Ep 8 – Jeff Kaye on Building a Game-Changing Investment Ecosystem for Recruiters

Watch the Full Episode (50 mins)

Recruitment Transactions International (RTI) is the first global matching platform for buyers, investors, and sellers in the recruitment and staffing industry.  Our 8th podcast features one of the most influential movers and shakers in the recruitment and staffing industry, Jeff Kaye.  In this episode, RTI Managing Partner Simon Childs speaks with Jeff about his vast experience as a recruiter, entrepreneur, and investor who has spent over three decades in executive search, migrating from being one of the nation’s leading search professionals at his current firm, to now the Co-CEO of the same firm, Kaye/Bassman International, and Managing Director at Starfish Partners.

Starfish Partners, an international investment and ownership platform for niched professional and mid-to-upper management search specialists, provides capital for recruiting firms looking to scale as well as exit strategies for owners seeking to secure value for their firm in cash and/or stock. 

Starfish Partners also provides liquidity and the ability to monetize some value while simultaneously providing equity opportunities for key producers and leaders. Our portfolio of companies encompasses the industry leaders in growth and profitability including Kaye/Bassman International (KBIC), Direct Recruiters, Inc. (DRI), the Sanford Rose Associates International (SRAI) network, Full Spectrum Search Group, Raymond Search Group, and the recruiting industry’s largest consulting and training firm Next Level Exchange (NLE). 

With an industry of over 25,000 independently owned and operated recruiting firms, Starfish Partners is actively pursuing aggressive growth that will be achieved through a variety of mergers, acquisitions, and capital infusion activities.

Key Talking Points:

[00:20] Introduction

[00:49] Overview of Kaye/Bassman and how Jeff grew that business to where it is today

Founded in 1981, Kaye/Bassman is an executive search and recruitment firm that has grown to become the largest single-site search firm in the nation with the simple mission of impacting companies and enhancing careers by providing the finest in professional, executive, technical, and scientific search.

[05:45] Development of Next Level Exchange (NLE), recognized as the leading training organization for the search industry, with over 2,000 clients in over 30 countries around the world.

[09:13] Acquisition of the Sanford Rose Franchise – How did that come about and how he leveraged NLE and other support services to grow the business.  With over 170 offices in North America and Europe, Sanford Rose Associates® has become one of the largest collaborative search firm networks in the Americas. Over 135 existing search firms have joined Sanford Rose in recent years, yet with controlled growth and exclusivity that has ensured the brand and reputation of SRA remain unparalleled in terms of professionalism, performance, and service that exceeds expectations.

[22:03] Starfish Partners and its expanding ecosystem and investment platform for recruitment firms

– The Starfish model – What is it and what problem does it solve?

– Partnership with Direct Recruiters Inc. (DRI) – The value created, structure, challenges in completing, lessons learned

– What other deals have been done and are in the pipeline, who might be interested in it, etc.?

– Jeff’s long-term vision and plans, including exit   

Watch the Highlights: Weathering Tough Times (2 mins)