Hard work, muscle memory and a great team with you all the way. 

This year has already turned out to be quite special for me personally. And so far, it also highlights the fantastic opportunities PageGroup has to offer its people, if they can find the very same thrill that I still do when I finalise a new placement. I have always been focussed on doing what’s best for the firm. When I’ve been asked to build and run highly successful businesses, or individually bill I have focussed as needed.

So, this year, I am delighted to be able to say I hit my long-term personal ‘trifecta’ aim of 10 million dollars individual career revenue, the highest global biller in Page Executive, and highest biller in North America.

The question is how, how did an individual manage that? First of all, no person is an island, and certainly no recruitment consultant is! The only reason I was able to perform to such high standards is the world class support PageGroup have always provided me. From a visionary CEO like Steve Ingham, to the incredible support of the marketing teams, the researchers, and of course, the professionals I work with on a day-to-day basis.

The PageGroup dream

And in fact, what I would like to share is that you can be sitting at your desk in an established market while working at Page, put your hand up for a transfer, arrive in a completely new market with nothing other than two suitcases, knowing no one, with no clients, no jobs, or contacts.

And from there it is possible to go on to build from scratch two immensely successful national disciplines, and out of the thousands of Page people that have worked in that region, to go on to bill forty percent more than the next highest person in that region’s history.

This to me is the essence of our company and global Page dream. If I had been able to be told this story when I walked off the plane for the first-time – boy would this have inspired me even more!

Focus on what you do best, then try to do it better next time

For long periods I have been asked to build and manage highly successful teams or businesses. When asked to individually bill I have focussed all my efforts and application to individual revenue, by relentlessly focussing each day on doing as well as I possibly can at whatever the company has asked me to do.

There have been many times in my experience where the financial services sector has underperformed other industry sectors, the most obvious being the 2008 stock market crash.

As is often commented in North America, I was a former competitive soccer goalkeeper, and whilst I never played pro, I trained with several professional or youth international players, and had the benefit of being coached by ex pro players. A lot of what I do in recruitment is built around the unbelievable application and focus I experienced in these pro players and trying to apply those principles and attributes to recruitment.

Believe in your team (and yourself!)

I like to think back to my days playing football, and remember a game which went to penalties, after the full 90 minutes of the game had been played. I was exhausted. But I had prepared – by endlessly saving penalty kicks, again, and again, and again. To build up the muscle memory of fighting through a pain barrier.

And it worked. I saved the final kick. And that shot I saved, well, the memory of it helps me kick on every day in the office. To put in that extra phone call, that extra email, that follow up conversation. And PageGroup made me realise all my efforts go towards something very special, the community we have here.

Two tips for success

Someone asked me the other day about what advice I would give to someone starting out in recruitment today. I think these two things will help many people in many careers: endlessly being self-critical, always striving for better in everything I do, because, “if you want to be number one train like you are number two” – is a mantra I love.

And my second focus: what the client wants. It sounds simple, but often the simplest things take the most practise – just like (hopefully) saving a penalty kick as a ‘soccer’ goalie. And just like in soccer (or football) the team around you in recruitment help you get to the point where small differences mean victory or defeat.

If you want to chat to me about PageGroup or any of the topics I talk about in this update, please feel free to comment or directly message me on LinkedIn. You can also get in touch with me through the Page Executive website, by clicking here.

If you would like to talk to me about your executive recruitment needs, send me a message.

paul webster

Paul Webster
Senior Partner
North America