EPISODE 218   |   

May 29, 2024

How Grit and Determination Fueled a $2M Recruitment Firm’s Success

Brent Orsuga

Starting a recruitment business from scratch demands dedication, planning, and an aggressive approach to networking and client acquisition. You will also need a massive differentiator – and our special guest in this episode shared his approach to how he grew his search firm to more than $2M from scratch! 

We are joined by Brent Orsuga. In this episode, Brent highlighted the importance of deep client relationships, strategic matchmaking, and staying motivated by setting high goals and continuously driving growth.

Brent Orsuga is the Founder of Pinnacle Growth Advisors, a headhunting and talent advisory firm solely dedicated to the Supply Chain and Logistics industry.  Brent comes from 22 years of recruiting and 15 solely in Logistics. Brent helps companies, from startups to Billion-dollar companies, find the best people possible. Pinnacle Growth Advisors has won numerous awards over the past 10 years, including the INC 5000 fastest-growing companies. 

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [02:09] How Brent got into recruiting 22 years ago.
  • [04:48] Why does Brent consider himself a Talent Advisor rather than a Recruiter?
  • [08:43] How to “know the best seat in the house” – understanding your client via face-to-face visits.
  • [16:04] Brent’s story of building networks of relationships when he was only starting in the business.
  • [24:57] Mindset and Motivation: How having a chip on your shoulder pushes Brent forward.
  • [30:48] Daily routine discussion – Why Brent wakes up at 3:30 am to start his day
  • [37:00] Brent shares insights on the outputs and inputs that matter.
  • [40:33] How Brent used visualization techniques to lead his company to the Inc. 5000.
  • [46:30] The reason behind Brent’s passion for Supply Chain and Logistics.
  • [51:49] Brent shares excellent advice on not spreading yourself too thin and other success factors.

How Brent Started from Zero and Won the Confidence of Clients

Brent shared a fascinating story of how he got into the recruitment business and started his firm with no plan B or option of failing. He was initially a candidate who transitioned to becoming a recruiter, and making the most of his training eventually led him to be a successful search firm founder. As much as his origin story can be relatable to many recruiters who aspire to become business owners, one key topic that will resonate with many of our listeners is building relationships. 

Brent strongly believes that building relationships is one of their business priorities. One of the biggest challenges he had to overcome was starting from zero and having no clients, candidates, or relationships to leverage. How he figured it out can be summarized on the following pointers:

  • Performance / Numbers – “The best testimonial is results.” Brent emphasized how results speak for themselves.
  • “Go up the elevator and pay your dues.” Brent elaborated on his analogy of how showing results leads to more confidence.
  • Mindset and Grit—His desire to win and his inspiration from his wife and kid pushed him to deliver results, eventually creating more business relationships.

Applying the Talent Advisor Approach as a Recruiter

On the topic of being a partner rather than a vendor, Brent shared insightful ways on which he is able to build relationships with clients and candidates. “One of the biggest pet peeves that I have in recruiting is I feel like a lot of people are selling or pitching without knowing enough about the person or the company,” he explained.

Brent places high value on knowing clients and candidates on a deep level. He recommends visiting client offices in person to understand the layout, environment, and how the workplace generally feels. In his analogy, you can only describe how great a restaurant is after eating there. In his words, “So it allows me to come from a completely different lens and angle so that when I’m putting you in front of a company, it’s not random, it’s strategic.”

This approach enables him to be a talent advisor rather than a generic recruitment firm. It gives him the advantage of painting a really clear picture of what his candidates are walking into, which is a massive separator from his competitors.

Mindset and Grit – Brent Shares His Key to Success

Overall, what really fascinates me in this conversation with Brent is his grit, mindset, and daily routines. He has a very competitive mindset—to the point where he is even able to use a chip on his shoulder as a driver for success. He wakes up every day at 3:30 a.m., goes to the gym at 4, prepares breakfast for his kids at 6, and goes to the office at 7!

To start his day, he would listen to a 13-minute clip by Les Brown:”What I’m doing is I’m getting my mindset into a very positive motivated state. Intentionally. This is not random.” He then shared how his days look when it comes to making every day intentional and purposeful.

Brent also shared how he measures inputs and outputs, how he leads his team, and what culture he fosters for Pinnacle Growth. His consistent actions led to remarkable milestones for his firm, including being included in INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies.

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Our Sponsor

This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro

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: https://recruitmentcoach.com/retained

Today’s Guest

Brent Orsuga

Brent is the Founder of Pinnacle Growth Advisors, a headhunting and talent advisory firm solely dedicated to the Supply Chain and Logistics industry. Brent comes from 22 years of recruiting and 15 solely in the Logistics space. Brent helps companies from startups to Billion dollar companies find the best people possible.  Pinnacle Growth Advisors has won numerous awards over the past 10 years including the INC 5000 for fastest growing companies.

About the Host

Mark Whitby

Mark Whitby is one of the world’s leading coaches for the recruitment industry. Since 2001, he has trained over 10,000 recruiters in 34 countries. Mark has helped recruiters to double or triple their billings and owners to increase their team’s sales by 67% in 90 days.

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