The IBS Longtimers: An Interview with Bob Turner
Bob Turner, Regional Vice President and branch manager of our Detroit office, has been with IBS for nearly 20 years. Beginning as a recruiter and working his way up to a managerial role, Bob has played a big role in shaping IBS into the success that it is today.
We sat down with Bob to learn more about his experience with IBS, how he got started in the business, and what he likes to do when he’s not busy working.
Where did you attend college and what did you study?
I attended Bowling Green State University where I got my Bachelor’s in Education. I taught 6th grade English and social studies in South Carolina for a year before realizing I was meant to do something different. I decided to take a sabbatical and see the world. I backpacked around the world by myself for 8 months and visited 37 different countries. It’s hard to pick a favorite place, but I really enjoyed Portugal.
How did you move into recruiting? How did you find out about IBS?
When I returned from my trip, I answered an ad looking for restaurant managers. I managed a restaurant/bar right across the street from a huge software company for 14 years. During that time, I met a lot of tech people from that company who suggested that I work with them as a recruiter.
One day, shortly after that, I was getting my mail when I ran into one of my neighbors. She asked me how I was doing, and I mentioned I was making a career change and becoming a recruiter with this big tech company. She said she worked for a company called IBS, and that they needed recruiters. I asked her where IBS was and she pointed right down the street.
I went and interviewed with the branch manager at the time. It was a tough interview, but they really wanted to make sure I was right for the job. I didn’t know anything about recruiting or technology, but I did my best to relate their questions to being a teacher and restaurant manager. I had lots of hiring, firing, and training experience as a manager, which helped my case.
You began working as a recruiter, eventually moving into managing entire branches. What was that journey like?
I enjoyed being a recruiter because of the self-sufficiency that comes with the job. Whatever you produce is yours, you report to yourself, and you always know what you’re doing every day. Making the decision to go back to management was tough for me, but I really love my job. It’s great to watch other people succeed and to help support their careers.
How have you changed as a professional as you’ve moved through different positions within the company?
Well, I was the first person to use the Internet to recruit! Thanks Al Gore!
I’ve had to learn how to become more adaptable. I’ve always tended to be direct and straightforward because that’s how I like to be managed, but I’ve come to realize not everyone feels the same. I try to manage my employees how they want to be managed which sometimes differs from what I prefer. I’ve had to learn what motivates and drives employees on an individual level and figure out how to help them to make their jobs easier. I’ve also learned how important consistency is in this business. Things fall through the cracks when you’re not consistent. Consistency makes your job easier because it turns behaviors into habits.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love watching a deal come together. It’s the greatest thrill. The look on someone’s face when they get a start is priceless. It rallies up the whole office and we have a big celebration. It’s the best feeling to know that you helped a consultant find a job they will love and a client who now has the teammate to help them grow.
What is your favorite IBS memory?
I love the Top Performer trips. I’ve gone on 18 of them, and they’ve all been a lot of fun, but London was my favorite. I actually got stuck with the bar tab for the whole company—good thing I won enough at the casino to pay it off!
What advice would you give new IBS recruiters?
Always be talking on the phone. I get that social media is becoming a quicker way to find candidates, but it’s not the same as a phone call. You can’t be in a hurry to build a relationship. Slow down. Get to know your candidates. This whole business is built on relationships among recruiters and companies and candidates.
When I was a recruiter, my goal was always make sure my contacts knew who I was when I called. Eventually, I talked to them enough that they knew me by my voice; I didn’t even have to say my name. It’s always nice to be able to ask about a contact’s family or kids to show them that you care about them beyond just work.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the office/on weekends? Do you have any hobbies?
I love spending time with my family. I have three daughters, two of whom are getting married soon, which is exciting. I also have three young granddaughters. When I can, I really enjoy playing golf and keeping up with the Florida Gators.