Agency Owner Rollercoaster | Justin Pearson – Scaling a profitable recruitment business to exit, as well as tangible advice on what to do & what not to do as a recruitment business owner if you want to be bought

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On this episode I’m joined by Justin Pearson from Hyve, a boutique management consultancy focused on the recruitment sector. 

He previously founded, scaled and exited Human Capital, a global search business.

He initially entered the world of recruitment after trying to secure an Accountancy role via Michael Page, and started as a consultant there which formed the foundations of his career. 

After founding his own recruitment training business, he decided to focus on setting up Human Capital, which for 14 years he built, scaled and exited and became chairman in January 2017. 

This is by far one of the best episodes I’ve ever recorded, as the breadth of knowledge, the experience that Justin has enabled us to do a deep dive on all the questions that recruitment owners want the answers to.

For recruiters who want to learn how to build a successful recruitment business that has a high value to potential buyers, this one’s for you.

For the junior consultants out there, this is a crucial podcast for you to listen to, to not just develop your approach to recruitment post-COVID-19, but how you can arm yourself to be more than just a CV matcher and become a true consultant in your market.

You can connect with Justin here – https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinpearson/


How did you get into recruitment? [4:09]

Michael Page in the 90s [5:29]

What was it like working for Michael Page? [7:03]

Progression at Page [8:47]

Why start Human Capital? [9:18]

Did you start up on your own? [12:55]

Relationship with your investors [13:57]

Why do you think investors saw potential in you? [16:03]

Human Capital [18:13]

Milestones to help carve the market [20:10]

Being niche [22:40]

What did the business look like after 5 years? [23:39]

The difference between search and contingent [29:55]

The power of saying no to a client [37:00]

Recruiters are solution providers [39:40]

What other solutions can you bring? [41:05]

How did that mindset enable you to scale the business? [43:15]

Exiting the business [51:22]

The journey of being bought – the process [55:24]

Common misconceptions on management buyouts [59:38]

What have been the positives from an MBO route? [1:04:38]

Pitfalls that hold recruitment business owners back on their equity value [1:10:05]

Do you need to know that you wanted to scale for the start? [1:15:17]

Future of recruitment businesses [1:16:48]

What are you excited about with Hive? [1:21:48]

I hope you enjoyed the episode, the best place to connect with me is on Linkedin – Hishem Azzouz

If you would love me to cover certain topics with future guests please drop me a message. 

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