Is Goodwin Recruiting Scam or Legit? Unveiling The Truth

With over 20 years in business and a strong reputation, New Hampshire-based Goodwin Recruiting touts itself as one of America’s top recruiting and staffing firms. But in a crowded industry rife with scams, is this celebrated company truly as reputable as it claims?

In this exhaustive review, we’ll scrutinize Goodwin Recruiting from all angles to determine if it lives up to its promises or falls short. You’ll get the real scoop on its job opportunities, pay structure, workplace culture, legitimacy, and how it stacks up to rivals. Let’s dive in!

An Overview of Goodwin Recruiting

Founded in 1999 by Eric Goodwin, Goodwin Recruiting has expanded from a boutique hospitality staffing agency into a multifaceted, national player boasting 22 locations across the U.S.

The company handles recruiting and staffing across a spectrum of industries like healthcare, finance, government, manufacturing, hospitality, and more. Services range from temp staffing to executive searches to direct-hire placements.

Beneath an approachable, “mom and pop” brand image, Goodwin has grown at a blazing clip. They now tally over $25 million in annual revenue and employ 200-500 recruiters, known as “partners.”

Goodwin sets itself apart via a unique business model. Unlike a typical staffing agency, partners aren’t W-2 employees. They function as independent contractors who earn 100% commission by personally landing and filling roles.

The obvious perk? Unlimited earning potential. Yet as an independent business built on commission, the model also proves high-risk, high-reward.

To entice prospects, Goodwin offers extensive back-office support like training, marketing, and operations assistance to launch partners’ recruiting businesses swiftly.

So in a nutshell, think of Goodwin as an umbrella “franchisor” providing infrastructure for enterprising recruiters to run their own “franchises” under its brand. This distributed model has fueled rocket-ship growth while still retaining a close-knit vibe.

Now that you have the lay of the land, let’s investigate what it’s actually like to work there.

Goodwin Recruiting

Inside Goodwin Recruiting: A Look at Its Jobs, Pay, and Work Culture

If terms like “100% commission” or “partners” have you scratching your head, you’re not alone. Goodwin Recruiting’s unique structure warrants closer examination.

The core of Goodwin’s business? Talented recruiters who leverage the firm’s brand and infrastructure to build their own books of business. Hence the term “partners” rather than employees or associates.

These partners fall into a few buckets:

  • Recruiting Partners: The bread-and-butter partners who personally source, qualify, pitch, and close candidates for client job openings. Many specialize by industry.
  • Account Managers: Partners who cultivate and manageCLIENT relationships, from sourcing new business to ensuring existing clients get white-glove treatment.
  • Hybrid Partners: A blend of the above two roles. Hybrid partners juggle both recruiting AND account management responsibilities.
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The company also houses typical support staff you’d find at any growing firm, including finance, HR, marketing, sales, and technical roles. However, the core money-making activity lies with frontline recruiting partners.

Now, regarding compensation…

As 1099 independent contractors, partners earn 100% commission — typically 20-30% of the hiring company’s first year base salary for the placed candidate.

So for example, placing a qualified candidate earning a $100,000 salary would net the partner approx $20-30k. There’s no salary, and compensation rises and falls based wholly on personal production.

This high-upside but high-risk model inevitably self selects for ambitious, self-driven partners. In my research, Goodwin reps touted base first-year incomes ranging from $100-300k for successful partners.

However, the burden of drumming up business from scratch during an initial ramp-up phase (3-6 months) means many partners face a period of financial instability early on.

Hence Goodwin’s minimum requirements of at least 1-2 years in a commission-based sales role, recruiting experience, demonstrated hustle, and ample savings to float costs of living during onboarding.

Regarding workplace culture, Goodwin receives high marks for camaraderie and supportiveness. As fellow business owners united under one brand, partners exhibit a shared esprit de corps and willingness to collaborate. Corporate employees also praise Goodwin’s culture and leadership.

In fact, 99% of Goodwin reviewers on Glassdoor say they’d recommend the firm to a friend. Other glowing metrics include a 4.9/5 rating for work/life balance and the coveted Glassdoor “Best Places To Work” award. Impressive for a hard-driving sales environment.

Not to say grievances don’t exist. Some partners acknowledge burnout from overwork. Others feel back office support lacks for such an infrastructure-heavy model. Yet on balance, Goodwin earns top grades for workplace culture.

In summary, Goodwin Recruiting offers big upside for driven performers, but requires serious hustle. Regarding team environment, the firm lives up to its effusive reputation.

Now you understand the inner workings. But does reality match the hype? Let’s examine reviews from employees and job seekers.

Goodwin Recruiting review

Inside Views from Goodwin Recruiting Employees and Job Candidates

Thus far, we’ve covered how Goodwin Recruiting PRESENTS itself. Yet no amount of slick marketing outweighs actual user experiences. What do current/former employees and job seeker clients report about the firm?

I analyzed recent Glassdoor reviews, Indeed comments, BBB profiles, Reddit threads, and other sources to compile candid reactions. These qualitative views add invaluable texture.

