A Fond Farewell to Longtime Member Bob Gabor

While there have been thousands of recruiters who have been successful in Top Echelon Network—and have made the Network a success as a result—few have helped to imbue it with as much personality as Bob Gabor.

Bob, who spent two stints in Top Echelon as a member, recently retired from the Network and from the profession overall for good. His tenures in both included many of the same things—tantalizing highs, occasional lows, unexpected friendships, and long-lasting relationships. In short, they were anything but boring and nearly always interesting.

Bob Gabor of The Gabor Group

Bob Gabor

Bob’s production in Top Echelon’s split recruiting network was impressive. In his 19 years as a member, he made 59 Network placements totaling nearly $500K cash-in. Not only that, but he also found ways to leverage the full resources of the Network to refine and hone his recruiting desk and enhance his agency’s overall effectiveness.

Bob started in the recruiting profession by accident in 1989. He had recently left a job in the dry cleaning business, namely because he had just got divorced and his ex-father in-law owned the business.

However, his next job, one selling boats, did not offer much in the way of long-term security. For one thing, by Bob’s own admission, he was not very good at it. And then something else happened that would change the course of his life.

“One of my kids came to me and said, ‘Hey, Dad. We want to live with you,’” said Bob. “Well, if two teenagers were going to live with me, I couldn’t work nights or weekends. I just happened to see an ad in the newspaper for a recruiter, so I answered it and went in for the interview. They offered me the position, so I quit the boat job before they could fire me.”

One of the ways that Bob leveraged the full resources of the Network was by building relationships with other like-minded recruiters in Top Echelon. In fact, he was one of the founding members of what was called the “Core-upt Group.”

The recruiters in this group took the traditional phrase “Core Group” and added their own unique twist. The name was rooted in the members’ often rebellious nature and their tendency to discuss topics that fell completely outside the realm of the recruiting profession.

“It was kind of like the office water cooler,” said Bob. “Our motto was ‘We’re equal opportunity annoyers.'”

From the “Core-upt Group” sprang the origins of the “Friday Funnies” in the Top Echelon Network Discussion Forum. According to Gabor, it was former Network member Chris Albrecht who sowed the seeds of the “Friday Funnies.”

“On Fridays, Albrecht started asking questions in the Forum like, ‘What’s your favorite movie?’ and ‘Where do you like to travel?’” said Bob, “among other questions of a more personal nature.”

John Zurek of Zurek Professional Resources, LLC

John Zurek

When Albrecht left the Network, Bob took over, and not being quite as creative as Albrecht, he started the “Friday Funnies” in the Discussion Forum. Now that Bob has retired, that responsibility falls to original “Core -upt Group” member John Zurek of Zurek Professional Resources . . . if he chooses to accept the assignment, that is.

“During my last week in the Network, I posted a whole week of some of my favorite jokes from ‘Friday Funnies’ down through the years,” said Bob. “That’s just one of many things that I’ll miss about the Network.”

Something else that he’ll miss is attending the recruiter networking events that Top Echelon held twice per year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attending those events helped him to build the relationships that were vital to his success in the Network.

“I always went to Chicago for the Fall Conference,” said Bob. “It was nice to put faces to the voices you’ve been talking to. I made friends with a lot of people, and I trusted all of them with all of the information they needed to help me on my assignments. We made a lot of placements together.”

According to Bob, relationships hold the key to maximizing the value that Top Echelon Network offers to agency recruiters and executive search consultants.

“Getting to know people and building relationships is key,” he said. “The personal touch is the biggest thing. You have to talk with your trading partners. Pick up the phone and call. Recruiting is an up and down business, and [the Network] members were a good tool to have.”

Not only is recruiting and up and down profession, but those highs and lows can happen quickly and often unexpectedly.

“There is no business where you can get healthy as quickly as you can with recruiting,” said Bob. “You could be down in the dumps, but with the level of our fees, if you make a couple of placements, you’re sitting pretty again. After 30 years in the business, there isn’t much that I haven’t seen—the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

We at Top Echelon are glad that a lot of the good that Bob saw during his recruiting career was a direct result of his Network membership. And we congratulate him on a long and successful career and we wish him well in the future! Thank you, Bob!

(Editor’s note: Anybody who would like to reach out to Bob to wish him a fond farewell can do so by sending an email to kgi@gwis.com.)

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