The Jerry Maguire Methodology – A mission statement to agency recruitment.  

“Help me, help you”


Over my many years in recruitment I have often wondered how to work better with my existing and potential new clients. These thoughts turned into ideas have led to many great ideas and mistakes.

During my career, some of my major achievements has been successfully building two recruitment agencies from cold start-up to success and transforming two back from the grave. 

How have I done this you ask?

Well, in order to build or grow a business in recruitment, there are three vital ingredients.

  1. The clients that you work “FOR
  2. The candidates that you work “FOR
  3. Your internal team that you work “FOR

In this post I will focus on number #1 – The companies, though more importantly the ‘amount of companies’ you work with.

Coming back to  the Jerry Maguire, looking at the photo immediately you probably thought “Show me the money” when I say that I have developed the “Jerry Maguire Methodology.”

Well in this case, it is the wrong moment in the movie you would be referring to.

Think back to the very start of the movie – if you have seen it. Jerry is unable to sleep and during the course of that night, he authors and releases his mission statement. 

“The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.”


Jerry: Who had I become? Just another shark in a suit? Two nights later at a conference in Miami I had a breakdown. Breakdown? Breakthrough. I couldn’t escape one single thought: I hated myself. No, no, here’s what it was: I hated my place in the world. I had so much to say and no one to listen. And then, suddenly, it happened. It was the oddest, most out-of-the-ordinary thing. I began writing what they call a mission statement. Not a memo, a mission statement. You know, a suggestion for the future of our company. It was great. Suddenly, I was my father’s son again. I was remembering the simple pleasures of this job, how I ended up here out of law school, the way a stadium sounds when one of my clients performs well on the field. I was even remembering the words of the original sports agent, my mentor, the late, great, Dickie Fox who said “The key to this business is personal relationships.” And suddenly, it was all very clear. The answer was less money. Fewer clients. Caring about them, caring about ourselves, and the games, too. Starting our lives, really. I’ll be the first to admit, what I was writing was somewhat- touchy feely. I didn’t care. I had lost the ability to bullshit. It was the me I had always wanted to be. I ran out in the middle of the night to find an all night photomat before I could change my mind. It looked incredible. Even the cover looked like The Catcher in the Rye. I entitled it “The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.”

Using the Jerry McGuire lens and applying it onto the recruitment industry, I implemented the following methodology, “work with LESS clients, so we can do MORE business!”

In our industry, we have a history of preaching that we work with EVERY client and that we have X number of candidates on our database – and let’s be honest, is working with every client smart? And, do a large number of clients really mean success?

I soon realised that I had become just another recruiter looking to work with as many clients as I could playing the law of averages.

What I discovered was that I was only giving each client a small percentage of my time, meaning I was failing to partner with them. When I say partner, I mean truly partnering and them comfortable sharing with us the information of their IT or business roadmap so we can build our Resource Roadmap from them.

This is where I bring you to our methodology.

We work with clients we choose to work with. We also only work with ones that “help us, to help them’. This has meant that we give clients more of our time, better understand what they need and ultimately fill their roles. 

To me modern recruitment is not just, “who’s on your books” or stick an ad up on a job board and short-list from who applies. It is about taking our clients vision, brand, capability needs and cultural nuances; embodying it and selling the message to active and passive candidates everywhere.

We recruiters spend a large number of hours (15 on average) sourcing the right candidates to build a shortlist. We then usually spend the same number of hours interviewing and preparing these candidates.

How are we able to do this for EVERY client?

The answer is that we cannot. Therefore most recruiters will cheat time and discount parts of their process in order to ensure they can get a shortlist out to all their clients.

The result is one of hope:

  • I hope I got the client brief right as I didn’t get a chance to go and meet the client
  • I hope I got the right candidates over as I didn’t really interview them
  • I hope that the candidate is presentable as I didn’t even meet them in person.

Hopefully you are now able to understand the method to my madness of less clients and why I back my amazing team and their clients to give us the opportunity to “truly partner” with them.

So, FEWER clients, means MORE time to our clients.

In using this Jerry Maguire methodology, we have seen a major increase of our revenue, candidate satisfaction, client satisfaction and staff empowerment.

So while Jerry may say “Fewer clients, less money.” I somewhat disagree.


I am sure some of you may say, well I do that anyway.

Or, I am a client manager and only work with named clients.

I would say you are still WAY too busy and not actually allowing yourself to be inch wide, mile deep to really partner with your client portfolio.

Using this methodology means that from time to time, we may have to divorce some companies that are just another number on our books as they are not allowing us to truly partner with them. So always ask yourself am I in the right marriage with this client and do I have a win-win? 



