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The Resilient Recruiter

Dec 14, 2023

This episode is not only special but also exceptional! We will not only be hearing from one or two guests, but you will also hear a panel interview featuring three special guests. Join me in this conversation with Joe Rice, Annie Colabella, and Matt Walsh. If these names ring a bell, it's because all three have graced our podcast as guests before and are esteemed members of the Pinnacle Society.


You will hear our discussions that will reveal the DNA of a million-dollar biller and key strategies that have contributed to their success, emphasizing the significance of delegation, consistency, and surrounding oneself with high-performing individuals.


Episode Outline and Highlights


  • [03:10] Panelists introduction.

  • [09:15] The DNA of a Million-Dollar Biller.

  • [23:13] Practices and activities that will level up your team’s performance.

  • [35:00] Investing in marketing while growing your business. 

  • [43:10] Andrea’s advice on how to increase your billings over time.

  • [49:06] Why do you do what you do? - the WHYs of top billers.

  • [55:30] Best practices on business development.


The DNA of a Million-Dollar Biller


Our panelists are Pinnacle Society members because they are industry leaders. Each of them was invited to this podcast and they did not fail to share their thought processes that made them million-dollar billers. In the webinar, they discussed crucial success factors that many aspiring recruiters and owners of recruitment businesses can glean valuable insights from. I asked them this question: What are two or three specific things you would attribute your success to that enable you to consistently produce at that level?


Matt shared key elements: the power of delegation and strategies in growing his team. He invested in his marketing and hired marketing persons early on in the growth of his boutique firm. The other thing is he was able to set up his business so that the billers are only focused on the things that are revenue generating while a lot of the administration - the sourcing, and the scheduling of interviews is done for them.


Joe also revealed what makes him and his team great: accountability, resilience, the right mindset, and always looking for ways to improve. He told the story of how they were humbled in 2020 and why it is important to keep on going. Joe believes that leveraging technology can be a game-changer in maximizing productivity and revenue. He also shared the tech stack they are using in their business process.


Annie on the other hand, revealed that knowing when to say no is critical to business success. “Saying no to opportunities and walking away from searches when you know that they're impossible to fill or the client is just being unreasonable in terms of what they're looking for, or if they're just searches where you're up against multiple agencies.” She then shared innovative approaches to creative fee structures to give more options to their clients.  Overall, you will find that their solution-oriented mindset is what makes them successful.


Business Development Best Practices


In this webinar, a lot of viewers were throwing questions related to business development and what specific tactics each of the panelists was using. It does make sense to ask that question, after all, business development strategies contribute greatly to client engagement and revenue. Our panelists generously shared what they do. 


For Annie, old-school MPC (most placeable candidate) marketing has been a reliable strategy. On top of cold calls and emails, they embed video instructions for the candidates. What differentiates them is how they present their MPCs to the market. This is how Annie puts it, “Basically, in the industry that I'm in, there are new fund launches and funds that are raising assets and just, you know, mindfully tracking them, knowing that they may have new headcount due to new assets under management. “


Matt elaborated on their “three-bucket” strategy: using inbound leads, MPC marketing, and leveraging references. On the references part, Matt said something that I am sure will resonate with most recruiters and business owners: “I feel like recruiters so often like, oh, I don't want to do references and that's just such a time waste and they should be doing the references. But there is so much gold there. I mean, think about it. You are talking to the person who reports to the person you're trying to place like it's gold. Were they good, or were they better? Who else do you know? And then so references and BD through recruiting are the ones in the middle for the now, it's so cool and that's one of the strategies we're using I love it Fantastic BD through recruiting.”


Joe then shares their “two-purpose approach.” To summarize, Joe defines it this way: “The two-purpose approach is when you are reaching out to a candidate to recruit them for a job, but they also hire candidates that you might be able to place, and so we might say, Mark, I'm reaching out to you for two reasons.”


Which of these three do you think would work best for your recruitment business?


Why Do You Do What You Do? - the WHYs of top billers.


Understanding the WHY behind the success of our guests is important because it provides valuable insights into the principles, motivations, and strategies that contribute to their achievements. So I wanted to know why they do what they do.


For Matt, it is about impacting people’s lives. “When you talk about it, in changing lives which we're doing for me, it's not just changing a candidate's life by getting them a new job, or changing a client's life by getting them an amazing executive team so now they can focus on their kids. It's also our internal employees. We've had folks that they're running their firm.”


For Annie, it is her passion to love what she does. “I feel like just having a passion for being an executive recruitment and the matchmaking that we do has always been something I'm so grateful that I found very early on in my career. I am very good at what I do. I love being able to go to work every day knowing that I am doing something that I'm very skilled at, as well as impacting the people around me.”


I also admire Joe’s answer to the question: “I think I've learned to be grateful for this business and for everything that I've been blessed with... For me, it goes into the parable of the talent. We've all been given a set of talents and I believe that we're called to maximize those talents for good. “


Our Sponsor


This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro 


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:


Andrea (Annie) Colabella Bio and Contact Info


Annie is a Johns Hopkins alumnus with bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  She has been recruiting since 2005, initially across all industries, and over the past decade with a focus on the investment management space. Her excellence in the industry is highlighted through her admittance into The Pinnacle Society, an influential group of industry-leading recruiters. She started her firebrand agency, Cardea Group, in 2009 focused on assisting private equity firms, hedge funds, venture capital funds, family offices, and traditional asset managers in staffing their non-investment functions. Andrea is also an active board member of several not-for-profits.



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.



Matt Walsh Bio and Contact Info


Matt Walsh is the CEO, and Founder of Blue Signal, a multimillion-dollar, award-winning, Phoenix-based Recruitment Agency specializing in IT, IoT, Telecom, Wireless, Supply Chain, Food Production, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Accounting and finance, HR, and Emerging Tech.


Matt has over 15 years of experience in recruitment. Matt was born and raised in a small farm community in Illinois. He received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and landed a job at Management Recruiters International in Chicago. At MRI, he won several awards. Matt left MRI in 2010 to consult and started Blue Signal in 2012.



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