#31 Just keep swimming – with Wendy McDougall

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Wendy McDougall is a serial entrepreneur, currently making waves and influencing the recruitment technology space with her role as CEO at Firefish Software. Wendy’s first business ‘9-20 Recruitment’ was launched in 2004 and sold successfully 6 months after returning from the amazing Entrepreneurship Development Program in Boston in 2013.  Now focusing on Firefish Software initially spun out of 9-20 in 2010 and after a successful 2 year BETA programme, she’s establishing a clear ‘product market fit’ as a sales and marketing platform for the SME Recruitment agency vertical. In July 2014, just under £400k of seed funding was raised to accelerate growth. Employees within the company have increased from 7 to 17 with a hiring plan in place to reach 25 by the year-end with a new office space thrown in.

Click to tweet: Wendy McDougall shares her incredible journey on Recruiters Live Lounge today!

Favourite success quote

  • Wendy’s favourite success quote and motto she applies for her home and professional life is, ‘What goes around comes around.’

Biggest failure faced in recruitment

  • Wendy explains that while setting out in recruitment and the market was in a great and healthy place, her failure was not to listen to the market and what was happening, when the recession hit. From growing her company she had to suddenly strip it back.

Recruitment ‘eureka’ moment

  • Wendy’s eureka moment began shortly after she started in recruitment.  After not enjoying her initial first three months in recruitment, with her father’s advise to buckle down, she was working on contracts, and realised not to think of contracts as contracts, but to think about recruiting everything the ‘permanent process’ has into contracts – and you also enjoy the benefits of extensions!

The crystal ball

  • Wendy is very excited about the future of recruitment.  Wendy can see that although the fundaments of recruitment will not change, the way it is packaged and delivered will go through a big period of change.  There will be a big opportunity to blend your recruitment knowledge with creativity.

Best piece of business advice

  •  “Don’t underestimate your energy, be involved with the business, that you want to be involved in.”

Best business resource

Best business book

The Hard Things About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz

Wendy’s final piece of advice  – ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

Interview Links

Find out more about Wendy via her LinkedIn profile or contact her via Twitter.

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Interview sponsor







One in three recruitment agencies have a database where only 10% of their candidates’ information is up-to-date. Firefish can help increase this  to 65% in six months. Every recruiter’s nightmare is missing out on a  placement when the perfect candidate was in their database already, but  they didn’t know because the details was outdated! That’s why Firefish  doesn’t just store candidate data; it’s an engagement engine designed to  help recruiters achieve the maximum placements from that data. Firefish offer a predictive recruitment sales and marketing platform that helps recruitment agencies attract, engage and place more candidates with their clients.

Visit www.firefishsoftware.com/reclivelounge and start talking to them today

In need of some FREE resources?

1) Click here to download Roy’s free eBook ’39 Must-read Books to Ignite You and Your Recruitment Business’

2) Click here to watch Roy’s free 3-part video series for recruitment business owners

3) Click here to watch free recruitment training videos on Roy’s YouTube channel