Q & A With Rona Borre, Founder and CEO of Instant Alliance
The success of women in business has been awakened with a different reality in the recent past. The presence of female business icons can be significantly noted, and their input in business cannot be overshadowed. Such is the success witnessed at Instant Alliance, a woman-owned business enterprise that has achieved national recognition since its initiation in 2001. It is led by Rona Borre, its founder, and CEO.
What is the inspiration behind Instant Alliance?
My professional experience dates back to my years after college during which I worked in the staffing and recruiting industry. I must confess, I was a young and eager business professional. As a recruiter, I worked hard and learned the hottest market trends and technologies. Later, I opted to work with a hiring firm. At 25, my client base had grown impressively. Following a merger between the company that I worked with and an international firm, our firm consequently lost its culture. Luckily, I had developed viable relationships with the candidates I had placed alongside the institutions in which I had placed them. In 2001, most companies laid off their employees, meaning that most of my candidates had to move to new firms. What is amazing is that these people called me back and offered to make introductions on my behalf. This was the inspiration behind my business.
How do you make each day count towards success for your business?
I have a true passion for my work because every day is different. This is because I get to interact with different clients to develop effective relationships. This gives us the energy to identify top talent and placing them with the most appropriate clients. For us, people are the differentiating factor.
What strategy do you employ to actualize your ideas?
As you already know, we are a privately held firm. Therefore, we have the freedom to pursue any idea we consider worthwhile. As an action-based firm, we try out any great idea brought in by employees. Through experience, I can confirm that you will only live if you try. Although we have failed in executing many ideas, some have brought us great success.
What is it about you that enhances your entrepreneurial skills?
I have never reached a point of satisfaction. It is my nature to keep learning and improving my knowledge and business.
Have you ever had a job that you consider the worst? If so, what did you learn from it?
Yes, I have had such a job. My worst job was working as an ad agency receptionist. I received poor treatment from my employer. Although being despised, I still managed to work hard since this was my first job right after college. Through this experience, I learned that every employee plays a role in the overall success of a firm, and thus deserves to feel good about their job. This realization is the foundation of the success I have experienced in my industry.
You are an experienced entrepreneur. What skill can you share with our audience and recommend for every other aspiring entrepreneur?
For a successful entrepreneur, it is important to connect with people. I have made it a personal responsibility to connect with all employees in my business. I seek to know what is happening in their lives and their feelings towards their responsibilities in our office. This is something every other employer should strive to achieve.
What is your view regarding the best strategy for business growth?
Naturally, any other business can only grow out of good work and provision of practical solutions or products. I always endeavor to offer the best customer services.
What is your greatest entrepreneurial failure?
In the past, I hired seasoned sales people who have the best industry experience since they had previously worked with large-scale recruiting companies. These employees were used to massive company support and established clients. However, mine was just but a small firm without name recognition as was the case with larger agencies. This meant that we could not generate adequate work. These employees worked towards building our book of business. This did not only cost my small firm a lot of money but also meant overshadowing and subsequent loss of good employees in the process.
From this failure, I learned the need to promote my own talent internally. Therefore, we decided to invest in younger, vibrant and energized employees with the desire and determination to work hard. These are the employees who have steered us to where we are today.
Is your business reliant on technology? If so, in what ways?
We are a tech-compliant enterprise. For instance, our recruitment database software has smooth performance and robust reporting which enables us to run our business efficiently. I cannot hide my excitement about Analytics and Big Data as well. It is amazing to use these two trends as they enable us to make viable business decisions through data utilization.
Who are the key people whose influence has shaped your thinking?
David Fairhurst, the McDonald’s Chief People Officer, has significantly influenced my thinking. I love to learn from his efforts to transform McDonald’s. I would recommend his commitment and approach to innovation and culture around products and people to any entrepreneur. I am confident that your readers will find him very inspirational.
About Rona Borre
Rona Borre is a renowned thought-leader in the human capital industry. She holds a BS in Business from the University of Arizona. She is the founder and CEO of Instant Alliance. Her business career is dedicated to pairing the best talent in the market with her clients. Through collaborative efforts with her employees, Instant Alliance has achieved national recognition as a woman-owned enterprise whose revenue consistently increases per year.
Rona has been honored with several awards. The Enterprising Women Magazine honored her as the Enterprising Woman of the Year in 2011. She also was named the Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Inductee by the University of Illinois in 2013, as well as being honored among the Influential Women in Business by The Business Ledger in 2013. Her agency has equally received numerous accolades.
Rona is a Chicago community leader and has leadership roles with the Chicago Network, Young Presidents Organization, and Economic Club of Chicago. Rona’s entrepreneurial insight is always sought after, and this is the reason she has been featured by CNN, USA Today, Crain’s Chicago, CBS 2 Chicago, and CNBC.
Rona has a burning passion to help firms realize their objectives by partnering them with the best talent. Through her comfort in working alongside her employees to offer services to her clients, she has fostered a collaborative environment at Instant Alliance.
Further reading: https://ideamensch.com/rona-borre/