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Interview With Bob Bishop, The Marketing Recruiter

Bob Bishop is a marketing recruiter from St Louis, Missouri. Many years ago, we sat down and worked on how to use a blog to generate candidates and business - and Bob took to it like a fish to, well - he liked it and has kept it up. It's called the Perfect Fit, and Bob has been running it since August of 2008.  

At the time, local recruiting firm blogs were growing, but most recruiters gave them up or passed them off to someone else to write. There are only a handful left, poeple like Paul in Minneapolis, Will Thomson in Austin, and of course, Harry Joiner in Atlanta

Bob was not a trained recruiter when he started. He was a photographer and a marketer, and one day picked up the phone and started making placements with his deep knowledge of the industry. He does that most feared placement - the agency, and he does it well (for those not in marketing, it's feared because agencies try to hire based on prospective clients, which they aren't sure they need until the client is signed, and then they need a talented person immediately). 
Here's Bob, explaining in much better words what he does. 

Bishop Partners is an executive search firm specializing in marketing/advertising and Digital Media.  We consistently succeed in conducting searches from executive leaders to premier performers at virtually any level.  We're proud of 100% success with retained searches over the past 11 years.  75% of candidates are still at our client after three years. 

And now on to the interview:

1) Bob, I guess the first question, is just how hot is the market? Locally for you in St Louis, and then nationally?
The hiring market is the strongest it’s been since 2008.  Most in the recruiting business are optimistic that the hiring trend is going to continue and possibly accelerate!  My firm is seeing consistent new business opportunities from both the advertising/marketing agency side as well as the Corporate Brand side.

One other good indicator of the employment market (including the marketing community) heating up is that we’re hearing from new client prospects all over the Midwest and the South.  That’s a pleasant trend that I certainly hope continues!

2) Is that translating into higher salary requests? Or is it harder to get people to move? 

It’s safe to say that it’s not the same “employers’ market” that it used to be.  Employers now have to be very realistic about compensation when hiring someone.  For years, employees might be very happy with a lateral move, at the same level compensation.  Employers felt that they could get away with less comp, because there were so few Companies hiring at all.  
That’s not the case anymore.  Candidates are in a much stronger position to negotiate the compensation package.  Many are willing to stay where they are, without a bump in comp.  So, in that sense, yes it’s a bit more difficult because the candidates have higher expectations (which seems entirely reasonable to me!).


3) Do you see a shift in what candidates are looking for in the last four years? Is that a generational thing, or a normal market correction?

I think it’s all normal, in the sense that different generations have different values and goals.  We’ve all heard plenty about the Millenial ‘differences’.  I think much of what that generation likes, is valued by every other generation as well.  Things like being told they’re doing a good job, providing a clear career path for advancement, more realistic work/life balance all make a lot of sense.
4) Net migration from California to Missouri from 2001-2010 was something like 10,000 people, almost all families or couples looking to start families in their middle careers. How do you find new talent that moves to a market?
I talk with a lot of former Midwesterners who want to move back (from one of the coasts) to take care of aging parents or to raise their young family.  I find that talent to generally be very smart, ambitious and balanced.  They have a fundamental value system that seems to lead to reliability and stability in the longer term

We haven't figured that out in Dallas at all - so many people have moved, are moving, and you don't know it because they were internal transfers or posted their resumes in their old cities.  I do find people from St Louis here, but the KC-Dallas connection is much closer. But on to other questions.

5) You work in an office. Do you find that you can turn it off at the end of the day and go home? 

Generally, yes.  There are times when a candidate is interviewing after hours, or it’s the only time I can really have a longer phone conversation with them.  I try to shut “normal”  business off around 6:00.  I think there’s an advantage to being balanced and actually having a family life that one cares about.  You know what they say about “all work and no play . . . “
6) How much phone time do you clock in a regular day? 

Not as much as I used to.  It seems much harder to get a candidate on the phone.  In fact, I’m struck by the fact that so few people answer their phone anymore.  I still have a lot of in person meetings.  I probably send more than 100 emails and texts in a day.  Those same candidates who will not answer their phone (and in fact, have their voicemail boxes full!) will respond instantly to a text.  

7) How successful has blogging been for you. Is it useful to the business (do you know how much money you make from it yearly on average), or is it useful to you? 

Blogging has been very good for my business.  I know that candidates find it a valuable tool.  I’ve heard the same thing from clients.  I think it helps my credibility with both candidates and clients.  I like the feeling of trying to give back, with what I hope are valuable tips and advice about navigating around new career opportunities.  I’m glad I’m doing it.  Sometimes it’s hard to post as regularly as I’d like, but I believe it’s worth the effort.

8) What two positions are you masterful at placing? 

Roles of Leadership, whether agency or client, those senior executives who effectively lead teams.  
Bob - thank you - for being a friend, for carrying the banner of recruiter blogging, and for your time today.