I have not written this in the middle of the night on a whim of emotions like Jerry, I am just a big believer in really helping our clients and so in order to do that we need to help ourselves and create the luxury of more time.

I will finish echoing the final monologue of the Jerry Maguire movie, though I have added a little bit to it.

“Look I don’t have all the answers. To be honest, in life, I failed as often as I succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my kids. I love my life. I love my job. And I wish you my kind of success.”

~ Dicky Fox


Agency Recruitment is a Zoo.

As a passionate ex-agency recruiter I am a little surprised at the lack of innovation and creativity coming from the dark side Jedi side of recruitment and as such have been pushing hard to get agency recruiters to release their inner marketers and create and foster their own brand within our brand. Agency recruitment has changed, some might say become a lot harder to do well. The few that do well are a different breed of animal and so when I recruit for my business I look for different characteristics of people that I can enable. The main skills you need to bring to the table in modern recruitment to do well are innovation, branding, marketing, sales, tenacity, empathy, analysis and creativity.

Now everyone cannot do this and what I have learned is that when I want to hire people I am really looking for two types of people.

1. The Parrot

2. The Elephant

For me to do this I had to go on a journey and re-discover what types of people work in agency these days. Now to put my learnings into perspective and to educate you on how I cast my judgement; you will need to note that I have hired many people in the last five years in agency land. I have done this as I have grown one business from start-up to success and also taken another 30 year old company and transformed it. I have interviewed many recruiters old and new and the traits they come with are aligned to our friends in the animal kingdom.

The types of agency recruiters I have encountered are:

“The Peacock”

Not Your Nbc Peacock

This agency recruiter is flashy and loud, they tend to self-promote often regardless of their habitat. You usually find this recruiter annoys as many clients as they please. They seem to know it all and they don’t usually engage their listening devices to learn anything. They usually hide all their precious information on candidates under their nest desk. As a manager what you discover about peacocks is that once they lower their feathers, there is usually not much more they offer.

“The Elephant”


First and foremost this recruiter is caring and likes to be part of a herd, though can also work on their own when need be. The greatest asset about this recruiter is their memory, they remember every client and candidate they have ever met and have the ability to be on the phone fast to the right candidate or client after processing information. This recruiter has a high EQ and IQ and therefore knows how to draw information from their candidates/clients and does so in an effortless way without the other party knowing what is happening. They will usually lock themselves down in one habitat agency for a long time and they are quietly confident about what they do. Usually other recruiters will be seen drinking at the water-hole water-cooler at the same time as the elephant to try and pick the brains of the elephant without anyone else listening.

“The Snake”

These recruiters have a way of getting what they want and usually it is with their cunning and lack of integrity. (Lies) They will do well in the role for about a year or two and then leave for the next job as they have out-warmed their welcome or (pissed everyone off.) Think of ‘Kaa’ the snake mesmerising Mowgli in the jungle book. This is what the Snake can do to an unsuspecting recruitment manager who believes the promise of a “stable of clients who only deal with me” and “average billings of $XX.XXX per month.  Stay clear of these recruiters and if you are worried that they are lying to you, triple check the facts before you make an offer.

“The Parrot”

This recruiter is one that is colourful, creative and sometimes flashy. They have a thirst for knowledge and attract people to them by their infectious personalities. They are able to flock together or fly on their own. Whoever coined the phrase “bird-brained” was not talking about a parrot as they are known for being extremely intelligent. They have the emotional intelligence to imitate what you say and therefore they will be able to relay a clients information about a role precisely. They will be creative when looking for Talent and will usually try new things in order to see that works for them. As recruiters you can be assured they will get the results you need, though they will indeed challenge their leaders they usually do so in a way of getting the best results for the whole flock.

These are just some of my thoughts on recruiters and how they show certain characteristics. Why you ask, do I think so much about this? Well in order to be a great agency these days you need to hire modern and great recruiters and sourcers that have the EQ and IQ allowing them to be trusted long term by their clients.

For me, I have found by hiring these types of personalities and characteristics that I can let them out of their cage and roam free around the zoo. We now have a team that each brings something to the table and is trusted and has a manager that gets out their way and lets them do their job well.

Now, now that you have read this don’t think that I hire a team of people exactly the same. I do like to find people that display these traits and can grow in their roles. Each personality can be different and ideally so. I read a great quote from Xerox’s Barry Rand who said, “if you have a yes-man working for you, one of you is redundant.”

Good luck in building your teams or re-engineering your career in recruitment.

Troy Hammond