EPISODE 221   |   

June 28, 2024

How to Win Multi-Hire Team Build Projects in Executive Search

Paul Press

Multi-hire team-build projects can be profitable if strategized clearly and executed effectively. Where do you find opportunities to engage in multi-hire team-build projects? What should be your main areas of focus for successfully implementing? Our guest, Paul Press, is here to give insights! 

Paul is the Managing Partner and Founder of Press & Associates, a leading executive search firm specializing in recruiting top technology talent for private equity firms and their portfolio companies. Before founding Press & Associates, Paul Press built a well-rounded career with experience in an executive search firm and an in-house talent acquisition position.

In this episode, you will hear valuable insights into leveraging experience as an in-house recruiter, applying MPC marketing strategies, and successfully navigating the complexities of multi-hire team-build projects.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • 03:25 Paul’s recruiting backstory and how he launched his own firm.
  • 06:37 Learnings from working in-house translating to running his own agency.
  • 12:30 When to consider hiring a third-party recruiter from an in-house recruitment perspective.
  • 18:35 Transitioning to Private Equity expertise.
  • 23:11 Two main areas on winning multi-hire team build projects.
  • 35:59 The risks of handling large-sized projects and how to mitigate them.
  • 40:15 Paul shares the story of his $450k fee and MPC strategy discussion.
  • 51:47 What Paul’s MPC marketing strategy looks like.
  • 58:04 Upcoming exciting times for Paul and Press Associates acquisition.

Leveraging Experience as an In-House Recruiter

Before founding Press & Associates, Paul built a well-rounded career in an executive search firm and an in-house talent acquisition position. He has always aspired to set up his own agency, and this experience was a stepping stone that gave him a complete perspective on what a successful search firm should look like.

Paul gave his insights and compared the approach from an in-house to an agency perspective. He emphasized the value of building and nurturing relationships on the in-house side while investing heavily in business development on the other. From an in-house perspective, I also wanted to know the primary considerations when hiring a third-party recruiter. Who are the most successful ones? What companies really did poorly? Paul gave his answer: 

“I would say the biggest thing is the ones who took the time to be personalized, to make a very human approach and connection, and who were very empathetic; those were the ones that really stood out. It’s amazing how transparent people’s approaches are and how easy it is to tell when there’s an email sequencing campaign going on, with an email coming out to you every kind of two or three … So it is very easy to tell kind of what’s being automated, what’s actual human touch and who are people that want to be in it for the long run versus, hey, I’ve got my monthly targets to hear.”

Two Areas of Focus to Win Multi-Hire Team Build Projects 

A key topic Paul and I discussed is his success in doing multi-hire team-build projects. The main takeaway is this: multi-hire team build results from placing a key executive. By ensuring that great relationships are built and the best experience for the executive is provided, a potential opportunity to then build out the team underneath them will likely happen.

This idea came about based on Paul’s previous in-house experience. “I’d say it kind of goes back to lessons learned when I went in-house and was building those relationships and understanding the big picture behind those hires and what those companies were trying to achieve. And that, combined with the private equity space, really kind of mesh well together.”

Paul shared two main areas of focus to be successful in this approach:

  1. Communication – “It’s certainly a communication game. In multi-hire campaigns, there are usually multiple hiring managers. So you got to figure out each individual style of communication, building relationships with those people.”
  2. Project Management – making sure you’re implementing your standard procedures in terms of market mapping, talent pipelining, and going through your own internal processes.

Paul also shared the most common challenges you will experience in multi-hire team-build projects and the steps they took to mitigate them.

MPC Strategy Resulting to a $450k Fee

An achievement Paul shared with me is how he was able to make a placement with a $450k fee. He made a placement using the MPC (Most Placeable Candidate) marketing approach. Many recruiters will find this part of our conversation relatable because although this may be familiar to many recruiters, some will tell you that you can’t apply MPC marketing to executive recruitment. 

We discussed Paul’s mindset on this strategy, and he shared how he executes it. We discussed proactive candidate representation and effective KPIs, such as making 5 introductions daily.  We also agreed on this critical point: the goal is not to place the candidate. The goal is primarily to get your foot in the door to start a conversation, demonstrate the caliber of your network and the people you represent, and come to them with interesting ideas that could bring value to their business.

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

Paul Press

Paul is the Managing Partner and Founder of Press & Associates. Paul started Press & Associates in 2016 with the goal of building the number one search firm hiring technology talent for Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies. Since its inception, Paul has built close and long-lasting partnerships with numerous globally renowned private equity firms, helping them make key hires in their value creation team and numerous c-suite appointments across their portfolio companies – all within the technology function.


Prior to founding Press & Associates, Paul built a well-rounded career in executive search working for a boutique search firm (Mackinnon Bruce), one of the largest talent acquisition firms in the world (Hays), as well as an in-house talent acquisition position with Murphy Oil looking after hiring key positions across North America.


Paul has a BA (Hons) in Managing Performance from the University of Leeds and is accredited by the Institute of Retrained Search.

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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