Interview with Ron Herzog CEO and President of FPC
Ron Herzog - CEO and President
Ron Herzog, CEO and President, has spent a number of years developing extensive knowledge of the recruitment industry and successful franchising since joining FPC in January 1995. Over the next few years, he rose through the FPC ranks from an operations and training consultant to the director of operations, executive vice president, ascending to the role of president in 2005. Ron became the CEO and president when he acquired ownership of the business from founder Rudy Schott in 2007.
In addition to providing his vision for the company, he oversees the day-to-day operations for the FPC system nationwide and has developed a comprehensive training program that is a template for success. He works personally with each office, in collaboration with FPC's New York-based training team, to maximize system productivity. Ron has developed a team of training consultants to help each recruiter reach his or her potential.
Ron is considered an industry expert and has provided insight into workforce trends for print publications, radio broadcasts and industry podcasts.
Ron earned his MBA in management and undergraduate degree in marketing and management. He is an avid tennis player and golfer and currently resides in Westchester, NY, with his wife, with whom he has raised two accomplished sons.
- Tell us about the FPC concept:
F-O-R-T-U-N-E Personnel Consultants (FPC) started in 1959and has been franchising since 1973 in the Executive Search industry. FPCfranchisees offer services to help client companies fill their criticalstaffing needs as well as assist mid to senior level candidates find newopportunities. FPC franchisees and their staff work closely within theindustries they serve and become “industry experts”, which allows them toprovide proper advice, guidance and counsel to their clients and candidates.Executive Search professionals play a strategic role by helping the thousandsof small, medium and large companies identify and secure top talent.
- How and when did you become involved withFPC? and, What was your background prior to joining FPC?
I started my career in Executive Search in 1982 as a fulllife cycle recruiter with Leslie Kavanagh Associates which was originally asubsidiary of Fortune. From there I tooka position with Medical Associates of America as the Director of HumanResources from 1990 to 1995. I alwayskept in touch with Rudy Schott, Fortune’s founder, and in 1995 he offered methe opportunity to return to Fortune as Operations and Training Consultant andeventually as the Director of Operations, Executive Vice President, thenPresident in 2005. I became the CEO and president when Iacquired ownership of the business from Rudy Schott in 2007.
- What are some of the advantages in being an FPC franchisee?
Investingin yourself and controlling your destiny by starting your own business can reapenormous rewards. Now, if you decide to join FPC and build an executive searchbusiness you will enjoy the following:
~ Abusiness with low overhead, high margins and strong income potential
~ Multiplerevenue streams
~ In depthinitial training and on-going training for the life of your franchise (and therecruiters you hire) via FPC University
~ A veryscalable business
~ No travel
~ A networkof like-minded franchisees that act as your own “Board of Advisors”
~ Abilityto split business with other offices so you never have to say NO to candidatesor clients
As with allbusinesses, there are challenges you may encounter, but assuming you follow theprocess you have invested in and are willing to work for your dreams, thosechallenges will be minimal.
- Who is your ideal franchisee?
Well, nobody goes to school to be a recruiter, and most FPCfranchisees will tell you they “stumbled” across FPC or we “stumbled” acrossthem. In fact, Approximately95% of our franchisees had no recruiting experience. What they did havewas the knowledge and experience they gained in their business or professionalcareers. Through FPC, they became search and recruitmentexperts as well as business owners capable of creating career opportunities fortheir employees. Another key element all FPC franchisees have is the sinceredesire to own their own business and work hard to make it successful.
- Tell us a little about the Executive Search Market?
Executive Search was born out of the management consultingindustry, and is a $137B industry. Approximately 2.91 million people areemployed by staffing companies every business day and employment of staffingspecialists (recruiters) is expected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020 -faster than the average for all occupations.
For the seventh straight year, less than half of U.S.workers are satisfied with their jobs and approximately 76 million baby boomerswill retire over the next 20 years - both indicators for a very sustainablebusiness. Don’t forget, executive search has been around for almost 65years!
- What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growingthis franchise, andDo you have a mentor and is there someoneyou use for inspiration?
Having come up through the ranks of FPC under the directionof its founder, Rudy Schott, I understood early on in my tenure the value ofRudy’s vision. The recruiting processthat Rudy developed and believed in is relevant today, over fifty yearslater. He has always been and continuesto be, a mentor and source of inspiration for me. Our system is comprised of passionate,determined owners who personify this culture and who appreciate our hands-onapproach in supporting them to grow their offices and be successful. In addition to our commitment to ourreplicable recruiting process, I have learned that the personal touch is vitalto maintain the FPC brand. Toward that end, we are committed to staying theright size - large enough to have national brand impact and small enough tomaintain a high level of support to our family of executive recruiting offices.
- What advice do youhave for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
In general, franchising is right for you if you want to takecontrol of your own future and invest in yourself. No matter what franchiseconcept you choose, you need to be aware that although there are establishedmethodologies in place, you still need to work hard. As with starting any newbusiness, be prepared to have a few “speed bumps” in your ramp-up period. The major advantage of being in a franchiseorganization is that more than likely, the existing franchisees have probablyexperienced the same “road blocks” and provide a trusted resource for dealingwith these hurdles. Having like-minded business professionals who have been inyour shoes and can provide valuable advice is one of the strong elements to thefranchise business model.
- In your opinion,why do you think that FPC would be a great opportunity for someone?
Assumingthat you have done adequate self-reflection/due diligence and have determinedthat executive search fits your personal and professional goals, there areseveral reasons why FPC is far above the rest. The executive search business isa complex, sophisticated, intellectually challenging business that offersstrong personal, professional and financial satisfaction. Through interaction with your candidates andclients, you have an opportunity to have a positive impact on their lives andbusinesses. In addition, our business model is low overhead and high margin andcan easily be scaled up or down. Income potential is extremely high assumingyou are willing to follow our process and become a student of the business. Weare a phone business thus travel is almost non- existent, affording an attractivework/life balance. As with starting anybusiness, you will experience some ups and downs in your first year, but giventhat FPC has been opening and supporting successful franchises for 40+ years,the blueprint for success has been printed.
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