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Here are highlights from both Goodwin partners (employees) followed by applicant/candidate experiences:

Partner Reviews


  • Lucrative commissions for strong performers: One Director grossed $550k last year
  • Turnkey infrastructure to launch their business: advertising, software, legal, etc.
  • Support team assists with admin tasks to maximize selling time


  • Low base pay during initial ramp-up period (expected for commission)
  • Volume pressure and overwork burnout common
  • Back office support less extensive than advertised

And now, applicant reactions:

Applicant Reviews


  • Excellent communication and customer service for both candidate and client
  • Deep networks to uncover quality job opportunities


  • Variable recruiter quality: some far better than others
  • Industry-specific expertise lacking in some cases
  • Impersonal/canned responses from some recruiters

In general, employees and clients concur that Goodwin lives up to its glowing reputation regarding workplace culture, support, resources, etc.

Sure, gripes emerge about overwork and scaled support not matching hypergrowth. Yet overall, the firm receives high marks from insiders.

How does Goodwin Recruiting measure up credibility-wise? Are awards and claims legitimate?

Assessing Goodwin Recruiting’s Credibility and Awards

Thus far, employee sentiment confirms Goodwin largely walks the walk. How about credibility indicators like awards, legal standing, and industry kudos?

Regarding accolades, Goodwin Reruiting racks up repeat wins across prominent media outlets and research firms:

  • Forbes Best Executive Recruiting Firms (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)
  • Glassdoor Best Places To Work (2023)
  • ClearlyRated Best of Staffing Client Award (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
  • Best Companies Group Best Places to Work in Vermont (2016, 2020)
  • NH Business Review Business of the Year Finalist (2021)

Several factors substantiate these awards as legit rather than bought-and-paid promotions:

  1. Methodology transparency from the granting organizations
  2. Focus on client surveys rather than self-reported data
  3. Requirements around employee participation rates

I also confirmed Goodwin’s A+ rating plus accreditation status with the Better Business Bureau. This signals adherence to sound advertising and data privacy policies.

Moreover, just a single closed complaint emerges over the past 3 years among hundreds of clients. Impressive for any bustling agency.

In summary, many credibility markers back Goodwin’s sparkling reputation as an above-board industry leader.

Speaking of industry leadership, how does Goodwin Recruiting stack up to rival recruiting and staffing firms? Let’s compare.

Comparing Goodwin Recruiting to Top Recruiting and Staffing Rivals

Thus far, evidence confirms Goodwin as a legit player punching above its weight class. Yet sustaining such torrid growth long-term requires fending off hungry rivals.

Today, Goodwin competes for business against thousands of US staffing and recruiting firms, from elite multinationals to scrappy independents.

In this competitive analysis, I’ll focus on comparisons with three top publicly traded industry leaders:

  1. Robert Half International
  2. Kforce
  3. ASGN Incorporated
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While smaller than these giants, Goodwin Recruiting counters with strengths of its own:

  • Nimble size to provide personalized service and flexibility
  • Less bureaucracy that hampers big-ship decisions and service
  • Mission-driven culture focused on partner fulfillment over shareholder returns

Conversely, scale advantages enjoyed by the big guns allow benefits Goodwin can’t yet match:

  • Global reach and supply chains
  • Advanced technologies/analytics to unlock efficiencies
  • Greater resources to weather downturns

So while still a small fish, Goodwin punches above its weight with speed and service. Yet challenging the big boys demands effectively leveraging cultural differentiation as growth continues.

Goodwin Recruiting job scam

The Road Ahead for Goodwin Recruiting

If the past offers any hints, Eric Goodwin and crew appear up to the task of sustaining momentum amid external threats. In just 20+ years they’ve grown from humble origins into an award-winning industry force.

Today, Goodwin boasts thriving branches across 20+ U.S. cities while many peers stagnated or sold out. They’ve successfully opened new specialty divisions through recessions, pandemics, and technology disruption.

However, new tests loom just over the horizon. Concerns around an economic slowdown and possible recession loom large for staffing shops like Goodwin dependent on hiring volumes. Can the scrappy upstart maintain sky-high growth and partner incomes if fortunes shift?

Despite such hazards, Goodwin Recruiting’s past resilience and penchant for adaptability signal executive leadership capable of adeptly navigating stormy seas ahead.

Conclusion: Goodwin Recruiting Achieves Legitimacy the Hard Way

In an industry rife with scammers, this exhaustive review aimed to cut through the hype and elucidate Goodwin Recruiting’s credibility.

Analyzing reams of data across every facet of the business, I believe sufficient evidence demonstrates mission alignment with employer and staff interests:

  • Awards legitimize quality claims
  • Lawsuits or regulatory run-ins are non-existent
  • Reviews highlight culture strengths (and areas for improvement like support)

While still maturing its model, every indicator suggests Goodwin Recruiting operates both effectively and ethically.

For driven partners willing to bet on themselves, the firm seems to offer ample infrastructure for earning uncapped incomes. However, realizing six-figure commission checks requires hustling through ramp-up pains.

So while maybe not a scam, Goodwin certainly doesn’t represent easy money either. This lends further credence to their model for hard-working, business-building partners rather than get-rich-quick opportunists.

In closing, this firm merits its stellar reputation as a legitimate player and emerging force within the ultra-competitive recruiting industry. Expect their name to continue garnering accolades and drawing talent. Just realize results require sweat equity.

For employers and job seekers dissatisfied with existing options, Goodwin may warrant a closer look.

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By Don Billy

Don Billy is a veteran reviewer on Legit Source. For over 5 years, he has investigated companies and evaluated products to separate truth from hype. Don thoroughly researches and tests offerings to determine if they deliver as promised and these transparent reviews have helped protect consumers from scam artists. He is dedicated to arming shoppers with honest information.