Member Spotlight: Matt Owens

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on?

I’m Matt, a global technology headhunter for Finlay James. I’m a 360 consultant, completely focussed on driving new business in uncharted territories, whilst finding candidates their perfect role at awesome tech companies. 

How did your journey lead you to join the Recruitment Industry? 

Like most people, I fell into it. The position with Finlay James stood out to me, and I was extremely interested in the tech industry. Recruitment was attractive to me, I loved the idea of the incentives and recruiting within an industry I already was passionate about.  

What would your advice be for those wanting to join the recruitment industry or are early on in their recruitment career?

Throw yourself into it, ask questions, learn, don’t give up. There will be days when it’s tough, and it feels like everything is crumbling around you. However, you’ve got to keep going! Think outside the box and ask for advice from senior leaders in the business. Make the right relationships internally and externally, and you will have a support network that will genuinely care.

What has been the best piece of advice that you have received so far since working in recruitment? 

“Things aren’t sh*t forever, if you reflect, own it and learn from what could’ve been done better.”

If you could change the industry what would you improve? 

Although I’ve only worked in one company, I’ve heard that micro-management is still around in the industry. I’d like that to improve. 

Why should other recruitment professionals join Recruitment Mentors? 

It’s a like-minded space where everyone is looking to better their careers. The mentors and industry leaders are all in one place, and have the capacity to see your questions and give solid advice. 

Why did the board join the Recruitment Mentors Journey?

Recruitment Mentors wouldn’t be in the place it currently is without a passionate, aligned team behind it.

The board are not only integral to the short and long-term strategy of recruitment mentors, but they were deliberately selected due to their expertise and commitment to the sector.

We sat down with each individual from the board to find out their “why” when choosing to be a part of Recruitment Mentors.

So, let’s meet the board!

Nicole Plinston

Nicole is the Co-Founder and Director at This Is Prime, which is a specialist graduate sales and recruitment company. 

She boasts over twenty-four years of experience in the recruitment and sales space and brings her strategic knowledge both as a business owner and a recruiter to Recruitment Mentors.

Calum Morrison

Calum is a marketing strategist, advisor and writer who has helped steer several startups to become scale-ups in the SaaS and RecTech space over the last decade. 

He’s worked with Sonovate, Crunch, Cube19, Ebsta, Hoxo Media, and Azzouz Branding. Alongside Recruitment Mentors, he also runs his own marketing agency. 

Robert Hanna

Robert is the Founder and Director at KC Partners, a recruitment consultancy that specialises in the legal sector. 

He invests and advises multiple recruitment firms, as well as hosting his own podcast “Legally Speaking”

With over twelve years of experience, Robert is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion as well as mental health, and is actively involved in the industry both as a speaker and a mentor. 

Neil Clough

Neil is the Managing Director at This Is Prime, a specialist graduate and sales recruitment company. He’s been a motivational speaker for the past 7 years, as well as a contestant on The Apprentice. 

Boasting over a decade worth of sales experience, Neil is perfectly placed at Recruitment Mentors to advise from a strategic and technical perspective. 

What attracted you to recruitment mentors?


It’s a unique concept that is exclusively dedicated to helping recruitment consultants on their journey to success. Recruitment Mentors also aligns well to our values and mission at This Is Prime, and that coupled with my passion for learning and development made this the right decision for me. 

Hishem came to me in the initial stages and showed me statistics on recruitment businesses in the UK, and those statistics confirmed to me that there was an imminent need for this platform. Recruitment Mentors breaks down learning barriers as well as creating a space where people can share their struggles. 


The vision and reason were undeniable. Progress without limits. I like innovation and authenticity, and there wasn’t anything like Recruitment Mentors that was aimed exclusively at recruitment consultants.

I backed Hishem. If you know Hishem, you’ll know why. There’s a genuine mission there and a relentless drive to deliver it.


It’s something that is missing in the industry. From my own experiences, I trained at an excellent firm, however, it’s common that some firms have a “we know everything here” mentality, which limits the growth of people.

I got involved because of Hishem, he has no hidden agenda. He has a genuine passion for what he does and I think that’s evident for all to see. 


