I cant believe that 20 years have gone by since I started The Rosen Group. A lot has happened in the last 20 years. In 1995 the internet craze was just beginning. Braveheart with Mel Gibson was a popular movie.The Grateful Dead broke up. The Dow Jones closed above 5000 for the first time. OJ Simpson was found innocent.
I thought I would just share a bit of history about the business, my business model, my keys to success, what I learned from my mistakes and some important influences on me. I will do this in several parts.
When I voluntarily left corporate America in 1995 to start The Rosen Group, I didn’t intend to create a staffing business focused on placing HR Professionals. My original goal was to build a HR Consulting Practice. At the time, I also wanted to build something larger than just me. I wanted to provide services to as many companies as possible and I envisioned hiring staff eventually to assist me in doing that. I had that “vision” thing.
My father had his own business and so did many of my aunts and uncles so I also felt like I had the entrepreneurial gene. I got the itch while working for corporate America in HR and started to feel like I didn’t fit in anymore and that I didn’t want to continue to climb the corporate ladder. When I was working at General Electric in HR as an HR exec I was approached about moving to California to take on another HR role. I just didn’t feel excited about it. It was then I knew that it was time to plan my exit.
I started the business out of my spare bedroom in my home in Cherry Hill NJ. I called it Suite 210. I couldn’t afford office space at the time. I took out a $25,000 credit line to fund the business. I will add that my wife Risa, wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea of me leaving a good HR position to start a business. I convinced her that I would give it a try for 6 months and if it wasn’t working I would go back and get a “real” job. She reluctantly agreed.
I started calling on HR folks who I knew and they told me they didn’t need another consultant but they did need a pair of hands to help them with recruiting, generalist work, compensation and benefits admin, compliance etc. I started to realize that if I could find high quality contractors to come in and do that work for these companies, I might have the beginning of a niche. And that’s what I did. Before too long, I had about 10 contractors working for me at various client sites in corporate hr departments doing HR work. I also was getting requests to do direct hire searches for HR Managers, Recruiters etc (they didn’t call them Talent Acquisition Specialists at that time).
My twins (who are now 17) were three at the time and we had a golden retriever named Katie. I was interviewing candidates for contract and direct hire positions at my house. Candidates were coming in to the house and stepping over my golden retriever and my twins. The candidates thought it was great. My wife not so much. She gently suggested that I start to look for some office space which I agree was the right thing to do.-Scott Rosen, President, The Rosen Group