Recruiters You Should Meet to Staff for Success

by | Dec 27, 2023 | Career Development, Human Resources Management, Workplace | 0 comments

These professionals stand out as some of the best I’ve met in the biz

When I worked as an executive or a consultant advising C-suite leaders and business owners, many of them complained about their inability to attract and recruit talent. More than that, they typically do not have the resources to conduct effective talent searches, so their employees in HR or other departments carry a heavy burden of extra time-consuming and sometimes tedious work — oftentimes outside of the scope of their position.

Retained search firms and recruiters play a crucial role in attracting and retaining human capital in organizations across cultures (Allen & Vardaman, 2017). During my career of 25 years, I have met and worked with dozens of recruiters and search firms. I have registered with large, multi-national executive search companies, retained search organizations, and popular agencies. However, I have found that the best results came from working with highly motivated, strongly competent, and extremely ethical recruiters who own and operate small businesses.

The Risks of Recruiting on Your Own

Business owners or executives can conduct the job selection process independently. However, they can run substantial risks, including:

  • Limited Talent Pool: Without the extensive networks and databases that recruitment firms have, a company might only reach a small number of potential candidates, most of whom have active searches. However, high-quality individuals who may passively search may not make it into the pipeline. Many recruiting firms keep a good handle on their available talent inventory.
  • Higher Risk of Poor Hires: Recruitment firms have specialized expertise in vetting candidates, conducting thorough background checks, and evaluating suitability for specific roles. Without this expertise, organizations risk making poor hiring decisions, which can cost thousands of dollars or more in each case.
  • Increased Time and Resource Expenditure: The recruitment process can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, involving advertising, screening, interviewing, and negotiating offers. Without a recruitment firm’s assistance, a company’s internal staff must handle these tasks, which can detract from their core responsibilities and reduce overall productivity.
  • Compliance and Legal Challenges: Recruitment firms are typically well-versed in employment laws and regulations. Without their guidance, a company may inadvertently fail to comply with these legal requirements, leading to potential legal challenges and reputational damage.
  • Slower Hiring Process: The lack of resources and expertise in recruitment can lead to a slower hiring process. This delay can mean missing out on top candidates who may accept other offers and can also impact the company’s ability to meet business objectives that depend on timely hiring.

So, why take on these or other risks if a recruiter can help mitigate these issues?

Hire a Competent and Ethical Recruiter

As I mentioned, since 2001, I have worked with various recruiters, executive search firms, and headhunters. Some models have worked very well for me, and others… well… I learned something and lost money in the process. However, I found some very strong recruiters whom I trust when I refer business to unemployed and underemployed people. I thought that, while businesses may take this time to plan for the New Year, this short list of recruiters can help you find a partner to conduct your search:

Tree Top Staffing

Myles Rickert serves as the Head of Talent Acquisition at Tree Top Staffing. This company takes pride in helping job seekers find their ideal role and employers find the right candidate for their company. Their professionals offer recruiting for contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire placements within multiple lines of business. They adhere to a set of 4 defining principles: Servitude, Accountability, Integrity, Discipline. Myles introduced me to the virtues of stoicism, the values of which influence their guiding principles. Visit them at

Lynn Hazan & Associates

Lynn Hazan seems to be everywhere all at once in the Chicagoland area. The quintessential networker, Lynn has spoken at events for organizations, including universities and associations. Lynn has coached me about my career, and I had the pleasure of helping her firm rebuild their website. Lynn, her associate Falguni Shah, and their team use a proprietary methodology of interviews and skill assessment tools to gain in-depth insights about candidates and their fit for job openings. They “dig deep” with clients to determine their needs, competitive advantage for hiring and the best fit for talent. Visit them at


Brenda Gradl serves as the principal at ExecuSearch Staffing Solutions in Sarasota, FL. Brenda helped to place me in a digital marketing position. ExecuSearch Staffing Solutions offers executive search and placement services specializing in Logistics, Distribution, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Engineering, Sales, Marketing and Retail positions with some of today’s leading companies. With extensive industry experience, a large database of qualified personnel, and a well-established operational model, they provide a competent, flexible and reliable workforce to meet the variable demands of their clients. Visit them at

Esther Fox, a Talent Acquisition Leader committed to positive customer experience and business culture, helped me to land an executive position in my career path. Always with an empathetic but profoundly professional ear, Esther has a knack for understanding the needs of clients, how to conduct a fair yet efficient search, and guides both qualified candidates and organizations to find each other. Connect with Esther on LinkedIn:

GRN Fairfield

Donna James owns and operates GRN Fairfield, a search firm filling the needs of retail businesses. B2C & D2C Organizations hire her firm as a talent partner and trusted advisor to introduce them to influential Leaders at the C-Suite, Executive, Director, and Manager levels. They specialize in difficult roles to fill, confidential roles, niche or specialist roles. Connect with Donna on LinkedIn:

LaSalle Network

Missy Stella bursts with energy and excitement at the opportunity to help clients and candidates alike. As a marketing recruiter for LaSalle Network in Chicago — a national staffing, recruiting, and culture firm focused on temporary and contract staffing and direct-hire search — Missy gets right to work to find candidates for clients and companies for candidates. Connect with Missy on LinkedIn:

Bernhart Associates Executive Search LLC

Jerry Bernhart not only recruits top talent for marketing positions, he publishes helpful articles and tips for both job seekers and hiring organizations. With more than 33 yrs. experience as a prominent digital and omnichannel marketing recruiter, ecommerce recruiter and CRM recruiter, across all major B2C and B2B industry segments, he has built an extensive cross-referenced network of long-term relationships and valued referrals. Visit his website at

Paul May & Associates

Early on in my consulting career, Paul May gave me the opportunity to build his website. This formative experience led to a long career in digital marketing. Since 1987, his firm continues to connect top talent with great job opportunities in a responsive manner. They offer a vast network of clients, candidates, and jobs nationwide. Visit them at

Vocation, LLC

I met Jadey Ryndak years ago. While we have not connected in a while, she continues to be a thought leader and an influential force in connecting people with careers. Jadey now works with companies in her signature high-touch and consultative manner as a Senior Recruitment Consultant for Vocation, LLC. Connect with Jadey on LinkedIn:

Certainly, you can find other recruiters and staffing agencies with an online search, or you can go to one of the common large firms and become just another number. While organizations searching for talent have an abundance of options, these professionals remain among the most trustworthy, helpful, and ethical names in a sea of unknowns.

Reach out to any of these companies to get the right talent “on the bus” in the right seats! Happy Hunting!


Allen, D., & Vardaman, J. (2017). Recruitment and Retention Across Cultures. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4(153–181).

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