Winning the war for talent – Tad McIntosh of HumCap Recruiting

Tad McIntosh, President and CEO of HumCap Recruiting

Tad McIntosh, the President and CEO of HumCap Recruiting, grew his company’s revenue 72% from $2.8m in 2014 to $4.9m in 2017, and now they are on track to hit $6m this year.

HumCap is a Dallas-based recruiting firm that provides businesses throughout the nation with comprehensive solutions to attract, hire, and retain the right players for their team.

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Tad shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:

  • Giving clients what they need, not just what they ask for.  
  • Adding 30 to 50 new clients each year by getting out in the community and connecting with company leaders face to face.  
  • Hiring associates whose values and attitudes are in line with those of HumCap’s.  

HumCap Recruiting Interview - (computer generated transcript)

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Malcolm Lui here. Welcome to Today we're speaking with Tad McIntosh, the President and CEO of HumCap Recruiting, a fast growing company that provides recruiting and H.R. services. We'll be talking today about how he increased his company's revenue 72 percent from 2.8 million in 2014 to 4.5 million in 2017, and how they are on track to hit 6 million dollars this year. Welcome to the call Ted.

Thank you.

So Ted. How did you do it? How did you grow your company sales so fast?

First of all I didn't really do it. So one the combination of the customers and our teammates here at home cap you know did so one we partner very tightly and closely with our customers and try to be very solutions oriented to help them get better solutions around their human capital than what's easy to find in the marketplace or easy to find from other folks who are in our space center one it's partnering close who are our customers. Secondly it's in working in a team mourning environment as a company where we have really strong values and really strong team orientation within those values to be able to get the best solution for our clients. So it's really a combination of partnering closely with our customers and prospective customers and working hard internally with the team to solve those issues. And what I would call is the war for talent out in the marketplace at least the marketplaces we serve in.

Right. OK. Can you give an example of both of those how you partner tightly with their clients and also how your team orientation is also helping in driving the growth of your company.

So the customer side nooner example you know could be I just left the meeting now where customers thought they needed one piece of a solution sat around the H.R. side of their business when in actuality they could drive higher value through a different part of you know less administrative solution more around finding better talent being able to help them see the bigger picture. And sometimes if they're asking for one problem to be solved working with them that solving a different problem will solve that problem instead of just blindly going forward and giving them what they're asking for but it's not really what they need. And I just came from a meeting where I was you know we were talking about an administrative solution where actually it's less important to the business long term than a different way of looking at the people they interview recruit and hire. And in a setting you know an example of winning as a team arises when it's a team and that includes our customer as you know giving what they need not necessarily always know what they're coming and asking for is. Only when any of us go to a doctor or an accountant or a lawyer we go in and we we get advice and we to the extent we use that advice we're healthier healthier wealthier and safer if you will.

So in a similar analogy with us as we try to work with the client always and we are asking for this because you need Dabb And then secondly we have an internal team where some people are finding clients being their sole responsibility to help us to find manage and get clients other people as part of the team effort is that they are the human resources people that deliver those solutions to our clients or their recruiters to deliver those recruiting and human capital solutions to our clients. But they're very defined roles and we have process oriented our team so that we can scale between the folks that are the customer account managers the human resources professionals and they're recruiting professionals at home gap and it's through being able to do that. You know if you will when it's a team with a customer for then individually internally a Ford Motor plant or you know back in the days of going into process automation we do a lot of work to keep very very streamlined.

So you know from growing your business back when it was at 2.8 million 2014 and on track to hit 6 million this year how much of it is coming from acquiring new clients and how much of it is just doing more business with your existing clients.

Wow. So a couple things. And I can't give the exact answer in that time period. Candidly what I can tell you is that we Work hard every year to both keep in touch with customers. We've had over the years and we are acquiring new customers. And about you know annually anywhere from probably 30 to 50 with an average of 40 new client companies that hire that work with us a year. So it's a combination of both. And I don't statistically know the breakdown of from the ink you know start of the revenue to the ink finish or the revenue exactly what percentage is but there's never a time when we're not talking to customers. We've had for years. And at the same time talking to new people whether it be from referrals or people find us online or in various different ways.