The concept of Recruitment Mentors attracted me to it, especially as it aligns incredibly well with This Is Prime. It’s about creating future leaders of the industry, and that’s what we’re all passionate about. 

Hishem was a key factor in attracting me to RM. Naturally, he’s trying to do good for the industry, and it’s evident from speaking to him it’s all about adding value to recruiters, his personal ethos overall was a large motivator.

What was it about the values and mission that resonated with you?


It encourages people to always be learning – and that’s so important. Things evolve all the time in the industry, and you’ll always be faced with different challenges. This is a platform which has a real mission to encourage ongoing learning and progression. That sort of knowledge and influence is completely priceless.

Of course, there will always be a place for external training, but it’s not real-time. Recruitment Mentors is real-time support and help. The mission is simple and clear!


There are a lot of wider goals and intentions that are folded into the mission and values we decided on.

A big part of what we wanted to do was champion agency recruitment, the consultants within them, self-starters, and the calibre of consultants. Things that are often talked about, but that we knew we could impact.


The main thing that resonated with me is that it’s about making a change. There’s always been a stigma attached to being a recruiter – it doesn’t carry the weight of a Doctor, a Lawyer etc. 

The platform aims to increase professionalism within the industry as well as how we’re viewed externally. That’s what really stood out for me.


Always be learning! Whatever stage of your career you’re at you should always be developing. The attraction for me was that it’s collaborative and the values are centred in elevating the profession and adding value.

A lot of people think that anyone can do recruitment, when in reality it’s not that simple. We need to dispel the stigma that is still attached to being a recruiter. 

How do you think the community will positively impact the industry?


I think it already is impacting the industry! The content that is being produced and utilised by the founding members and mentors of the community is amazing. It’s all going back into the industry one way or another. 

Now more than ever, especially after multiple lockdowns – this community is the perfect space for recruiters to deal with the daily challenges of working from home and being able to discuss real-time situations. 


In so many ways. It’s going to augment the L&D available to those that have it, and open the door to those that don’t.

This simply can’t be replicated in-house or by an independent trainer, but it can complement both. We’re creating a magnetic space that’s only going to grow in value with size. Plus, the multiple lockdowns have been tough, so having a community is more important than ever.


I think from a mental health perspective we will definitely see a shift. People struggled in 2020 due to feeling isolated, and now have a community where they can join and share their issues without any judgement – I think that’s a really powerful thing. 

I think in the future it will help with retention levels and confidence levels across the sector. The community is about learning whether you’re a 400k biller or a 100k biller. Recruitment Mentors is about encouraging a more inclusive sector!


I think it will help people to develop into better versions of themselves. It’s about collaboration – you’ve got people from some of the biggest agencies in the world and some of the smallest who can all learn from each other. 

I think it will impact the industry positively due to the accessibility of the community. Anyone who is looking to improve can join!

How do you see the community evolving over the next 12 months?


Well.. it’s going to be huge, isn’t it!? It’s such a unique platform adding so much value. I’m blown away already with how engaged everybody is. The community will continue to grow and the goal is to add value to every single member who joins.  


Ultimately we want the learning to be faster, more accessible, and more impactful for those in the community. 

We’ve got some big announcements in the pipeline… when we started imagining this in 2019 there were no restrictions with lockdown… that should give a hint.


It’s going to encourage knowledge sharing. It’s a chance for people to see that after twelve months it’s given them better traits, skills and developments! We want people to look at Recruitment Mentors and think “I need this in my life”.


We need to deliver on our membership numbers which is obviously the goal, however, the main priority is adding value to each member before we consider growth. We need to deliver to the people we already have – and focus on quality, not just quantity. 

Recruitment Mentors in twelve months time should be the norm. If you’re not a member – it’s not normal!

The Ultimate Reading List For High Performing Recruiters

If you’re looking to improve as a recruiter, it’s going to take a lot more than building your personal brand on LinkedIn and booking extra client meetings.

The development opportunities for anyone in recruitment are limitless, you just have to tap into and hone the right resources that will work for you. 

We’ve taken the time to speak to the Recruitment Mentors community, as well as undergo our own research to compile the ultimate reading list for high performing recruiters!

You’ll see that we’ve broken down each book into categories, so you can easily find what will work best for you.

