Season 4 | Ep 16 - James Caan CBE on selling Alexander Mann for £260m, appearing on Dragons Den and why he still loves investing in Recruitment Agencies today!

Today I was delighted to be joined on The RAG Podcast Live with Recruitment Entrepreneur and former Dragon - James Caan CBE!

Although famous for his time on BBC TV, James is the most followed recruitment professional in the world today with over 3million Linkedin followers!

In this episode, I we discussed

🎙Launching, growing and selling Alexander Mann in 2013 for £260 million

🎙How he felt when he had enough money to retire at 42 years old

🎙Growing Humana International and moving into private equity with Hamilton Bradshaw

🎙Launching Recruitment Entrepreneur in 2014, investing in more than 32 founders to date

🎙The impact of his 3 million followers on Linkedin

🎙Why he loves the industry and keeps on going when he simply doesn’t need to!

A fascinating chat with James and for me the realisation that despite his huge success - he truly believes that growing a recruitment business is about investing in people and doing the basics well, every single day!If you would like to chat to James directly please email him at or via LinkedIn!


Season 4 | Ep 15 - Paul Flynn on addiction, mental health and selling Staffgroup for over £20m!

Today I was joined by Paul Flynn - an investor in recruitment and mental health businesses and the ex Founder / MD of Staffgroup which he sold in 2015 for over £20m

A warm and open person, I have only ever heard great things about Paul from the market. This was  my first ever chat with him in person and he certainly lived up to expectation. 

In today’s episode we discussed

🎙 Paul’s early days at Progressive (S3)

🎙 His journey to launching Staffgroup in 2003 with 2 co-founders

🎙 How he suffered from addiction and by 2006 needed to go to rehab to resolve this

🎙 Running his business as a sober leader, even with the annual trips to Vegas and Ibiza!

🎙 How he eventually sold in 2015

🎙What he did next

🎙His 3 key takeaways from his career for others to learn from

Paul is a recruiter at heart and he clearly loves the industry! One of the success stories of the past 15 years, feel free to contact him directly if you would like to ask any more questions relating to our conversation!


Season 4 | Ep 14 - Tim Cook on what he has learnt about growing, selling and buying recruitment agencies after 34 years in the industry!

Today I was joined live on LinkedIn by Tim Cook - Group CEO nGAGE, a portfolio of 16 specialist recruitment businesses with over 750 staff.

A fascinating chat that felt like an educational lesson for myself throughout, in today’s episode we discussed

🎙 Tim's 24 years of working at Hays 

🎙 His journey to joining James Caan and subsequent MBO

🎙 How he was ready to sell his business for £200m and then covid hit

🎙 What he looks for when buying and selling recruitment agencies

🎙 His vision for nGAGE post Covid!

Tim is a seasoned professional who’s wisdom and knowledge would benefit any growing agency leader! Contact him directly if you would like to ask any more questions relating to our conversation!


Season 4 | Ep 13 - Clare Cooper on 4 weeks into launching her start up agency Storm3 and hiring 20 grads at once!

Today I was re joined by a guest from Ep 19 of Season 1, Clare Cooper! Back in June 2019, Clare was then an executive director at Phaidon International about to celebrate her 10 year anniversary with the business.

Fast forward almost 2 years and she is now the Founder of Storm3 - a specialist Health Tech recruitment agency and one of the newest brands in the Levin Group (the fastest growing recruitment company in the world)

Having recently interviewed James Brown, CEO of the group and Founder of Storm 2, I knew I was in for a great episode!

In today’s episode we discussed

🎙 Why Clare decided to leave Phaidon and almost left the industry

🎙 What she did with 6 months garden leave in a global pandemic

🎙 Why she decided to join James Brown and the team and start Storm3

🎙 Why and how she is hiring 20 grads at once to give the business a huge start

🎙 Her vision for Storm3 and why she feels their model is more simple than you would expect!

Clare has energy, charisma and huge confidence! I have every faith that Clare and the team will be a huge success and she is certainly one to watch across the globe!


Season 4 | Ep 12 - Project 500 reaches £40,000 in February!

In today's live episode of The RAG Podcast, I was joined for the final time by P500 partners Tim Roedel and Chris Redmond

We are proud to announce that we have reached £40,000 in donations!

Thank you to everyone who donated towards our initiative in February, we set out to raise as much money as possible to get brand new laptops to UK school children in need whilst homeschooling!

We have managed to help over 200 children and united many across the recruitment sector to make it happen!

