doing so. Given that this is a remote setup, Allan also revealed how they adjusted their training methodology in order to accommodate their new team members. Lastly, Allan also shared how he works on the team’s dynamics and culture despite the differences in proximity.


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 in who they can invest. They provide everything you need to grow a successful recruitment business including funding, financial expertise, coaching and mentoring, operational strategy, back-office support, marketing, and talent attraction solutions. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter. Start a conversation here:


Allan Fisher Bio and Contact Info


Allan Fisher has been the recruiter of choice to elite local, regional, and national accounting firms for 25 years. Leveraging his extensive industry expertise, Allan is driven to facilitate transformative change for organizations and candidates, alike. With a mission to further client strategic visions and goals, Allan has keen insight into accounting talent market trends and forces, enabling him to make placements that surpass industry averages for engagement and retention.


Allan originally began his career in accounting, spending two years with a professional services firm. From there, he moved to a division of a $500 million publicly traded software manufacturer. In January 1998, seeking to utilize his accounting background in service to others, Allan made the jump to recruiting and joining Accounting Principals, a national staffing firm. In his three and a half years with Accounting Principals, he was ranked as one of the top executive recruiters nationwide, winning the “Consultant Of The Year” award by the California Staffing Professionals Association (CSP) in 2000.


Today, Allan has established himself as an industry thought leader and has spoken at meetings of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the California State Board of Accountancy, The Westside Firm Administrators Group, and ProVisors. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal.



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