Wilson Cole Spotlight
By Rachel Woods
In this interview Ally Cole speaks with Wilson Cole on the secrets behind his success. For a little background on Wilson, he founded Adams, Evens & Ross more than 2 decades ago, and the company has grown into the nation's largest credit and collection company exclusively for the staffing and recruiting industry. Wilson's company has helped over 3000 staffing and recruiting firms collect
over 1 billion dollars in past due debt. In 2015, Adams, Evens & Ross
opened its London UK offices to give the company global reach for staffingfirms and recruiters worldwide.
AC: How did you get into collections?
WC: I have been in collections for
about 30 years. When I first got started, I worked as a VP of sales and we did corporate
collections. I have never worked in consumer debt because it is much more emotional
and is not as likely to collect. 27 years ago was when I decided to go solely
into staffing and recruiting. We realized that staffing and recruiting debt is
a lot more likely to collect. This is because it is a third-tier debt. This
means they are the last debtors to get paid. You do not have to pay the staffing firm to
stay in business whereas you couldn’t function while not paying for parts to
AC: How many offices do you have?
WC: We are based out of Atlanta. We
also have offices in the UK, New York, Manila, and Toronto.
AC: What has changed in the staffing
and recruiting industries since you have gotten started?
WC: The biggest things we have seen
shift in staffing is the way people view staffing. When I first got started,
temporary jobs were something you did when you first got started or lost your
job. It was a transition period. With the newer generations, they love flexibility
and temp work offers that to them. With the recruiting industry, I have seen a
huge jump in backdoor hires. I think this might have been going on all along,
but now we can finally track when people do it. With our BDH software, we have
located $20,000,000 just in the last 3 years in backdoor placement fees. Going
off of this, recruiters have done an amazing job using the tools they are given
like LinkedIn and Monster to better the companies and make more money.
AC: I have a couple questions that
are a little more personal for everyone to get to know you better. They all go
over your secrets to success. First, what is your next big move?
WC: Over the years, we have been acquiring
companies. On the Back Door Hires side, we have bought a competitor. We have
expanded our offerings to our clients because we already have 3,000 which is
roughly 25% of the industry. I want to get that up to 50%. We just want to give
our clients more offerings and make what we are already doing even better.
AC: Do you have a favorite business
WC: I have more than one. I am a lifelong
learner. Jay Abraham and Brendon Burchard are some of my favorite speakers. Rich
Dad Poor Dad is a book I highly recommend. It is a little more philosophical.
The book that really changed my business is The E-Myth by Michael E.
Gerber. It talks about if you have problems within your company it is most
likely systems related not people related. Think about a franchise vs someone
starting up a small business. The franchise has a much better chance of making
it because they already have good systems in place.
AC: Do you have a
favorite trainer or mentor you look up to?
WC: With the
magazine, I had the pleasure of meeting Jay Abraham who is one of my idols. He probably
has more to do with my success them anyone else. Through meeting Jay Abraham, I
got to know Gordon Bizar. He is best known for doing leveraged buyouts.
AC: Lastly, what would you tell your
WC: Do not be afraid to fail! On average
in the US, a successful business owner does not find his success until his
third business. I had businesses in my 20s that did not work out, but I learned
from every single one. You have to embrace failure because that is part of the
process of growing and learning. Do not ever stop yourself from doing something
because you are afraid of failure. Do not get sad over it; get excited! It is
just a lesson. You only truly fail if you do not learn from your mistakes.