Transitioning from a comfortable corporate recruitment career to building an agency is not an obvious choice for many. The risks it entails may even stop some recruiters from considering this transition. Although it may be a significant leap, with the right skills, mindset, and support, it can lead to a rewarding and profitable career change.
My special guest, Pat Corrigan, shares his story of how he successfully transitioned and thrived as a recruitment agency owner from being a corporate recruiter for more than a decade. Pat shares the three key factors to his success, as well as the strategies he continues to implement in building his team and driving revenue.
Pat is the founder of Palladium Point, a leading executive search firm based in St. Louis, serving the commercial insurance industry nationally.
His recruitment career spans fifteen years, and for the past six years has been focused on building high-performing sales teams for leading commercial insurance brokers.
After spending years leading the sales recruitment function for a global insurance broker, Pat pursued his entrepreneurial dreams and started his own firm. Since launching in 2022 they’ve taken off like a rocket.
I’m also honored to have Pat as a member of our Inner Circle coaching program.
Episode Outline and Highlights
- [03:03] Pat’s Journey into Recruiting – From Corporate Recruitment to Agency Ownership.
- [12:40] The Bold Leap – Leaving the Comfort of Corporate Life to Establish His Firm – Discover the 3 Key Success Factors.
- [19:06] Accelerating Revenue Growth and Building a High-Performing Team.
- [24:17] How Bringing in Operations Personnel and Offshore Sourcers Became a Long-Term Solution for Pat’s Business.
- [32:32] Pat Shares His Proven Client Development Approach.
- [39:07] Building Sustainable Growth – Implementing Systems and Processes.
- [49:30] Crafting an Inspiring Vision and Culture.
Successful Transition From Corporate Recruitment to Becoming an Agency Owner
For 15 years, Pat established himself as a recruitment leader for several corporate staffing firms. He had a colorful career but what resonated with me is his story of how being let go from a previous job was a pivotal moment that led him to where he is today. Pat emphasizes the importance of resilience and learning from every experience.
Pat also revealed what prompted him to leave his corporate gig to set up his firm. His strong work ethic and niche expertise are the foundations that enabled his transition. He shared three critical focus areas that have been key to his success:
- Meticulous Planning – he took time to consult with others and assess potential risks before making his decision.
- Niche Focus – he leverage on his niche expertise that he had developed for half a decade.
- Cash Reserves – he understood that starting a business may not always easily take off successfully, so Pat ensured that he had enough cash reserves to hold him over for a while.
This indeed is an inspiring story for corporate or in-house recruiters aspiring to become recruitment business owners someday.
Strategies for Building a Team and Driving Revenue in a Short Span of Time
We then moved on to discuss strategies for building his team and driving revenue in a short span of time. Pat discussed how long he had to work on his own before he started hiring the next person. After around three or four months he started building his team and his first hire was an ops person. How did this decision to hire an operations person impact his business long term?
His logic behind it is, as Pat puts it, “If I want to attract, recruiters, or eventually salespeople into my organization, I want to give them the platform to get out there and kick tail. And I didn’t want somebody to come in as the first recruiter and say, well, here’s your ATS license and your LinkedIn recruiter and Zoom info …I like kind of linear stuff, and I wanted to not rush it. And as we’re bringing on talent, I wanted, like, a real solid business platform that people could access”
This is remarkable insight. Pat hired an operations person to establish a solid foundation for future growth. This strategic move allowed him to attract recruiters and create a platform that would support their success. The hiring process was focused on setting up systems and structures rather than rushing into recruitment because Pat valued organization and long-term growth potential.
Pat then shared strategies in revenue which is focused on his approach to Business Development. Pat shared his perspective on sales which is focused on interaction and relationship building. He also described a Rainmaker Model way of working that enables him to get consistent revenue in running his business.
Creating Systems and Processes for Growth
Pat also emphasized the importance of putting up systems and processes for a smooth start for new hires. We discussed the platforms and tools they are using – such as Slack, to organize his team. He also shared his approach to having an offshore researcher and sources to help in lead generation.
Pat advocates growth not only for his organization but for his team members as well. He highlighted the value of intentionally designing your business’ vision and culture to attract top talents aligned with your core values. He believes that having the right tools and working environment in place will help your team grow exponentially.