Posted on October 6, 2010
Filed Under Interviews | Comments Off on Sharing Wisdom: Ron Bower, President of Bower Consulting Group
Read Part 1 of our 2 part interview: Meet Ron Bower, Best In Class Staffing Leader, ERE Recruiting Excellence Award Winner
• Ron Bower, Strongville, Ohio
• President, Bower Consulting Group
• Alum Director of Recruiting and Employee Relations, AmTrust Bank
• Invite Ron on Linkedin
• Follow on Twitter
• Ron’s Website: http://www.bowercg.com
• Rob’s Blog: http://recruitingresults.bowercg.com/
• Personal Causes: Our church
• Office number: 440-846-6274
• Email Ron
• Want To Be a Smarter Recruiter? Stop Talking to Recruiters!
• Rethinking Recruiting: Stop Spending Money on Stupid Stuff!
• Old School Social Networking
Ron presides over his own firm, “Ron Bower Consulting Group”, an Human Resources consulting firm. He offers xxecutive coaching, career coaching, recruiting, recruiting strategy, employee referral program development, MBTI program development and facilitation, etc. Ron’s corporate experience spans both publicly traded and privately held companies ranging in size from 750 to more than 20,000 employees. He developed strategies for organic corporate growth as well as growth through acquisitions and mergers. During this time he also effectively led clients and staff through multiple economic downturns, reductions in force and complicated regulatory issues. His corporate and consulting experience has given him the opportunity to be an advisor and confidant to company owners, company presidents, C-suite executives and other senior leaders at a variety of companies in multiple industries. Ron is an industry leader that has been recognized for his strategic thinking and business results:
• Judge for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 ERE Recruiting Excellence Award competition
• 2008 ERE Recruiting Excellence Award for Most Innovative Employee Referral Program
• 2007 ERC NorthCoast99 Recruitment and Selection Award Winner
• Authored article entitled “Creating Business Results Through Employee Referrals” for the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, published May 2008
• Quoted and recognized in a variety of local and national publications
• Guest blogger for several HR-related sites
Six Degrees: What is the source of the “Most Hires” collected from at your present employer?
RON: For my last two years at AmTrust Bank we hired more than 75% of our external hires through employee referrals, close to 20% were through the company website.
Six Degrees: What was the source of your “LOWEST COST OF HIRES” at AmTrust?
RON: Tough question because I always measured by the quality of the source. My sense is the absolute least expensive is “sourced by recruiter” where you recruit the old school way – pick up the phone and start calling people!
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
RON: Most of my training and education on recruitment strategy has been through ERE events, website and journal; a great deal of reading, as well as through effective networking. A workshop I attended several years ago with David Szary from the Recruiter Academy has also been impactful in helping to sell the business case for doing recruiting well.
Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people’s assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?
RON: Most people really don’t understand recruiting because, unfortunately, too many people experience recruiting in a negative way as a candidate. When I was first considering moving out of HR generalist work and into recruiting leadership, nearly everyone I knew tried to talk me out of it. “Recruiting is a pain,” “recruiting is a thankless job” and “no one will ever be satisfied with your work” were clearly themes that I heard from others. Reality for me was quite the opposite. I found that with the right leadership, the right staff, and with the right strategy that recruiting can make an impact, hiring managers can be happy and appreciative, and you can make a difference. Additionally, because admittedly it is not an easy role, the results were just that much more personally and professionally satisfying.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t; how that was a learning experience?
RON: Worst mistake was, early on, believing that hiring managers knew what they should really expect from recruiting. What I found was that most had amazingly low expectations based on their own previous experience. The learning is that our first job is to raise the expectation of hiring managers, educate them about what and how we can deliver results…and then deliver even more.
Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.
RON: I believe that with my consulting practice I can help companies create strategies that will work for the long haul, reducing expenses, improving the quality of hire, and improving hiring manager and candidate satisfaction. I am hoping that my blog will challenge some people’s thinking and motivate them to take action on their own to improve the results of recruiting.
Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?
RON: The easy answer is driving the recruiting culture at AmTrust Bank with our employee referral program. We reduced agency hires from 27% of external hires to 2% while improving employee referrals from 29 to 78% within three years; reducing overall recruiting expenses by over 45%. More broadly, it was developing a team of fun, amazingly dedicated, creative, business savvy recruiters that made things happen!
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
RON: Dealing with individual hiring managers that just “don’t get” recruiting. As much progress as we made, there always seem to be that one manager that could throw your day off with crazy requests and outrageous and unrealistic expectations. At the same time, helping to influence those managers to really get it has always been a rewarding challenge.
Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?
RON: I think it is really the lack of strategy and/or the lack of real support (dollars, staff, technology) for the strategy that trips most people up. Recruiting cannot be effective if it is played as a reactive game. You must have a relationship with your client that allows you to plan and create a strategy that meets their business needs. As I talk to my recruiting peers, I see way too many cases where execs are not willing to spend money to save money. Success happens when you can influence your executive leadership to give you the money you need to build the infrastructure that will support the strategy and consistently drive overall expenses down over time. As recruiting professionals, we must be able to articulate the business case for doing recruiting the right way.
Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, — what inspires you as you continue in your career?
RON: I am motivated by challenge. I need to be in a situation where I am expected to drive change. When there is not a huge obstacle to overcome or significant change that needs to be implemented, then I bore quickly. I am an awful “maintenance mode” kind of guy. Right now I wake up every day ready to help people take on the challenges that face them in recruiting and in their careers. THAT is inspiring and fun!
Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2010? (OR) Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.
RON: To continue in my advocacy and consultancy role to make a significant impact on recruiting functions across the country.
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
RON: Bower Consulting Group, LLC. Check out the website at http://bowercg.com or my blog at http://recruitingresults.bowercg.com. Call or email me if you would like help in driving change in your organization or for me to coach your existing recruiting leader.
Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?
RON: One company at a time.
- “Proactive Networking,” Cleveland SMA Recruiting Conference, May 2010
- “Social Media in Recruiting,” at Cleveland Recruiters Networking Group, April 2010
- Featured Speaker at Ohio University “Bobcat Networking Night,” Cleveland, March 2010
- “Adapting Your Recruiting Skills Within the Current Economy,” Cleveland SMA Meeting, February 2009
- “Creating Business Results Through Employee Referrals,” Akron Recruiting Networking Meeting, May 2008
- “Onboarding for Results,” Cleveland SMA Recruiting Conference, April 2008
- Member of panel discussion of Recruiting Excellence Award winners, ERE Conference, San Diego, April 2008
- “So You Think You Can Recruit?,” Cleveland SMA Meeting, November 2007
- “Recruiting for Retention,” Federal Reserve Bank Retention Conference, December 2006
- Guest lecturer: Ohio University and Baldwin-Wallace College Human Resources and Communication classes