We will be leaving the initiative open for anyone who wants to donate in March but in light of the announcement of schools re opening, we will no longer be pushing the initiative daily.

To donate please visit -


Season 4 | Ep 11 - Bernie Schiemer on going from an 8 figure exit as a recruitment owner to building the world's fastest growing recruitment CRM!

Today I was delighted to be joined by Bernie Schiemer, Founder and CEO of Vincere- the worlds number 1 all in one recruitment crm platform and our wonderful podcast sponsor!

Bernie has spent multiple decades in the recruitment industry and it is clear that what he doesn’t know, probably isn’t worth knowing. 

After selling his agency and enjoying his 8 figure payout for a couple of years, Bernie decided to become a tech entrepreneur (with no previous experience)

In today’s episode we discussed

🎙 How in he came to sell his agency

🎙 How he felt with 8 figures in the bank but no job

🎙 Why he wanted to go again as a business owner

🎙 Why he decided to venture into the world of start ups

🎙 His vision for Vincere and where he sees the future of our industry

Genuine and extremely likeable, not only will this give you an insight into selling an agency but also the brains behind the amazing platform we know as Vincere.


Season 4 | Ep 10 - Project 500 reaches £38,000 in donations!

In today's live episode of The RAG Podcast, I am again joined by my P500 partners Tim Roedel and Chris Redmond

We are now 3 weeks into our February fundraising initiative to get brand new laptops to UK school children in need!

This week we saw lots of laptops reaching schools and letters of thanks for both children and teachers across the country!
Thank you so much to everyone who has helped us so far - but we can’t stop now!

Please help by donating what you can - to do so please visit


Season 4 | Ep 9 - James Johnson on growing and selling Nicoll Curtin to launch a community of top performing independent recruiters that is designed to give them EXACTLY what they want!

Today I was delighted to be joined on Hoxo LinkedIn Live by James Johnson, Founder of District4 and former CEO of global recruitment group Nicoll Curtin (rebranded as ‘The Hive’) 

James is a very articulate business leader who never actually worked as a recruiter before taking over his fathers business in 2014.

After growing the business across 4 global locations and learning lots along the way, he decided that leading a large traditional recruitment business was not actually aligned to his personality or ambitions. 

So he sold the group business and created a sub brand that sits in it’s portfolio.

In today’s episode we discussed

🎙 How in he came to take over Nicoll Curtin

🎙 What he learnt about scaling the business globally

🎙 Why recruitment agencies will not make much profit between 15-60 staff

🎙 Why he decided to sell and start something completely different

🎙His vision for growing a modern recruitment community that is designed to fit EXACTLY what the modern top biller wants!

Intelligent, articulate and honest, I loved recording this episode with James! If you are interested to find out more about District4 or would like to pick his brains on anything re scaling a recruitment business then feel free to reach directly via Linkedin


Season 4 | Ep 8 - Headteacher Simon Cope on receiving the first laptops from Project 500 and what it means to the kids!

In today's live episode of The RAG Podcast, I am again joined by my P500 partner Tim Roedel, alongside Simon Cope the Headteacher of Wild Ridings Primary School in Bracknell.

Simon and his school received 10 x laptops last week and have a plan to distribute them alongside the 41 from the Department for Education this week!

He also confirmed that in his school alone - 85% of the kids have challenges with IT equipment and connectivity…

Again, the size of this issue is unbelievable!

We have to do something to help and we have to act now…

Project 500 is a scheme that is designed to help provide some of the UK's most disadvantaged families with the laptops they desperately need.

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped us so far - but we can’t stop now!

Please help by donating what you can - to do so please visit


Season 4 | Ep 7 - Brent Orsuga on growing a hugely profitable agency based on the power of his authentic brand!

Today I was delighted to be joined on Hoxo LinkedIn Live by Brent Orsuga, Founder & President of Pinnacle Growth Advisors, a  niche transportation recruitment agency headquartered in Arizona USA.

Brent is a huge personality both online and offline, regular producing content and adding value to his huge network on LinkedIn. 

He believes in hard work and constant innovation to be the best you can possibly be!

In today’s episode we discussed

🎙 How in he started the business with no clients in his house

🎙 How he continued to work solo for 3 years

🎙 How he only recruits ‘A Players’ in order to maintain the highest standards

🎙 How he began to build his brand online to support recruitment efforts

🎙How he manages the high workload and manages to be a great father and husband!

Super high energy and inspiring throughout - I hope you enjoy this episode! If you would like to speak with Brent directly he is happy to set up a call,  get in touch directly via LinkedIn to set it up!