EPISODE 187   |   

August 23, 2023

How to Propel a Cybersecurity Recruitment Venture to $1,500,000 in Year One

Stuart Mitchell

Starting a cybersecurity recruitment business during a tech market downturn can be exceptionally challenging for several reasons: reduced demand, intense competition, financial constraints, and talent availability.

Despite these challenges, it’s not impossible to succeed in launching a cybersecurity recruitment business during a downturn, as proven by my special guest, Stuart Mitchell.

Stu founded Hampton North in 2022 with the goal of building the most trusted cybersecurity search firm in the United States. Despite the downturn in the tech market, they’re on pace to bill $1.5-2M in their first year.

In this episode, Stu shared his insights into key topics that help him succeed: finding the right people to surround you, attracting and retaining the best people, and how to build a personal brand, and becoming a recognized industry leader.

With over a decade of experience, Stu has been a successful billing manager, having personally billed over a million dollars while building a multi-million dollar team that achieved an EBITA of $1m.

He’s placed some of the most well-known cyber security executives into Financial Services Companies, Retail Brands, and Tech Giants alike. He has built cyber security programs from 0-20+ on multiple occasions, including one of these scale-ups in less than 8 weeks.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [03:30] How Stu got into recruiting leading to him starting his recruitment firm.
  • [11:30] From good to great – finding the right people to surround you.
  • [16:18] How Stu began to build his brand by sharing a case study on LinkedIn.
  • [20:48] Stu shared how he launched Hampton North and what makes them thrive despite the downturn in the tech industry. 
  • [29:52] Attracting, hiring, and retaining the best people as a startup. 
  • [39:21] Breakdown of how Stu became a recognized industry leader. 
  • [50:00] The importance of consistency in creating value-adding content – hear Stuart’s content strategies.
  • [1:03:30] Stu shares what is next for Hampton North.

Overcoming a Tech Market Downturn – Launching Hampton North and Billing 7 Digits on Their First Year

A remarkable achievement that I wanted to discuss with Stu is how he launched his cybersecurity recruitment business, Hampton North in 2022. What makes it amazing is that despite the downturn in the tech market, they are on pace to bill $2M in their first year! 

I am excited to share in this episode Stu’s insights on the things that contributed to this success. We zoomed in on three key factors:

  1. The importance of hard work.
  2. Developing key account relationships.
  3. The quality of people that you hire.

The third topic resonated well with me as I feel the impact of having the right team members to support my business. For many recruitment business owners, especially those who are just starting, hiring someone can be like a roll of the dice. Stu shared how he was able to get the top talents and retain them. It can probably be summarized with a question that serves as his guiding principle when hiring: “Who are the best people that I know, and why aren’t they already working here?”

Becoming a Recognized Industry Leader and Consistent in Sharing Relevant Content

Stu also did a phenomenal job in establishing a reputation in the cybersecurity space as a recognized thought and industry leader. With more than 40,000 LinkedIn followers, he is consistent in posting industry-relevant content. I also enjoy the posts that he shares, so I wanted to get his thought process on how he is consistently coming up with ideas.

We discussed the following subjects:

  • The impact of sharing case studies.
  • Creating a brand of familiarity less the intention of wanting to be liked.
  • Avoiding “forced content” by sharing free-flowing ideas.
  • Strategies in creating 2-3 posts a day consistently.

Stu described his thought process this way, “I think I kind of see this as t kind of the writer’s strike in Hollywood, right? The more you force it and try and make things rigid and structured like it’s really hard to force great ideas. Great ideas are free-flowing.”

Surrounding Yourself with the Right People

Before becoming a recruitment business owner, Stu has always been a consistently successful billing manager.  He billed over a million dollars while building a multi-million dollar team that achieved an EBITA of $1m. 

He revealed what can turn a good recruiter into a great recruiter: “I think it goes back, there’s a saying of yours, your collective sum of the five closest people around you.” 

Stu mentioned great recruiters where he learned to shift his perspectives in terms of what is possible. Surrounding yourself with the right people can shift your whole belief system to drive you to reach your potential. 

Related Podcast You Might Enjoy

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

Stuart Mitchell

Stuart is a seasoned professional with over a decade of global expertise in technical recruiting.

Stuart’s influence extends deep into the heart of America’s cybersecurity landscape, where he has been instrumental in securing top-tier executives for prominent Financial Services Companies, Retail Brands, and Technology Giants. His achievements also include the remarkable feat of independently establishing cybersecurity programs from the ground up, often growing them from zero to over 20 employees in astonishingly short periods, with one such endeavor completed within just eight weeks.

With a track record of building and expanding technical recruitment enterprises, Stuart embarked on the journey to establish Hampton North. His mission is to forge Hampton North into the foremost trusted name in cybersecurity recruitment throughout the United States.

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.

Leave Us A Review

If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please take two minutes to leave a review. Your review is greatly appreciated because it helps us attract a bigger audience and help more recruiters.