Continuing our business builder series, the next secret we want to share with you was the biggest change I ever made in my recruitment business and was THE most significant paradigm shift in my recruitment career.   

We found in our business that we had reached a ceiling on the level of productivity in terms of billings per head, so we spent an extortionate amount of money on training people, getting the best technology, and the best CRM. 

We tweaked every inch of the business that we could optimize, yet even with these changes, we still had: 

  • Burnt out teams, 
  • Terrible team retention, 
  • a nightmare hiring staff,  
  • and getting people up to speed and performing. 

No matter how much time, energy, and attention we put into a new starter, and we were hiring in some areas super billers, they didn’t break even in the first 6 months and, in some situations, the 1st year. 


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To put this into context, we had 75 fee earners, with an average billing per head of £153k, which most companies would be ecstatic about. 

The problem with this was that we put so much investment into our people, our margin was not as high as other businesses, and consequently, our net profit wasn’t where we wanted it to be. 

Something monumental had to change. 

As a board of directors, we asked ourselves one question. 

“If you started a recruitment business tomorrow, what would you sell, and how would you structure the business?” 

And the biggest surprise for every single one of us – with no discussion, the overriding unanimous decision was that not ONE of us would use the 360 models. 

We had to make a choice – adapt or die; that kicked off the start of the transformation.  


Why 360 Is No Longer A Fit in Today’s Recruitment and Staffing Landscape 



Let’s look at why we decided that the 360 model is not fit for today’s recruitment marketplace. 

The 360 model is like managing a football team, where you have your A star striker, let’s say, Ronaldo, who plays upfront, which is his superpower – his strength, scoring goals.  

Now imagine you say to him, for this match Ronaldo, I want you to play in your superstrength upfront for a third of the match.  Then for the 2nd Third, I want you to come back to a midfield position and play midfield.  And then for the remaining 3rd of the match, I want to come back and play in goal and be the goalie.  

And I want you to do that for 90 mins; chopping and changing between roles, running back and forth, and juggling between attack and defense. 

Imagine if you were poor Ronaldo in that match; how would you be feeling?   

  • Focused, effective, and winning or, 
  • Exhausted, frustrated, and ineffective? 

And how well would he perform in each of those roles?    

…. not well! 

Yet this is what we are asking our people to do when we ask them to work on the 360 model, because  we’re asking someone to: 

  • Nail business development,  
  • account management,  
  • resource candidates, 
  • deliver all the admin, marketing and write adverts, etc. etc. 

Not only do these require totally different skill sets in each area, they need different energy and approach. 

I think we can all agree… the recruitment landscape has dramatically changed over the last 20 years AND recruitment businesses HAVE not. 


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Recruitment Has Completely Changed Since The Year 2000 

Our sector has changed yet we are applying the same strategy we applied 20 years ago – when recruitment was way simpler.   

Let’s be honest how many tools did we need to master back then?   

All we needed was a phone, fax, a yellow page or a Rolodex of card not only that if you put an advert in a magazine or newspaper, the candidates would call the US for help; imagine that!!!  

But, these days, you have to master the internet, social media, writing adverts, scouring job boards, be a wiz on LinkedIn, and be amazing at negotiating, influencing, controlling, account managing, finding, and engaging candidates and new business development.  

There are so many different facets in the role of a recruitment consultant and yet, we are expecting ONE person to be an expert at all of them.  AND to juggle all the elements brilliantly at once.   

The 360 model is no longer a smart and reliable foundation on which to build your recruitment business. 

What will happen if you do not shift your business away from 360 is you will have chronic underperformance in your team; 

  • Your A-star players may be operating in the wrong roles,  
  • you will have burnout, people will not enjoy their job, 
  • it will affect retention and it will make life really hard to hire someone who can be good at the 360 roles.

Plus it’s a very risky strategy to play. 

If a 360 consultant leaves your business – you are totally at their mercy… out walks £150k – £250k or more, not forgetting all your intellectual property. 

You have the choice – you can either continue working the old 360 way and keep getting the same results  

OR you could transition to a NEW model that will enable your people to work to their strength zone and become masters in that role…  

Be x3 – x5 more effective in the number of placements they make each month 

AND you have less stress and burnout. 

A team-based model so if one person is off sick or goes on holiday or leaves you, there are two other people you have in your team to handle the workload.  



The Ultimate Model Framework 

We use what we call the Ultimate Model Framework – which is where we split the functions into 3 parts: 

  1. Business Development
  2. Delivery 
  3. Resourcing

The good news is there is more than one way that you can combine these functions to work for your team, dependent on your market, your client’s needs, and your people. 

For example – one way could be where you have one person or a team who purely specializes in winning new business – and then they pass those jobs to another team that specializes in delivery and resourcing.  When you do this – it means they can spend 80% of their time in the area of strength – so BD wins a lot more jobs and then delivery can place more jobs.  

Or you have a person or team that specializes in Business Development and delivery working with a person or team that just does resourcing: Optimizing teamwork – so one team that leverages 10 or 100 times return.   

Let me share with you the typical results our clients experience with this model. 

Emma Warren is an Insurance Recruiter with a team of 3 making one placement each per month.  She changed to the ultimate model and within 2 months, the same team, the same 3 people, plus 1 resourcer made 18 placements in a month. 

To sum up, here, you need to break your 360 up into three separate functions.  Business Development, Delivery, and Resourcing. 

It means your team will work in flow and work to their strengths, with high performance all around. It really becomes a win-win-win.  You will increase results, productivity, time & fun. 


Warm regards, 

Nicky and Katy 


Would You Like Our Help To Identify and Implement Your Profit Levers This Year? 

Ready to become a business builder, and switch to a different model? Over the last 13 years and hundreds of clients like Emma, we have proved how the strategies we teach can shift your business. 

If you want our help, it starts by booking a call with us here. 

Speak soon. 

Warm regards, 

Nicky and Katy 

P.S. Read our testimonials and case studies here, and then here is that link again to book your call.