An insight into billing $1M (USD) in perm revenue

New York City
New York City

Our very own Will Boulton has billed an astonishing $1 million of permanent revenue in a single year! (Yes, even amidst the huge challenges of the pandemic.)

A simply amazing achievement guaranteed to inspire many, we’re betting there’s one key question that’s cropped up in your head. How did he do it?

Will shared some insights into his move to The Big Apple, and his incredible journey to leading the way in NYC recruitment. Will unpacks how the team managed to overcome the huge challenges of the pandemic, and reveals unmissable insight into the most successful strategies that helped him achieve $1 million (it’s seriously good stuff).

How would you describe the effects of the pandemic on the US market as a whole?

Since moving over in 2018 to open our office on the East Coast, we have made great headway. But, out of nowhere, Covid hit and we (like everyone else) faced a giant global setback. At one point, New York felt like the real epicentre of the pandemic. There were huge numbers of hospitalisations and the entire city felt almost apocalyptic. Such a contrast to being the “city that never sleeps”!

But, over the last 18 months, we’ve worked super hard as a team to support both ourselves and our clients to come out the other side. All the work and quality of service we delivered before the pandemic was a total blessing in getting us through this very challenging time. The strong and embedded relationships we’d already built with both clients and candidates helped get us through, and that’s a real testament to the team’s consistent hard work both before and during these difficult times.

Do you think the nature of the clients you partner with is a big contributor to your success?

Definitely - I’m really passionate about supporting organisations who are looking to invest in their digital propositions. I typically partner with clients as they’re receiving their series A investment, as it’s at this crucial time they need to identify and hire key people to drive their vision and leadership forward.

​They don’t necessarily have the time to do it themselves (or time to do it well, at least). And this is where we come in - we’ve had great success partnering with early-stage companies across a range of sectors. Health and wellness, e-commerce, content providers, gaming companies. It really is right across the board.

What would you say is the biggest difference between UK and US recruitment?

Well, the sheer size of the country is a big one! The geography is much larger, as is the economy. In the UK, the majority of my client base was in London. Now, I’m helping candidates and clients across the whole of North America, so the scale of the areas in which you’re recruiting in is vastly different. Unless you have a clear strategy, it is easy to get distracted and chase the “quick wins”, which doesn’t benefit you in the long run.

But, so long as you’re a strong recruiter with a good handle on the overall process, you have more time and scope to do your job well in the US. London is arguably the most saturated recruitment market in the world, which brings with it certain challenges. Over here, there are huge opportunities for recruiters who want to build deep, strategic partnerships with their clients. The results reflect the time and investment we place in those relationships.

Is recruiting in the US easier than in the UK?

​It’s definitely not “easier” - it’s just different. In some respects it’s actually even more challenging.

​Working days don’t really stop here in the US. Clients and candidates will have no issue with having conversations at 9pm. In fact, they often initiate these calls! It’s just more acceptable here, and it’s almost expected that you’re incredibly generous with your time.

​So yes, you have to tailor your approach and be happy to adapt to be successful here. But the potential opportunities are enormous, and you can build real loyalty with candidates and clients if you get it right - especially now the economy has bounced back in a huge way.

So (onto the juicy bit), what’s the secret? In terms of billing a million, how have you done it when so many others haven’t?

I’d love to say there’s a super specific secret behind it, but honestly? There isn’t just ONE thing. All I can say is that a consistent approach is absolutely crucial, and it’s what I attribute a huge amount of my success to. When the pandemic hit, our team output needed to get bigger. We needed to react and do more when it was quiet, rather than do less - and this is what set us apart. I get the impression from candidates and clients that other agencies eased up, and we didn’t.

​This level of consistency couldn’t have been more important. I started recruitment back in 2008 during the financial crash, and it felt similar. So I was fortunate to already know how tight things can get, with the experience to know how to get through it.

​It’s also the people you work with, too. Working with an equally motivated team who all want each other to do well couldn’t be more important. It brings a whole new and positive energy to the job. When this is the case, you’re a lot more likely to be successful in your own right as well as part of a team - when everyone else around you is supportive and encouraging.

​And finally, I’d say a healthy dose of luck certainly doesn’t hurt! I think it’s important to be humble and recognise that you need some luck to go your way if you’re going to achieve something like billing $1 million.

What advice would you give to those new to recruitment, with a goal to achieve the same success as you?

1. Always maintain a consistent approach.
2. Recognise that recruitment is a very process-led job.
3. Work as hard as you can with each and every client.
4. Don't just chase the "quick wins".

A huge number of factors can influence whether you’re able to make a placement with a company or not. It’s the ability to manage each of those factors that will set you apart from the rest.

It’s also super important to recognise that successful performance is a direct result of your commitment to each client. That is, wanting to do a good job for them and genuinely meaning it. Some recruiting agencies are too focused on the numbers, with the attitude of “so long as we reach our targets, it doesn’t matter how we get there”.

But, here at Talent, good performance and impressive revenue is more than just a number. It’s a direct reflection of the commitment, care, and hard work you’ve put in. So, if you look at it that way as opposed to just a numbers game, you can’t go far wrong.

So what’s next for you here at Talent? Any other goals on the horizon?

Still loads to do in New York! We want to hire more people and build out even further. We’re continuing to build a good reputation, operating as a reliable and supportive partner to some of the most exciting companies in the world right now. But, we need more people to help with that - hiring ambitious people is definitely top of the list.​

The market is back, and it’s come back in a big way. We just need to continue supporting Talent to get bigger and better from both a recruitment and Rise perspective. Talent truly is a fantastic business. Not just because of the incredible growth and recruitment success, but all its other facets. The company is great and I’m proud to be a part of it. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing!

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