Can you share your process for finding and inquire and acquiring new clients.

The number one thing we do in acquiring new clients is we're very very tied into the Dallas Fort Worth tech market's growth markets and small business you know in entrepreneurial markets. So number one we're we're going to those events like tonight I'm going to be the tech titans gala. While some of our other employees will be at the Warren Center events who are out in the community connecting with decision makers and connecting with leaders in the community in those communities of technology technology industry the growth industry meeting there certain kinds of companies and there are certain associations and functions where growth oriented people go to and then are certain what a complicated small business type groups are number one. One of the ways we increase our business every year is we're out in the marketplace. We're not just sitting on our desks doing you know doing work but work consistently out there in the marketplace is that the number one thing that's different than us

Okay. And how are you able to scale that up. Sounds sounds like you do a lot of one on one type of networking relationship building activity. So it sounds like you're a bit. You and your team are a bit limited by simply the amount time you have available.

When there there's no doubt. But it's not just just me. I mean we've got a new team of 20 you know professionals that are here. So from that aspect that's a big deal to be able to say yes it's it is a one on one thing. But when you have 20 people doing one on one thing there's a lot can happen.

Right. So it sounds like one of the core ways of driving and growing your business and perhaps this is what happened over the past four years that you hired more people said you continue this process of getting connected and involved in your community and your space.

Absolutely. And so part of it is US hiring new home associates to sell because the combination of growing the business through multiple channels you know customers that are already there new customers that we meet through you know our own concurrent associates and hiring new associates. So

Right now do you prefer to hire people fresh out of college out of university and training them up to be your associates or do you check out what your competition has and cherry pick the the best associates that they have and bring them over.

It's a combination of both. It's not just one or the other so we have we have senior people who have a lot of I would say a lot of experience. And then secondly we are people straight out of school that have the aptitude and desire to learn how to be a service oriented professional.

Right. OK.


For the people you hire out of school how many of them have the right stuff right. Of course you see them you interview them. They like you you like them. You not only know how things pan out to that you start doing the work right. So you're with your process and your training how many of them actually are still in the business. Five years later.

Straight out of school it's a pretty low number. Honestly because some of them come in and they figure out how hard the work is to be in service of running a business and it's small business so it's easier to go get a job at you know big company USA and sit around and hide in your cube. You know and go to happy hour. And then you go where you're exposed to real customer problems and you are the solution you know. So anyway it's not not that many are left I'm saying. But I think also our industry has a high degree turnover to just Neumeyer wide and Bosi H.R. consulting area Hill and the recruiting area.

All right. Is that a challenge that your company has on a regular basis or have you found that the way you do your work you have a lower than industry churn rate of your own. DEAN

We have a much more and much lower industry than industry turned right. But you know it's like a lot of recruiting firms have like 300 percent turnover


Of 3 new people in the same desk in the same year.

What's your churn rate like for your teen.

We can't move here percentage wise. We probably have about 20 20 20 percent turnover rate. So we're like it's pretty low comparatively. I'm only using that 300 percent as are bad record companies but I'm just saying you are publicly traded and they're highly profitable if you look at them if you look at the most profit recruiting company in the world now much their name they have the highest turnover in the industry but they're the most profitable ones in industry too. Yes. You got an MBA from work. Go check. Who is the perennially high profit arm and then go look at look at turnover there.



The it would be the highest profitable firm and yet lose their

Today make it really bad to work for him and when people leave they're still recurring revenue coming behind



Keeping the clients right.

They're giving the clients

So what are you doing differently. Your company allows you to keep you know 80 percent of your staff every single year I suppose other ones that are replacing them. You know multiples of times throughout the year. What's different

Number one is honing in on our mission and our values and really interviewing people for that and then are you really up for this and show me examples of where you've been up for that before coming here. Not just it's like oh yeah it is. I'd be a very values Orian person or you know because our mission is to win the war for talent while living the golden rule so we look for examples of where people who have struggled have difficult things to get done and still being able to be good people and live with the golden rule. They also interview very closely on you know our our values of serving hardily. OK. When he's a team and improving constantly. So if they can't give us examples of that they don't get hired


And we talk about it a lot at our monthly. We have weekly kickoffs a month of kickoffs and we talk about values mission and differentiators all the time


Though. So how do you know. You know I've been to I've heard this before who is have has few values and fewer rules and talk about them a lot.

