From Wetherspoon’s to top billing recruiter

Stephen Ashbee from Maxwell Bond the legend that has tripled his revenue target to take top spot on the Complete Top Biller course

If you haven’t seen the LinkedIn posts, Stephen Ashbee from Maxwell Bond is the legend that has just tripled his revenue target to take top spot on the Complete Top Biller course and he kindly let me interview him. So how did he do it?

How long have you been in recruitment Stephen?

Stephen: “Scarily I have been in recruitment for 7 years now. It feels like it was only yesterday I was working in Wetherspoons pulling pints for Manchester’s finest! Loved it though, no 2 days are the same in recruitment.”

Why did you do the course?

Stephen: “I’m huge on self-development and so are all the team over at Maxwell Bond. We are all very much all about the philosophy, nobody is 100% perfect at what they do, but the more training and self-development we do, the closer we will get! As said by Albert Einstein – Once you stop learning, you start dying.

What concerns did you have about the course?

Stephen: “A big concern for me was the timing element. I highly recommend setting aside a committed time each week for the video and completing the assignment (ideally a Monday morning). It doesn’t work if you wing it and try do it when you happen to have a spare block of time in your week.”

How did you manage to triple your revenue target in 12 weeks? What are your secrets?

Stephen: Absolutely no secrets whatsoever. The main thing for me is realising that the only shortcut to recruitment is taking no shortcuts! What I mean by this, is as you get more experienced as a recruitment consultant you start figuring out quicker ways of doing things, whether that be not advertising a job because you’re confident you have enough people in your network. Or you stop searching for candidates on a certain job board because you have had no success in the previous 3 months. You need to stay strict and make sure you are sticking to the basics, there are no shortcuts! 

 Out of all the topics, which had the greatest impact on you?

Stephen: Managing yourself! It’s too easy to blame how busy you are for not getting things done. The managing yourself topic really goes into detail on how to maximise your day and make sure you are prepared. This is something that I have historically bad at. Now I can easily work my standard 8-6pm now and get the same amount of work done if not more. Great topic for any recruiter struggling to stick to a plan and keep focused.

What did you find most challenging?

Stephen: For the last few years I have tended to steer away from certain parts of my job that I know that I need to do more of. One of these topics was getting feedback from clients & candidates when I hadn’t filled their job or placed the candidate into a role. After a few brutal and honest calls with clients & candidates, I got some incredibly valuable feedback that has allowed me to improve my level of service.

Why do you think some recruiters fail the course?

Stephen: Willingness to give the course 100%, going back to the above point of managing yourself. I think a lot of recruiters will use the excuse of being too busy to not give the assignments 100%. If you are going to do this course, you need to give it your all and complete each assignment knowing you gave it your all.

What advice would you give anyone struggling on it right now?

Stephen: Speak to a colleague, manager, over even better Hannah! There were a few assignments that I found particularly challenging and I started questioning myself on certain areas of recruitment, but clarifying and getting reassurance is a must.

What advice would you give to anyone considering doing an online course like this?

Stephen: Allocate a specific time slot each week to do the training video and assignment, get away from your desk to do it and switch your emails off/put your mobile on silent. Make yourself accountable, feedback to your manager what your assignment is that week and explain what you are going to be doing.

So, go on be honest, now you have the Top Biller crown, have you gone back to old habits?

Stephen: Not yet. Since completing the course I have been holding weekly training sessions on what I’ve learnt with the team alongside Mike Hannah who also completed the course. I have needed to stay on top of my game and lead by example 🙂 But in all seriousness, I am hoping not to fall back into old habits, and I have enough quality people around me that will hopefully highlight it if they think I am.


So what did Steven Jaggar, owner of Maxwell Bond say about Stephen?

“I always had the vision when setting Maxwell Bond up to heavily invest in our people – the results will always massively compound into our customer and clients and Stephen continues to prove this. Stephen has gone above and beyond by hitting the courses highest ever figures!!! It’s an unbelievable achievement and a real statement considering we’re still in our first 11 months! Well done again Stephen! What’s next?”


So if you think your consultants can give Stephen a run for his money and have the commitment and dedication to take on the challenge that is Recruitment’s version of Tough Mudder, get in contact at or visit for more information.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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