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The Resilient Recruiter

Jun 15, 2022

There are significant advantages to being known as the premium brand in your market. For one, you can charge higher fees than your competitors.  Secondly, your job as a recruiter is more fulfilling because you’re focused on delivering exceptional client and candidate experiences. 

Rob Bowerman is President and Executive Recruiter at The Bowerman Group, focused on recruiting for specialty and luxe brands. As you’ll hear from Rob, earning a reputation as the premium recruitment firm in their market has been a critical factor in their long-term success. Rob’s background in the retail sector gives him credible insights and perspectives on the topic of delivering outstanding customer service in the recruitment field. 

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [2:21] How The Bowerman Group are winning more retained searches and increasing their average fee.
  • [9:33] Customer experience - lessons from premium retail brands that Rob has applied to recruiting.
  • [14:54] Powerful questions you can ask your clients to assess their specific needs.
  • [16:26] How to partner with HR while having access to the hiring manager.
  • [21:13] Rob reveals their processes for ensuring a positive customer experience for both the candidates and clients.
  • [27:48] What defines a positive client experience?
  • [39:11] What could stop a recruitment firm from delivering a positive client experience?
  • [43:49] How to consistently deliver a great experience to candidates even if they are not moving forward in the hiring process.
  • [47:00] Rob reveals the burning issues discussed at a recent Pinnacle Society meeting, including preventing and handling counteroffers.
  • [56:20] Why it is a great time to be in our industry.

How The Bowerman Group Increased their Average Fee by $6,200

The last time I collaborated with Rob in this show was two years ago. It was indeed an amazing conversation (link of the episode below) and as the head of the Pinnacle Society, Rob also introduced me to other members who became guests of this show. This kind of support brought tremendous value to our audience and I am truly grateful. What has happened in the last two years? As with all businesses, the last couple of years were truly unprecedented. Rob shared a lot of learnings and strategies. 

You will hear how they intensionally focused on higher-level roles. The benefit of this has been twofold - winning more retained searches while also increasing their average fee from $21,800 to $28,000.

The success of the Bowerman Group can be attributed to how they value client and candidate experience, which became a core topic in this episode.

Becoming a Premium Brand in Recruiting Through Client and Candidate Engagement

Coming from the Retail and Merchandising industry, Rob learned a great deal when it comes to customer experience. From his standpoint, a customer is not only your client but your candidate as well. 

He recently did a LinkedIn post (link below) about notifying a candidate that will not be moving forward with the recruitment process. The main theme is, “How can you not approach recruitment - either as an internal recruiter or external recruitment partner - without empathy and appreciation for the candidate's work in the process?” This post got hundreds of reactions and responses. It amazes Rob that since we are in the people business, the reactions and number of reactions were indicative that it is a massive issue within our industry.

In this episode, Rob gave a great analogy on what defines a great customer experience. He then shared their process of engaging with clients and candidates consistently. He also gave insights on what could be preventing a recruitment firm from providing the same positive customer experience to its clients and candidates.

The Bowerman Group Difference

So what makes the Bowerman Group different from other recruitment brands? How do they consistently ensure positive customer engagement from both clients and candidates? Rob elaborated on the following pointers that I am sure you will find valuable:

  • How to ensure that you’re giving candidates feedback within 48 hours
  • Doing the Job Intake Call effectively
  • Asking the right questions to assess the client’s culture
  • Partnering with HR and Hiring Managers
  • Process for preparing both candidates and clients for interview

Our Sponsors


This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro and Recruitment Entrepreneur.

i-intro® is an end-to-end retained recruitment platform. Our technology and methodology allow recruiters to differentiate themselves from the competition, win more retained business, bigger fees and increase their billings. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter for a 25% discount. Book your free, no-obligation consultation here:


We’re excited to announce that Recruitment Entrepreneur will be sponsoring the podcast! If you’ve dreamed of starting up or scaling up and exiting your recruitment business, this is your chance. James Caan and his team at Recruitment Entrepreneur are actively seeking ambitious recruiters who they can invest in. Start a conversation here:


Rob Bowerman Bio and Contact Info

Rob started The Bowerman Group in 2009 after having been a successful Executive Recruiter since 1994.  He discovered his passion for Search following a career in merchandising and shares his love for the industry with his team, clients, and candidates every day.

Carving out a unique niche that focused on speciality and luxe brands, he has developed long-standing relationships with many respected American and European designer apparel, accessory, jewellery, and home furnishing companies.  Rob had a vision of creating a boutique firm that matched the unique profile of this niche—excellence, brand heritage, and an unwavering dedication to quality.   This vision has manifested itself into a dynamic group that is experiencing consistent year-over-year increases in successfully completed searches within TBG’s unique niche.

Rob currently serves as the President of The Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America.  He is proud of his association with this group of the “best and brightest” within the search profession as well as honoured to be the only “retail guy” in the organization.

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