The Rich Recruiter - Andrew Leong

Great for: Junior Recruitment Consultants

Reading difficulty: Easy

Accessible on: Paperback, Kindle

What’s it about?

“Whether you’re new to recruitment, an experienced recruiter or a struggling recruiter, The Rich Recruiter is a step by step guide on how rich recruitment consultants achieve their success. The Rich Recruiter has been written specifically for recruitment consultants working for recruitment agencies. Therefore, it has remained completely true to the industry.”

The Rich Recruiter is a whistle-stop, ultimate guide to those who are in the earlier stages of their career. Although this book is marketed to those at all levels, it’s found to work particularly well for Junior Consultants as well as Mid-Level Consultants who have experienced a dip in billings/motivation and need some extra advice.

The three things you will learn:

  • How to win new clients, even in a competitive market
  • How to write, structure and target winning e-shots that pull in jobs
  • How to successfully negotiate and close deals that’ll maximise your fee rate while creating a win-win situation

Think And Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

Great for: All career stages

Reading difficulty: Intermediate

Accessible on: Paperback, Kindle, Audible

What’s it about?

“Think and Grow Rich is the most important financial book ever written. Napoleon Hill researched more than forty millionaires to find out what made them the men that they were. In this book he imparts that knowledge to you.”

Think and Grow Rich is one of the most famous self-help/motivational non-fiction books ever made. There are thirteen rules in this book to follow, and the beauty of this book is it’s one you can refer back to no matter what stage of your career you’re at.

The three things you will learn:

  • The core 13 principles of financial success
  • How to implement specific strategies to earn more money
  • Traits and skills you can hone to make yourself a better salesperson

Money - Rob Moore

Great for: All stages

Reading difficulty: Difficult

Accessible on: Paperback, Kindle Audible

What’s it about?

“In a world which increasingly feels like it revolves around money, it’s easy to feel like the gap between the money you earn and the money you need to live the life you want is just too great. 

If you’re not where you want to be in your life with money and wealth, then it’s important to close the gap and get on track to creating the success that you want. Learn how to understand money, make more of it, and live the life you deserve”.

Money is a book that covers practically everything to do with money: how to invest it, how to respect it and how to not let it consume your life.

Money is a huge factor in every recruiters life, and this book highlights many theoretical and factual research on Money, as well as how mindset and how you value yourself and your time can impact how much money you make.

It’s a dense read, but one that any recruiter can take value from, especially if education around money is something that you lack. 

The three things you will learn:

  • How to have a healthy relationship with the money you earn
  • The importance of an abundance-based mindset
  • The slow and steady route to developing wealth

The Infinite Game - Simon Sinek

Great for: Anyone who is a manager or business owner

Reading difficulty: Intermediate

Accessible on: Paperback, Kindle, Audible

What’s it about?

In The Infinite Game, Sinek applies game theory to explore how great businesses achieve long-lasting success. He finds that building long-term value and healthy, enduring growth – that playing the infinite game – is the only thing that matters to your business.”

The Infinite Game is a book which is perfect for those who are in leadership roles, and want tangible insight and advice on leading teams, sustaining them and building trust. Sinek provides actionable takeaways throughout the book, and he’s known for his unique approach and stance to team building. 

The three things you will learn:

  • How to be emotionally available to your team without sharing too much personal information
  • How to build trust with teams over time
  • How to become a better leader

The Obstacle Is The Way - Ryan Holiday

Great for: Anyone who is a manager or business owner

Reading difficulty: Intermediate

Accessible on: Paperback, Kindle, Audible

What’s it about?

“With a simple change of attitude, what seem like insurmountable obstacles become once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Ryan Holiday, who dropped out of college at nineteen to serve as an apprentice to bestselling ‘modern Machiavelli’ Robert Greene and is now a media consultant for billion-dollar brands, draws on the philosophy of the Stoics to guide you in every situation, showing that what blocks our path actually opens one that is new and better.”

The Obstacle Is The way is a motivational and inspiring book which focuses on mindset, attitude and how you approach business and life. Holiday draws on his own experiences to create a memorable and life-changing novel.