Right now. Q Is it easier to manage. I mean it's hard to juggle more than a few things at one time

That's right. I mean you look at them in rules of three people can't read three things at a time.

Yeah I hear you on


That one.

The ABC. They did not we didn't all go to war and like you

For the metrics. What kind of key indicators are you looking at to ensure that your teen is following through on the values that you outlined in the firm that you're talking about. You know every week every day. Are there any particular numbers you focus on.

So an aggregate mass side of fulfilling the mission we look at a combination of metrics of solving the soaring customers worth a win meaning we got this project finish or this position filled


Number one aggregate numbers of that number to we we record and measure the amount of reach out we have to our old customers and a new possible customers. And then we actually track our you know philanthropic efforts out in the community. And how many people are out there how many times on an annual basis.



Part of your being connected program

Exactly. Being connected and then live in the golden rule if you will.

Ok. You mentioned you're tracking the reach out to current clients past clients potential clients which kind of brings me back to another question that I had as you mentioned before that you work hard and keeping in touch with your clients. What type of process have used to keeping track to keep in touch with the clients as literally face time is it getting on the phone or are you sending them newsletters helpful content on a regular basis. You know how are you keeping in touch with their clients.

Candidly it's all of the above. You know it's Planes Trains and Automobiles. You know there's not one just one way of transportation if you will to get home so it's getting in front of them. FaceTime is always valuable like Larry before our interview I was faced with a customer of many years. So part of its face to face part of it is we do have a newsletter a monthly newsletter our newsletter that goes out certainly as we do talk to people on the phone a lot. We have what I call conference meetings on the phone when we have new new projects we're taking in and we do a lot of face to face meetings a lot of projects and take meetings over the phone a lot of communication over you know a lot over social media just to keep informed about things that are happening they're relevant to our customer base.

In terms of the Internet marketing type activities that you've been doing how are you tracking the effectiveness how you figure out if it's giving you a good return on your investment.

I wouldn't say we do particular Internet or social media marketing. We do some. I mean we've got some free Facebook ads. We're like that we don't really do LinkedIn advertising per se. We don't really do that much. We just build big networks and keep up with those networks. To be candid and candidly giving good content now. Like if you look at the things before or before 5000 announcement gets a lot gets a lot of press like I can go to the update of the status of our of my date when we did a post on making 5000 34000 views of that of that post have been done now. And growing excuse me correction thirty three thousand nine hundred twenty seven views as of this exact second.

Wow nice. So so you have a good no good following of your post on LinkedIn.

Yep yep.

So what's the next step to make it on the INC 5000 list next year. What's the plan.

Candidly more of the same and more process continues to grow. We have more people with more people you need to have the processing to be just as you know just as if you will ingrained in a bigger team is harder than a small team.

Yeah well I mean making Nickey and the ink 5000 less than me say Rothbaum and notes that seven times now since 2007 it gets harder and harder harder every year because you have to have fantastic growth every single year and as you get bigger it becomes more challenging right.

Yeah that's exactly right.

Yeah. So what changes how you know do you foresee that this coming year or even the next couple of years are going to change how you do things in order to continue the growth that you've been experiencing

Well we're getting out of focus groups and a team. Groups and smaller tighter teams. In other words less generalization more specialization and I would say it's more a process continued high touches to the customer and prospective customer areas. So it's really a combination of growing in specialization increasing process and continuing high you know high volume you know customer contact

Right. Okay now in terms of growing your revenue right we talked about growing your revenue by getting more new customers new clients retired by doing more business are converging to do business with your current clients. How about pricing is that an avenue for generating more sales or are you able to raise prices is that something that's a strategy to consider.

Yeah it is. It's difficult to do because people tend to think of human in human capital industries is a commoditization. So yes pricing no value pricing is definitely a strategy but it can be only used in so many. You know it's not every tool is good in every circumstance if you know what I'm saying.

