December 9, 2022

How to Grow a Recruitment Agency from Start-Up to $3M Profit in Two Years, with Emily Rushton, Ep #155

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In this episode, you will hear how Emily Rushton grew her recruitment agency from start-up to $1M in profit in its first year and is on track to reach $3M profit in its second year!

What’s her secret?

There’s a clue in her company’s name – the keyword here is “integrated.” Emily is the Founder and CEO of Hire Integrated, a fast-growing recruiting agency based in Utah. They launched in January 2021 and in less than two years have scaled to a team of 20 employees.

In this fun and informative conversation, Emily shared how specialized recruiting at scale and client integration were key to their success. She also shared how their proactive approach and continuous evolution give them a positive outlook despite challenging market conditions.

Emily started her career in staffing at Robert Half where she ranked among the top 20 recruiters out of 11,000 employees. Since then she has built two other boutique firms and also recruited for Netflix, where she helped them write their now industry-leading playbook with best-in-class practices to help them find and hire new talent.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [04:33] “I didn’t even know what a recruiter was” … How a willingness to cold call helped Emily land her first job at a recruitment agency.
  • [09:20] How to excel during an economic downturn; the key mindset shift that enabled Emily becoming a top-producer during a recession.
  • [12:53] Client Integration – what it means and why it’s important.
  • [16:50] Helping companies hire better: specialized hiring at scale.
  • [20:14 Staring a recruitment business – how Emily won her first 3-4 clients.
  • [23:30] Key milestones: hitting $1m in revenue by Q3, $1m in profit in 12 months and on track for $3m profit in year two. 
  • [30:22] What industries does Hire Integrated specialize in? 
  • [35:51] Service lines offered by Hire Integrated.
  • [45:51] Emily’s playbook for strategically developing client relationships.
  • [52:52] How to build an account from a single point of contact to gaining access to multiple senior stakeholders.
  • [55:27] The Hire Integrated approach – how to integrate successfully with client companies.
  • [1:01:30] Emily’s growth plans for 2023.

Consistent Tenacity in Early Days

Emily shared a fascinating story of how she got into recruiting – she had no idea what she wanted to be when she was about to graduate. Following her professor’s advice, she started cold-calling companies to present her skillset in looking for a job. She was at a job fair and she shared what she was doing with a recruiter, which led to her discovering the career of recruitment. 

From there, Emily started her career in staffing at Robert Half, where she ranked among the top 20 recruiters out of 11,000 employees. Interestingly, she started her career during the recession. Having an awareness that she could lose her job, she was determined that if it will happen, she will have no regrets knowing that she went all out. 

“There was this level of tenacity that came out early on in my career. In every single opportunity I had, I didn’t lose it. I held on to everything so tight and I made sure that I closed it. During that first recession that I ever worked, I made the most money in my career, I was a top performer.”

This mindset of tenacity laid the foundation for Emily’s career as a recruiter and ultimately led to her starting her own recruitment firm in 2021.

Getting USD 1M in Profit in Their First Year

When Emily made the decision to launch her own business, with her own money, she was committed to going “all in” to making it work. 

Incredibly, Hire Integrated reached $1M in profit by the end of their first year.  Emily outlines the two critical things she ensured to have in place when starting Hire Integrated:

  • Focusing on building the brand.
  • Putting together an advisory board with thought leaders she can trust.

They did not have any business during the first couple of months. Emily really focused on these two items making sure that the foundation is the first time right. In Q3, they were able to hit the USD 1M revenue.

With the current market conditions, Emily still shows the same relentless tenacity as it was in the early days of her career. “With the current market conditions, we are proactively making some shifts to make sure that if we continue to shift, we are prepared to have our best years. Because we are so new, we have a lot of runways ahead of us.”

Client Integration and Engagement

One key success factor in Hire Integration’s successful trajectory is how they ensure that they understand their clients – offering the best long-term solutions possible. As Emily explains, “As we are putting together these proposals or having these conversations as they go higher and higher in the chain of command… it is hitting on the relevant pain points… We have been successful for a handful of those companies for making it up to chains of command and getting those proposals because we’ve listened, we’ve been more than a recruiter, we understand the evolution to where they are headed, and we put together very appropriate proposals that are going to help them get to where they are going faster.”

Many recruiters find it challenging to engage with the C-Suite, especially if they’re currently dealing with in-house recruiters or mid level hiring managers. Emily shared her strategies and approach to how she reaches the senior stakeholders to present much higher value recruitment solutions. 

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: www.recruitmentcoach.com/retained

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

Emily Rushton Bio and Contact Info

Emily Rushton started her career with one of the World’s largest staffing firms. Rushton quickly rose through the ranks, placing among the top 20 recruiters, out of approximately 11,000 employees. Rushton was an equity partner at a boutique staffing firm with locations in Tennessee and Utah. Her primary involvement was the implementation of their temporary staffing division which provided a substantial revenue stream for the company. Presented with a rare opportunity to join ownership offerings with a local Utah recruiting company, Rushton spent 6 years of her career creating a new division for the company that increased revenue by 185%. During that time, she was featured by Utah Business Magazine as a Utah Forty Under 40 for her contribution to the Utah employment sector. Rushton attended Brigham Young University – Idaho and is happily married with one beautiful son.

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