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The Resilient Recruiter

Feb 23, 2021

When the NBA shut down due to the Coronavirus on March 11, 2020, Joe Rice knew immediately that his hospitality search firm, Joseph David International, would soon be in serious trouble. He also knew that he wasn’t going down without a fight!

In this episode, listen into my conversation with Joe as he describes how they immediately pivoted to a brand new market sector and finished out the year on their best-ever quarterly performance. 

Joe’s story is highly relevant and relatable, and he doesn’t hold back. Listen in to discover his biggest lessons and takeaways that can be applied by any recruitment business owner who aspires to build (or rebuild) a 7-figure firm.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [3:05] Joe shares his first experience in the Pinnacle Society and his ‘intense’ encounter with Jordan Rayboy.
  • [6:10] A critical and timely pivot - listen to how Joe dealt with the pandemic.
  • [12:30] Joe shared the steps he took when re-starting his business and our discussion about building your database.
  • [20:20] Shifting from solo full desk production to assuming the CEO role - Joe’s shares his transition.
  • [22:40] “Barbaric, caveman-like recruiting” and going back to the fundamentals of good old-fashioned hard work.
  • [29:30] Operating in faith, listen to Joe’s encouraging realizations when his company underwent trying times.
  • [38:55] The mindset and mentality of a top producer.
  • [44:36] What 2021 looks like for JDI.
  • [48:41] Joe talks about the MogulRecruiter platform.

A Difficult but Necessary Pivot

Joe started his recruitment career around 2005 and with a core focus on the hospitality industry. With the implementation of lockdowns and mobility restrictions, hospitality is one of the most impacted industries during the pandemic. How was Joe able to deal with this sudden change?

He started “I didn’t go full time recruiting until ‘06 but it was all hospitality then… I worked for hospitality from that point, until last year. That is all I ever did.” A critical moment hit him around February 2020 when he attended a conference called ALIS (American Lodging Investment Summit) and CEO Chris Cahill of Accor Hotel connected with him. In a call, he was told by Chris,  “Joe, I can’t believe nobody’s paying attention to this thing… the coronavirus… Joe, it’s unreal to me, nobody is paying attention. The hotel industry is not paying attention. No one. And it’s coming, it is coming I promise.” This got Joe asking around and realized not many people he knew at that time was aware of what was coming. 

This realization helped to prepare Joe and his team. A point came when he dropped everything in hospitality and pivoted to healthcare. His actions were timely and it proved valuable when clients from the hotel industry started telling them that their services were no longer needed.

“Barbaric, Caveman-like Recruiting” and Going Back to the Fundamentals

Joe and I had a discussion about the definition of ‘hard work’ in a recruiter’s field. Transitioning from hiring hospitality professionals to hiring healthcare professionals, what Joe realized is the importance of hard work and going back to the fundamentals. This is how he revealed his realizations, “I get to have a very stark contrast when I did jump back into full desk eventually. This business hasn’t really changed that much. It’s eerie, that it is one of the few businesses that has not really innovated much. They tried to innovate, but they really haven't. And the way that we made this turn, was good old-fashioned hard work. There was nothing scientific or magical beyond getting the data and at that point, it was phone calls, email, and activity.”

Joe added, “It was just, barbaric, caveman-like recruiting.”

A typical day for Joe was making 70 phone calls to try to get business and sending out email campaigns.  A lot may have forgotten the fundamentals of recruitment - persistence, hustle and grind. Hear how this approach worked out for Joe.

A Change in Paradigm and Valuable Learnings

Undergoing trying times during this pandemic, hear Joe reveal his valuable learnings and realizations. Some of them are:

  • The importance of persistence and hard work
  • Having the awareness of how blessed you really are. 
  • The importance of a team.

Trust me, you will want to hear it from Joe. His firsthand experience is definitely relatable to a lot of recruiters who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

Joe Rice Bio and Contact Info

Joe is a Managing Partner and Founder of Joseph David International (JDI), twice recognized by Forbes as one of the best executive recruiting firms in America. He is also a partner in MogulRecruiter, a technology platform that provides recruiting, booking and talent solutions for service leaders. His recruiting career started in 2005 with Snelling Hospitality with a specialty in executive search, consulting, talent acquisition, and organizational leadership.

People and Resources Mentioned

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