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The Resilient Recruiter

May 4, 2021

Success in your recruitment business requires a lot of effort and commitment. If you’re being honest with yourself, are you working too hard for too little return? What if you can still be successful, and at the same time spend time on things that matter most? My special guest, John Schlegel, openly shared strategies that helped him be truly successful in his solo-practice while “having a life.” 

From mindset, and utilizing contract recruiters, to building meaningful business relationships, you will hear valuable insights and best practices that may help you balance work with your personal life. John is the CEO and Founder of Stonebridge Search in Austin, Texas. He places professionals in the financial advisory services arena, for global and boutique consulting firms, PE firms, investment banks and accountancy firms.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [2:42] How can a solo practitioner bill $700k+ and still have a life? John shares 4 key factors.
  • [9:00] With no investment banking background, how did John become a strategic advisor in the financial services arena? 
  • [21:52] What made John decide to set up on his own? Hear the life changing events that led him to start his own recruiting practice under extremely challenging circumstances.
  • [28:20] How joining the Pinnacle Society significantly impacted John’s business.
  • [32:00] The mindset shift that leads to greater success.
  • [34:40] Best practices for contract relationships and outsourcing (1099 arrangements).
  • [46:20] With recruitment being really time consuming, how does John spend more time with his family?
  • [51:02] Hear John’s two suggestions if you are working too hard to get things done.

Going Solo and Getting the Right Balance

How can a solo practitioner bill $700k+ and still have a life? John started his firm in 2009 and says it took a while to come up with the right mix and balance. Some of the successful strategies he put in place include:

  • Focusing on these questions: How am I able to serve my clients better? What are my clients trying to accomplish? 
  • Forging relationships with contract recruiters. 
  • Transitioning to the position of a trusted advisor rather than a vendor.

Can you relate to the above practices? In our conversation, John further discussed specific steps he took in applying the above strategies.

Establishing Contract Recruiter Relationships

One of the major contributors to John’s success as a solo practitioner is his relationships with contract-based specialists. The core idea behind this strategy is to compute your yearly revenue, convert it into an hourly rate, then delegate tasks that would cost less than your own hourly rate, and focus more time on those activities that enable you to earn more revenue. 

This is how John puts it: “One of the things that I learned from Jordan Rayboy, who is a great friend of mine… He shared this on the episode he is on with you, where he talks about if you make X amount per year, and you extrapolate those hours out that you are gonna work, say $300 an hour, what are the activities that are $300 or less that you are spending your time on every day? And I thought, he is right, I am spending 60% of my time on things that are less meaningful than I should be.”

Some of the practices he shared are employing seasoned specialists, utilizing 1099 arrangements, and splitting the fee. Listen to the interview with John for full details.

If You Are Working Too Hard...

So how do you get things done and spend more time on your personal well-being, family, and other meaningful non-business/work-related activities? I asked John what advice he can give to someone who is able to successfully attain his job targets but is working too hard. John shared two suggestions:

  • Take inventory of how you are spending your time.
  • Take inventory of your digital time. 

Hear John’s experience on what made him focus only on tasks that are productive.

John Schlegel Bio and Contact Info

John Schlegel is the CEO and Founder of Stonebridge Search in Austin, TX.  He places senior professionals in the financial advisory services arena, with specific expertise in service areas such as Valuation & Opinions, Dispute Consulting, Forensic Services, Restructuring & Turnaround, and Transaction Advisory. His clients include accounting firms, global and boutique consulting firms, private equity firms, and investment banks.  In addition to John's search experience, he provides support for mergers and acquisitions within his specialty areas, both on the buy-side and sell-side.

John is a member of the prestigious Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of 80 of the leading recruiters in North America. Membership is based upon the stringent criteria of verifiable industry success, ethical standards, expertise and experience.

John holds a B.A. in Public Relations from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Oklahoma. He lives in Austin with his wife and four children.

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