Yeah. Okay. How about bigger trends that you see unfolding in your industry over the next three four or five years. What do you see that's coming in and what are you doing to position your company to take advantage of it or perhaps if it's a disruptive destructive trend getting out of the way of those trends.

Use the word disruption way too much. First of all they think they're disruptive and it's just old stuff that's new again. So I'd say to two big trends I think is one and in our industry one the. The war for talent increase in other words unemployment keeps going down. People keep being in higher and higher demand. So number one trend is people are in demand and going to continue to be in demand and that will show itself in different ways. The second thing is what's old is new people as much as we do Facebook you know linked and all because people crave interpersonal contact in a more real basis. So actually I'm seeing people in person actually talking to people on the phone actually addressing things in a more human factors is going to be I think as we get more tech you will get more human

Right. Yeah I can see that as well in that. Right now it's been a huge focus right over the last 10 years of doing more digital communications that so little mail physical mail actually comes by my desk now that if I were to reach out to people either friends or even potential business partners or are clients by mail I think you would get a lot more traction than before just because it's just not happening as much as it used to be as it used to happen

Yeah. You're right.

If you would do something differently over the past seven years what would you do differently. I mean you've done really well over the past seven years but what could you have done differently that might have even made a bigger impact.

It's a hard if you said to grab more in the past few years.

I mean surely there must been something he might have done that wasn't optimal that you wish you could wind back the clock he could not do it or do it over again.

I think if I could say generically speaking yes I don't know hundreds of examples of this but there are times when we're just not aligned with the customers values meaning a company's values are not aligned with their expectations. The ability not to go down to stop conversations faster with people where you don't have either values alignment expectation alignment or a realistic delivery alignment faster would give us a chance to serve the people we do have really good alignment with more


So be checking out that alignment and a more fine tooth comb earlier

Now how are you checking out the alignment. You have a process in place surveys that you do regularly. Somehow you your whole team sits down and shares information that they're hearing gathering from all your different clients and contacts and try to put together and see the patterns that you have a systematic way of doing that.

It's really not that systematic tentatively but it's hard to tell because a lot of judgments


Because they have fairly honed in values. But when you tell people that these are values everybody's great with that how how are they saying well


Saying it and doing it are two different things. So we can see in our client in our current you know current well the last 20 years you're sure we get worse and worse leaders in. And you know who say and do two different things. So it's just tough to sell you. I joke with folks and say I'm not really from Missouri but I'm from the show me state. Show me.

All right a conversation I had with in a different in a different a different group of colleagues we talk about how do you assess the attitude a person during an interview process. And you know people know what kind of answer you're looking to hear. Right. And I know that hiring rights at a core of your success. You know what you know what are the key questions that you asked or really help you really get a good sense of the person's attitudes and values the things that you might be able to pick up that isn't necessarily spoken right. Because you know anyone who preps for the interviews no with the likely questions and they have their stock answers in place right now how do you really get down to the core of their values and attitudes.

It's doing behavioral based interviewing and looking for examples you know. So think it's really getting into real behavior real you know being able to really ascertain behavior versus statements and digging deep into examples of what people say they've done


To me to be able to stay in it in a fairly uncomfortable position with the person. So ask a question and let silence rule.

Right. All right. Be sure that Eva too many peers are silence in our conversation here.

I'm comfortable with silence. You know it does have a sound. There's a song by the sound of silence.

Yes a classic song. So for the listeners of this interview if they're keen on doing business with hum cap what's the best way for them to get in touch with your team.

The easiest way if they don't know us or are known associate it would be to e-mail us No info at them capping dot com mainly because it's an easy way to get to us and we have a lot of calls and e-mails always going and will surely get back on the Churchie how we can help or if we are ELB or ability to be in alignment. So

Right. And you do work with clients not necessarily just in the Dallas Fort Worth area. You can go nationwide as well.

Absolutely we have global clients clients all over the world. So

And that's. Well thanks so much for sharing your insights today Ted and how you agree. Business of fast. I really appreciate it

Absolutely. Thank you for your time.

We've been speaking with Tad of HumCap about how he grew his business so fast over the past four years. To listen to other interviews with other fast growing companies or to learn how we can help you increase your high ticket sales through automation, visit

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