The three things you will learn:

  • Why the ego is truly the enemy
  • How to apply simple practices to your day to day life to become better
  • How to change your attitude to evoke positive change

How To Win Friends And Influence People - Dale Carnegie

Great for: All career stages

Reading difficulty: Intermediate

Accessible on: Paperback, Kindle, Audible

What’s it about?

Millions of people around the world have improved their lives based on the teachings of Dale Carnegie. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, he offers practical advice and techniques, in his exuberant and conversational style, for how to get out of a mental rut and make life more rewarding.”

How To Win Friends And Influence People is another timeless book that can be read by pretty much anyone – not just recruiters. It’s one that offers a ton of insight, without feeling like you have to trawl through too much information to get to the point.

The three things you will learn:

  • How to increase your popularity, which can be applied to winning clients
  • How to become a better speaker both privately and publicly
  • How to influence to your advantage

What books do you think we’re missing that have had the biggest impact on your career as a recruiter? Leave a comment below!

Why does the Recruitment Mentors community exist?

The idea for Recruitment Mentors unofficially started when I entered my second year in recruitment.

I went from being the top salesperson in an insurance brokerage to being at the bottom of the leaderboard at a small insurance recruitment agency within 12 months.

I was hungry to develop and eager to learn about anything that would help me improve. I wanted to go from the bottom to the top as quickly as possible, especially as I entered my second year in recruitment. 

Besides a three-day training course which I went on in my first 6 months, my ‘formal’ training consisted of reflecting on bad calls or learning how to process my emotions when deals dropped out. I had to learn the hard way.

Of course – my colleagues helped me, and I had the support of the team, but it was limited to the eight recruitment consultants in the business at the time. 

I kept thinking to myself, this surely couldn’t be the only way I could develop and accelerate my career to the top of the leaderboard, could it?

The answer was, unfortunately, yes. 

This all changed when I decided to start “The Recruitment Rollercoaster Podcast”. I would spend my morning commute in the car every single day devouring personal development podcasts, and I noticed quickly that there wasn’t one dedicated to recruitment. 

At the beginning of 2018, the podcast was born, and it became the catalyst for Recruitment Mentors.

In November 2019 we hosted the first-ever LIVE Recruitment Rollercoaster event. 75 Recruitment consultants paid to attend – I couldn’t believe how many people felt the same as I had when I was a consultant. 

They were keen to develop and better themselves professionally and personally.

This was the “eureka” moment whereby I started to formulate a plan for Recruitment Mentors.

The event showcased a genuine appetite from recruitment consultants who were serious about their development. They had all paid to meet like-minded professionals whilst learning from the guests at the event.

Of course, I’d attended multiple events in the past – but these were always aimed at recruitment business owners. 

Take a look at how the event went … (We can’t wait to create face to face experiences again!)

Play Video

Why wasn’t there more events like this dedicated to Recruitment Consultants?

This question encouraged me to create a business plan and to ask for advice on the idea.

What motivated me to build a business plan and connect with people who could help make this happen was the idea that I could create a place that I desperately needed back when I worked in recruitment. 

It would give more recruitment consultants an equal opportunity to accelerate their careers!

I truly believe that if you’re a recruitment professional who has the inner drive and ambition to want to develop and become the best recruiter you can be, then you shouldn’t be limited or prevented by barriers that sit outside of your control.

Those barriers could be working for an organisation which doesn’t have a Learning and Development team, or it could be an organisation where the training styles and delivery don’t work for you.

You should be able to take your growth into your own hands.

I knew that Recruitment Mentors needed to be brought to life, so I connected with people who I had met through the podcast that I felt would be aligned with my vision, as well as making it a success.

I was thrilled to have Neil Clough, Calum Morrison, Nicole Plinstone and Rob Hanna on board to help make my vision a reality.

Fast forward to the 23rd of November, and we have now onboarded our first cohort of mentors to the community, and welcomed our first group of founding members.

It took a whole year from it being an initial idea to becoming an actual physical community that recruitment consultants could join. We couldn’t be more excited by the potential this community has!

What’s clear is our vision: to build a place that enables recruitment consultants to maximise their potential professionally and personally – in a sustainable way, through diverse community learning. 

A recruitment consultant’s growth will no longer be limited by barriers that they can’t control.

Take the growth of your recruitment career into your own hands.

Progress without limits with Recruitment Mentors!


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