The Story: My first 1.2 million dollar fee.
I have spent many years developing my relationships with my clients. I have always tried to put myself in my client’s shoes. I go out of my way to make sure there is no ME in anything I do with them or for them. Recently I was contacted by an administrative assistant for the leader of Natural Resources for one of the largest investment banks in North America. He said he was putting a list of names together to be considered for a potential up and coming search in North America. I immediately made a mental list of every one I knew within that bank that could put in a good word for me. I called my contact and asked him to put a good word in for me and my firm. He agreed and I told him I owed him a favor. He said he would take me up on the favor. A couple of months later I received a call from Human Resources at the bank and she was calling to schedule a meeting between myself and the hiring manager. She told me there was a need to hire a Managing Director within the Natural Resources division. She made it very clear that there would be no retainer paid for the search and that it would be a contingency search. She also made it very clear that a team hire would not be possible. The hiring manager and I traded emails and the face to face meeting was set in early January of 2014.
In late 2013, I hired a new recruiter from one of my competitors in the search business. Ted was hungry to return to running a full cycle desk and was coming from a firm that didn’t provide that opportunity and had little upside. He was intense and I was excited to have him on my team. I’ve always believed that a team approach is much stronger than attempting to sell the services of a one man shop so I decided to take Ted to my initial visit with my hiring manager. Ted is savvy and communicates extremely well. He is smart and in many ways has a greater knowledge of the type of role my client was asking us to fill. I knew that both of us together could make a strong enough impression to land the search. We met with the hiring manager first and then the very next week we were meeting with his boss who flew in from New York. He made it clear that they were interviewing us and that they would let us know their decision. Ted shared with him the technical approach on mapping the market and his knowledge of the space in which we were recruiting. I shared with him how our firm was different from the competition, sharing with them the Morgan Methodology and process that my company has subscribed to for 15 years. Ted, much like myself, is an excellent closer. Towards the end of the meeting, the Natural Resources MD expressed concern over whether we had completed a similar search. We explained that we had recruited the individual pieces, but never the whole team at once. Ted took advantage of the tough personality of the Managing Director to close hard. He looked at the MD and said, “I don’t know any other way to say this, but at the risk of sounding offensive, we are very f^#king good at what we do and it doesn’t matter what we recruit. Our training is unparalleled and our process was created by the best in class and we follow it to a T . Even if you want the highest performance janitor from your competitor, we’ll find him.” The MD responded with a chuckle, “I’ve said that to my clients before. You’re hired.”
My firm was chosen to start the search and we began mapping the market with potential companies, candidates and teams that we felt the client would have a particular interest in hearing about. Within 2 weeks, we had created a spreadsheet of nearly 50 potential targets. We shared the spreadsheet with the client and they handpicked several individuals that they would like to explore. We gained permission from the client to make the calls and begin the evaluating process. . After several months of interviews the bank decided to move forward with the larger 11 person team. All of this was determined by our Morgan “innerview”profiles and our Morgan assessment dossier of the potential candidates in the process. No resumes at this point were ever submitted or reviewed.
After nearly 7 months of work the wheels were in motion for resignations. We instructed the 2 senior leaders of the team to resign in person on Monday morning. After they resigned, each team member sent an email every 10 minutes resigning as well. We did not want any team member to do the resignations in person because we knew that there would a very hard counteroffer push by their employer to stay. Most importantly, by using the Morgan Method we had established a level of trust with our candidates that allowed us to close them all with no re-bids. Even though the employer came in a little below the original asking price, our candidates were comfortable that we were negotiating on their behalf and were ready to commit immediately.
I truly believe that the harder you work the more luck you will create for yourself. I also believe that Peter Leffkowitz’ Morgan Methodology has the best system ever created in the recruiting industry for maintaining specific levels of activity and production. MCG has a system of checks and balances that keeps your desk level and never lets it dip too far to the Marketing or Recruiting side of the business. Qualifying and recruiting candidates using the “innerview” and “wound” theory has created the greatest impact on my desk and my company as a whole to date.
Paul Johnson, President