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The Resilient Recruiter

Sep 28, 2021

Imagine if instead of placing one person at a time, you were able to recruit a whole team and enjoy correspondingly bigger deal values.

I always thought team moves were rare opportunities that you might come across once in a blue moon - if you’re lucky. That was until I met my special guest Harlan Friedman.  Harlan has developed a process for “lift outs” and has moved teams multiple times in his career.  Through experience, he understands the nuances of how to put these complex deals together.  Sometimes instead of recruiting an intact team, Harlan creates a “dream team” and places them together at a client company. 

In this episode, you’ll hear Harlans’ tips and advice on how to strategically move teams. Plus, be inspired when you hear Harlan’s remarkable story of how he joined the search industry at age 55 with $300,000 in debt. Listen to how he turned his finances around within 18 months by becoming a consistent top producer before eventually building his own search firm. 


Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:40] It is never too late! Hear Harlan’s remarkable story and how he joined the recruitment industry at age 55.
  • [8:39] Differentiating factor and secret to Harlan’s success.
  • [11:10] Best practices: reaching hard to reach clients using targeted emails and opportunistic hiring.
  • [19:07] The effectiveness of addressing your candidate or client’s biggest concerns.
  • [23:50] The key to being a good recruiter: don’t try to sell anybody anything.
  • [27:40] How Harlan works in a very disciplined way.
  • [32:19] Why take calls from individuals that you may not be able to place?
  • [35:00] Team moves versus individual hires - how to recruit teams or even create them.
  • [46:56] Harlan’s proudest accomplishment in the last 10 years.

Fascinating Story of How Harlan Started His Recruitment Career

One fascinating story about Harlan is he actually started in the search business in 2011, he was in debt and 55 years old. Harlan had enjoyed a very successful career as a public finance banker.  However, when the real-estate market crashed, his high six-figure income turned zero overnight. Unfortunately, his wife lost her job around the same time and as the months went by with no job offers, they ended up $300,000 in debt. 

Harlan’s fortunes changed when he responded to an ad in Craig’s list and persuaded the owner of a small search firm to give him a chance.  With no background in recruiting, Harlan became rookie of the year and the top biller in an office of about 8-10 full time recruiters, enabling him to pay off his debts in 18 months.

The Key Success Factor

How did Harlan do it? What made him very successful in the recruitment business even if he has no prior experience? This is how he puts it, “I think the number one answer is I am very coachable.” He shared the story of how he was inspired by a shoe salesman becoming a top salesperson of the company (you need to hear this one from Harlan). He also mentioned how discipline plays a key role in his daily routine.

Selling by Not Selling - “Don’t Sell Anybody Anything”

Another remarkable takeaway from our conversation is Harlan’s perspective on reaching out to clients. He focuses on what their concerns are -- not on how he will get the deal. “I don’t try to sell anybody anything. That’s the key to being a good recruiter, don’t sell. Because if they think you are selling, you have nothing.” 

Harlan revealed how he came up with his own system as he adapted to the industry. Below are some key pointers:

  1. Not presenting the offer unless you know it’s going to be accepted.
  2. Being extremely disciplined everyday when he steps into his office.
  3. Write a blog once a week - he creates a blog which is like a journal of what he learned the previous week and sends it to everyone in his database.

Successful Team Moves

As a recruiter or a business owner, how often have you successfully completed a project on which you moved a whole team instead of just one candidate? This is not something we encounter very often, and when it does happen, it tends to be opportunistic rather than strategic. In Harlan’s case, he’s developed a repeatable process for “lift outs” and he actively looks for these types of situations.  According to Harlan, “The key to working with teams is a hundred percent mindset.” 

Our Sponsors

This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro®. 

i-intro® is an end-to-end retained recruitment platform. Our technology and methodology allows recruiters to differentiate themselves from the competition, win more retained business, bigger fees and increase their billings. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter for a 25% discount. Book your free, no obligation consultation here: 

Harlan Friedman Bio and Contact Info

Harlan is the Founder & Principal of H. Friedman Search - responsible for all recruiting of Municipal Finance Bankers, Advisors & Bond Counsel.  Harlan’s recruiting efforts result in sole sourcing of both candidates and companies within the area of banking, finance & law.  He oversees all recruiting nationwide representing both Regional and Super Regional Investment Banking firms and  Regional and National Law Firms. He is tasked with the responsibility for overseeing and managing all aspects of client and candidate relationships from initial interview to transition.   He has been instrumental in sourcing, presenting, negotiating and closing candidates.  

Harlan earned Rookie of the Year, his first complete year in the business as well as becoming a 2012 - 2018 President's Club member.  Over his tenure at both Armstrong Financial Group & Novum Group  which is eight  years in the industry he has recruited over 85 individuals and teams throughout the United States.  In 2018, Harlan was admitted into the Pinnacle Society, an elite organization for Top Recruiters in North America. He credits his in-depth knowledge of Public Finance and the Legal arena for his success.  As he is fond of saying, when you know the industry inside and out, senior people welcome the opportunity to have high-level conversations with you.

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