The Little Search Firm That Could

Once upon a time there was this little search firm. It received a call one day from a local office of a national financial services company.

The manager from the company said they were “having difficulty” finding a trainee for one of their underwriting openings. All they wanted was someone with a degree in finance, good understanding of financial statements, a high GPA demonstrating ability to work hard and school smarts, and good communication skills to articulate the person’s financial findings to others. It did not even matter what type of industry or company the person had obtained their previous experience from, pro-vided they had the criteria listed.

The recruiter listened attentively, took notes, and asked lots of questions.

The company hiring manager added, “We’ve been using Gigantor Recruiting and they laughed at us when we told them we wanted a finance guy with good communication skills. Do you think you can help?”

The recruiter replied (without laughing), “Yes, we should be able to help. Give us a few weeks and I will get back to you.”

That small search firm filled that position within a few short months. The person they pro-vided did so well that he was rapidly promoted, and the company hiring manager returned to fill the newly vacated slot again.

That office hired some 12 individuals from that search firm during the next five years. News of their success in finally finding a reliable and trustworthy recruiting service spread to other offices.

The Philadelphia office also wanted to know who the “Little Search Firm” was that had filled a competing region’s positions so consistently. Next, the Boston manager wanted to be included in the game. Then Syracuse, New York.

Cincinnati, St. Louis, Atlanta, Dallas – all wanted to work with the Little Search Firm when they found out that positions that had previously taken a year or so to fill were now being filled in four weeks.

Within 10 years The Little Search Firm That Could, which provided recruiting services for ho-hum, run-of-the-mill, mid-five-figure salary searches that Gigantor Search felt was “below their stature,” wound up filling more than 100 such positions at a dozen offices all over the country for Financial Services Corp.

During this period the company had also grown. It had gone from being a small player in the field to a Fortune 1000 company.

Fast-forward another 10 years and today, that company is a Fortune 500, doubled in size within 10 years and quintupled the revenue it generated when it first sought out the services of The Little Search Firm That Could.

The results of this 20-year relationship are summarized as follows:

1. $250 million = Estimated amount of additional annual revenue generated and managed by all the employees placed during 20 years by The Little Search Firm.

2. 145 = Approximate number of total individuals placed throughout the country for “The Company.”

3. 100% Growth = The amount of revenue growth The Company posted during its relationship with The Little Search Firm.

4. Fortune 500 – The ranking this company received in the last few years was due in great part to a long relationship with “Little Search Firms.” It was previously a Fortune 1000 and, before that, an obscure and unrecognizable entity no one had ever heard of.

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Along the way The Little Search Firm That Could invented, tweaked, perfected, and refined a process for consistently finding the individuals this company needed within a four-week timespan every single time, regardless of level.

The Little Search Firm had developed the Secret Recipe for consistently finding the people The Company needed.

The company eventually began to use The Little Search Firm for retained executive hires for corporate executive positions.

Great story, right? A happy ending? Not quite!

There was never a banquet in honor of The Little Search Firm.
No plaque recognizing its decades of loyalty.
No trophy. No award. Not even a letter saying thanks. (Granted, they did pay all their bills on time.)

You see, somewhere along the line a human resources executive discovered The Company’s little secret for quickly finding hirable employees.

The new human resources manager was not about to let one Little Search Firm be so instrumental or critical in The Company’s operation.

No sir.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of “The Little Search Firm That Could” and read about how the new human resources director was going to turn it into the “Little Search Firm That Will Die Trying.”

Frank Risalvato is a staffing and recruiting consultant and has been in the search profession since 1987. He provides one-on-one custom coaching. He has appeared on TV and radio, and has been called on by state and federal agencies for expert testimony. His recruiter training services, books, and kits are found on For more infor-mation on his custom one-on-one recruiter coaching and training support services, please email:

Frank Risalvato made the plunge into the search industry in 1987. Within two years he was earning fees on a monthly basis that were comparable to his entire previous annual salary. Today he specializes in the low to mid-six figure hires and manages multiple openings each month. Although he didn't invent recruiter training, he views himself as someone that improves, perfects, and enhances pre-existing techniques. His new book is "A Manager's Guide To Maximizing Search Firm Success."


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