Ron Nieman is the principal at Sanford Rose Associates, an executive human resources search firm. He shares almost four decades of experience in the telecommunications and information technology sectors with entrepreneurs looking to hire top talent.
(Photo courtesy of Ron Nieman)
How did you get started in executive search?
After spending more than 35 years as a business executive in telecommunications and IT companies, it was time for a change. I had the opportunity of living overseas and traveling internationally for more than 15 years. I had often thought that there was a real need for better service in search business, and so after careful consideration, I decided to start my own business as I felt I could offer better service than other firms. Even with contingency searches I did, I provided many of the same services that other firms only offer with retained search. It has now been nearly eight years of challenging, yet rewarding work.
What have you learned about running your own business?
A lot. I would say, tongue-in-cheek, that I have learned I am a great boss and a lousy employee. Actually, the most important thing I have learned is that no matter how good a search may look, if there is not good communication with the hiring manager, at the end of the day, it is not worth doing. There has to be good communication, a partnership if you will.
Why should a company use your firm over another firm?
Bringing over 35 years of industry experience is critical. I have faced the same issues that many of the hiring managers face and understand that it is people who make a difference. We have a proven methodology that ranges from candidate profiling to onboarding. Retention of our candidates is extremely high, and finally, we have a global reach with a local touch.
Have you ever done a C-level search?
When I left corporate America, I thought most of my engagements would be C-level because I have so many contacts. However, ironically, I have not been hired for a CEO, CFO, CTO or other C-level search. I have completed VP level searches and even searches for general managers. It is odd in that I get resumes from C-level executives every week and have an excellent resume database of C-levels. I suppose I need to do a better job of selling our services in this area.
This article was written by Robin D. Everson for Small Business Pulse