How to Become a Big Billing Recruiter by Building Your Brand, with Sean Rigsby, Ep #82

What are the benefits of producing a podcast, a video series and an annual salary survey? To many recruiters that sounds like a lot of work. Is it really worth all the effort?

My special guest, Sean Rigsby, believes that the combination of inbound marketing strategies position you as the ‘go to’ recruiter in your space. The salary survey, for example, provides valuable market data for your clients and candidates. It also helps to build your brand and generate inbound leads.

In this interview, Sean revealed his process for researching, publishing and promoting his firm’s salary survey as well as other brand-building strategies. He also shared practical and golden approaches to making your life easier by working smarter. You will also hear the challenges he had when he shifted to an engaged model and the payoff he is getting now.

Sean is the Managing Partner of Rigsby Search Group (RSG) founded in 2012 and recognized by Forbes as one of America’s best-recruiting firms. RSG specializes in the environmental industry and has made over 1200 placements nationwide.


After 23 years in his recruitment career, Sean from Rigsby Search Group LLC shifted to engaged from contingency model. Hear why he did it and the benefits in this episode of  #TheResilientRecruiter! #recruitment #recruiter #training #coaching

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Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:15] What motivated Sean to start a podcast?
  • [6:44] Ways to broaden your brand – doing a salary survey and getting good data.
  • [20:18] Sean’s “interview tip of the day” videos and how this approach can help your brand.
  • [28:51] Are you treating your time like the money it is worth?
  • [42:30] Shifting from contingency to an engaged model after 23 years – the risks and rewards
  • [57:30] How the Pinnacle Society helped Sean when he started his own firm.
  • [58:33] Mistakes and learnings when starting your own recruitment business.

Building Your Brand

People are more likely to do business with you if they know you. That is why marketing and building your brand are important aspects of running your business. Sean shared the specifics of how they do it at Rigsby Search Group. For them, it is not just spreading awareness but also becoming thought leaders and adding value to the industry. Here are the takeaways

  • Podcast – Sean revealed what motivated him to start a podcast and the benefits they are getting from it.
  • Salary Survey – Definitely value-adding to your community, hear how to capture the data and get higher engagement.
  • Interview Tip of the Day – this video making process not only helps your candidates but spreads brand awareness as well. Sean shared their best practices.

Working Hard and Working Smart

One of the key topics that Sean shared with me is how he makes his life easier by delegating tasks that he hates, allowing him to focus more on more complex tasks in his business. His guiding principle is based on the question of “Are you treating your time like the money it is worth?” 

Sean admitted, “I wasn’t very good at delegating…I would try to do everything.” He then shared how and when you can hand off some tasks to someone else. He shared his thought process on which tasks to delegate. As he summarized, “Which ones I hate and what is the quickest turnaround.” Here are some examples of the time-consuming tasks he is now effectively delegating:

  • Research – hear how he trained his admin to handle candidate sourcing.
  • Taking references and making follow-ups – this one is brilliant, I’ve never come across anyone else who delegates this task effectively.

Shifting From Contingency to an Engaged Model

After roughly 23 years in his recruitment career, Sean decided to shift to an engaged or retained search model. He was skeptical at first as he initially felt that it is not fit for his specific industry niche. He shared that he even lost a number of clients when he started asking for part of the fee upfront. But what made him decide? And what are the key benefits he is getting now? Sean shared valuable insights from his own experience transitioning to retained/engaged search.

Want to broaden your recruitment brand? Sean from Rigsby Search Group LLC shared the three effective steps they are taking to spread awareness and add value to the industry, in this episode of  #TheResilientRecruiter! #recruitment #recruiter #training #coaching

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Sean Rigsby Bio and Contact Info

Sean P. Rigsby, CPC, is the Managing Partner of Rigsby Search Group, LLC. He formed the company in 2012 to meet the marketplace’s need for a more consultative approach to helping both clients and candidates. He has developed many long-term relationships with both clients and candidates that extend nationwide and include all U.S. markets, for a mix of clients from the ENR Top 100 to smaller boutique type firms.

Sean is a Member of The Pinnacle Society, an organization of 80 of the highest volume recruiters in North America.  Sean is also an active member and has assumed leadership roles within a number of organizations, namely: Environmental Professionals Organization of Connecticut and the Environmental Business Council of New England – Connecticut Chapter. He’s also been a speaker at various conferences for organizations such as: American Institute of Professional Geologists, Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Society for Women Environmental Professionals – Massachusetts Chapter, EnviroExpo of Boston and the University of Connecticut.

Sean finds a strong calling to give back. Recently he became a Member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council for Bristol Hospital. He has Co-Chaired and led the Recruitment and Retention section for the Saint Paul School Board in Kensington, CT. In 2010, Sean was honoured when he received the “HOPES Volunteer of the Year Award” by the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Prior to founding Rigsby Search Group in 2012, Sean spent 19 years at RJS Associates, one of the top search firms on the East Coast headquartered in Hartford, CT. While working at RJS, Sean received numerous awards including: “Consultant of the Year” – 3 times, “Environmental Recruiter of the Year” – 17 times and “Rookie of the Year” – 1993. When he finished his career at RJS Associates, he was a Partner and was ranked as one of the top three highest producing recruiters within the history of the company.

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