Robert Krzak in front of the Gecko

Headhunter Robert Krzak Relocates To Florida!

Robert Krzak has relocated his Gecko Hospitality headhunting company to Fort Myers from the cold weather and shaky business climate of Chicago.

Now Robert Krzak is gearing up for an increasingly competitive marketplace where it’s tough to find good prospects for restaurants, hotels and resorts around the world.

“We took the plunge,” said Krzak, 46. “We moved the company down here and it’s been fantastic. Our lives are better: We’re boaters; we love to have it here 365 days of the year.”

Krzak and his 85 recruiters nationwide focus on finding managerial and professional staff for the hospitality industry, he said: anything from an executive chef to an assistant hotel manager.

Being a successful matchmaker can be tricky. “Qualified candidates with experience, that’s our biggest hurdle right now.”

To do that, Krzak said, “We tap into the network of people who are employed. It’s our job to go in there and convince them, ‘Hey, are you really happy or would you be interested in something at Company X?’”

When a prospect is ready to make a move, “That’s when we get that call, knowing they’re ready.”

Mark Blust, marketing manager for the Fort Myers-based Prawnbroker restaurant group, said that as Southwest Florida’s economy has recovered over the past few years, it’s been getting harder to find good managers.

“For hiring that assistant manager, and in some cases general manager, the going’s been a little tough,”. “To be quite honest, even with the entry-level and food servers, there are a lot of opportunities out there. It’s definitely coming back here. They all have more options.”

Krzak said there are a lot of strong job candidates out there now but that finding a seasoned professional with a proven track record is difficult.

“It’s very hard to find people who’ve been employed with between three and 10 years of experience,”.

Blust said the career disruptions caused by the recession here can make it hard to spot people who would make stable, reliable employees.

“Back in the day, and the day’s not that long ago, we always looked for stability in the resume,” he said and“Now we see those holes in the resume and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a job-hopper or that they don’t have the qualifications.”

Krzak said that for the adventuresome, finding a job can be a little easier.

The Middle East, for example, is an area where there’s a steady demand for the U.S. citizens he’s trying to place and we will get to that place.

“It’s so Americanized, they have these American brands and they want people who know those brands,” he said. “It’s finding someone who’ll sign a two-year contract to live 6,000 or 7,000 miles away.”