The Former CFO Turned Finance Recruiter Who Billed €4M Last Year, with Paul Taaffe, Ep #21

Imagine starting a recruitment business at the age of 54, having never worked in the recruiting industry before, and becoming a “big biller” within 5 years. 

In this episode of the Resilient Recruiter, you’ll meet Irishman Paul Taaffe, founder and CEO of FINANCE People Solutions based in Frankfurt, Germany.  Prior to starting his business in 2014, he was either a CFO or CRO for US global blue-chip companies such as Pepsi Cola, Nike, Lear Corporation, and Dell.

I asked Paul to come on the show and discuss his extraordinary success running a boutique search firm.  Paul has doubled the business, on average, every year and last year managed to bill €4,000,000 in revenue!  That’s over $4.5M USD.  

Sure, that figure is the gross sales and includes both permanent placement and interim revenue, so the Net Fee Income will be somewhat less.  Still very impressive considering Paul is the sole fee earner, supported by a small team.  In fact, Paul has built so much momentum that he closed five deals this April despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [4:22] History of Finance People Solutions (FPS)
  • [6:37] What is Paul’s recipe for success?
  • [9:00] Three aspects that help Paul to leverage relationship in recruitment.
  • [14:30] How to level up from having a professional relationship to a professional friendship. 
  • [19:25] Coronavirus experience: Three keys to keeping things moving forward.
  • [26:16] FPS’s structure and how efficiency is integrated into each role.
  • [31:18] Successful basis for acquiring new customers
  • [32:00] Paul explains his partnership with FINANCE Magazin and how he integrates advertising, publicity, live events and video marketing to grow his brand.
  • [41:00] How Paul engineered his five placements in April – during the coronavirus.
  • [45:30] Explanation of the interim-to-perm business model.

Being an “unkompliziert” person

When it comes to building sustainable candidate relationships, Paul believes that it all comes down to personality. He is an uncomplicated (unkompliziert in German) person, and because of that, he is able to easily connect with candidates that he treats as friends.  Paul said, “Mark, I have become friends with so many of these candidates. They are not just candidates, that sounds very cold. They are friends or business friends of mine.”

Explaining his interim-to-perm business model

Paul was able to describe how his interim-to-perm business model has successfully provided solutions to a lot of his clients. This solution de-risks the hiring process for his customer. As Paul puts it, “Over the last few years, we are doing more and more interim business because it is the instant solution kind of thing.” For him, “It is like delivering quality results in a very short period of time.”

Paul Taffe Bio and Contact Info

Paul is the founder and CEO of FINANCE People Solutions (PFS) in 2014. He has been in the recruitment business since 2014, and prior to that, he was either a CFO or CRO for US global blue-chip companies such as Pepsi Cola, Nike, Lear Corporation, and Dell as well as having worked in Private Equity. He founded the PE Finance Organisation Benchmarking company, Taaffe and Partners in 2011.

People and Resources Mentioned

FINANCE Magazin website link

Connect with Mark Whitby

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  1. Great interview, Mark. Very entertaining.

    I like to confirm that Paul is really a remarkable and reliable business partner.
    It is fun working with him.


    1. Hi Dominik, thanks for your positive feedback! Yes I enjoy working with Paul too – he’s very successful already, but still ambitious and always seeking to up his game.