“Everybody struggles. Building a business is really hard.”
“But I’m going to keep listening to these podcasts and I’m going to keep pushing with my business… There’s no silver bullet, there’s no magic recipe, there’s no pill. You just need to keep going and going and going and eventually you get there.”
These are the wise words of my next podcast guest, and valued client, Karen Lloyd. In October 2020, Karen set herself the goal of transforming her recruitment business and coming on The Resilient Recruiter podcast to tell her story. Well, she has achieved her goal and more.
In the last 12 months, she has increased her billings by 300% through her relentless commitment to making small improvements to every aspect of her business, making her systems and processes more efficient and most importantly by never giving up.
In this episode, you will be inspired by Karen’s humility and resilience as she’s bounced back from multiple setbacks and regained her confidence.
Karen is the Managing Director of Armstrong Lloyd, a leading recruitment firm in the technology marketing space. Karen specializes in helping CMOs and marketing directors within technology companies to grow their teams and exceed their targets.
Episode Outline and Highlights
- [1:14] Karen’s story of resilience and how she was inspired by the Resilient Recruiter Podcast.
- [4:20] How Karen started her recruitment career at age 21 and initially felt like a failure.
- [10:54] The steps Karen took to triple her billings in 12 months, and doubled her best ever year from pre-covid times!
- [18:34] What Karen’s learned from co-founding her first recruitment business at the age of 24 and scaling to a team of 20 people.
- [24:15] The huge setback that knocked Karen’s confidence, but ultimately led to Karen to launch her second recruitment business, Armstrong Lloyd, in 2014.
- [30:45] The turning point in her life and the parallels between running / personal fitness and running a recruitment business.
- [35:35] Karen reveals the biggest challenges she faced when growing her business.
- [35:20] Changes Karen made to her recruitment business to accelerate growth.
- [46:04] How Karen leverages content marketing and automated campaigns to get new clients.
- [50:55] Transitioning from contingency recruitment to a retained model.
- [54:55] Deciding whether to stay on your own or grow a firm.
Starting a Recruitment Business at a Young Age and Growing to a Team of 20
“This is something I have learned for myself at a young age. Don’t doubt yourself. Just try it, just do it, and see what happens.” This mindset equipped Karen with the determination to start her business with another person at the young age of 24. It was a challenging feat on its own – given that a transition from being a full-time employee to a business owner can sometimes be daunting. But they managed to grow their firm to a team of 20.
“It was an incredible journey and I have learned absolutely so much,” says Karen. She was involved in the major decision-making, marketing, hiring and launching new divisions from scratch. In this interview, Karen shares her insights and main learnings from this transition.
Bouncing Back from Setbacks
Karen also shared a time in her career ten years ago when her confidence took a knock. This was when she left the company she co-founded and had spent 14 years of her life building. It was heart-wrenching for Karen to walk away, but looking back she now knows it was the right thing to do.
What helped her overcome an experienced that was hard? For Karen, it is learning to ask for help. Karen started seeking support from a coach. This was an eye-opening experience and a game changer for her. Any roadblock she experiences, may it be related to her personal life, her personal fitness or her business, she finds getting help from a coach is one of the best courses of action. “The coaching part has been a phenomenal change,” is how she puts it.
How to Run Effective Virtual Team Meetings
We also talked about the changes that Karen implemented in her team to further accelerate their growth. One of the things that were discussed is running powerful online meetings with her team. Here are the takeaways from what Karen shared:
- Stop being too task-focused. Include time for ‘chit-chat’. Get feedback from your team members via informal conversations.
- Setting a timeline with a clear agenda.
- Have every person speak (sharing something going on with wins, challenges and updates).
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
Karen Lloyd Bio and Contact Info
Karen placed her first candidate in 1996 – someone who she’s still in touch today. Karen has over 25 years experience in recruitment, with 20 years as a board director and business leader. She co-founded her first recruitment company at age of 24 and scaled it to 20 people. During that time, she started up a variety of new business divisions / brands from scratch. She’s now the founder and Managing Director of Armstrong Lloyd, a leading recruitment firm in the technology marketing space. She’s currently scaling the business and has increased her revenue by 300% in the last 12 months, doubling her previous best-ever year. Karen’s also a valued member of Recruitment Coach Inner Circle coaching program.
People and Resources Mentioned
- Abid Hamid on LinkedIn
- Leanne Sara Jones Hunt on LinkedIn
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck
Connect with Mark Whitby
- Get your FREE 30-minute strategy call
- Mark on LinkedIn
- Mark on Twitter: @MarkWhitby
- Mark on Facebook
- Mark on Instagram: @RecruitmentCoach
Related Podcast You Might Enjoy
- TRR#124 How to Recession-Proof Your Recruitment Business While Accelerating Growth, with Abid Hamid
- TRR#66 How to Grow Your Recruitment Business by Hiring Top Recruiters, with Leanne Sara Jones Hunt
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