Will your clients look at Active & the unemployed?

Active Candidates

Passive Candidates

]Clients pay recruiters to find top talent, right? This being the case, recruiters must fill the pipeline with “A” Players, along with the fact that these candidates must be dead on and possesses 11 out of the 10 musts and needs as described in the job specification.

Many clients will say, I only want passive, not active! But who is to say one who is passive is not active, since a resume can be produced rather quickly. Anyway, that will be another discussion later.

My question today is will your clients look at unemployed professionals?

If yes, that is wonderful and if NO how do you persuade your clients to look at an “A” Player who is unemployed and you believe will be a great candidate?

Look forward to your replies.

Human Resources Consultant and Recruiting Industry Visionary Sheila Greco Assesses Hot Industries and Current Employment Opportunities in podcast

For Immediate Release

AMSTERDAM, NY, March 12, 2009 – Executive search and human resource managers have built their reputations on recruiting currently employed professionals for their “A list” job openings, in what’s known as “recruiting passive candidates” in the industry. But the challenging economy and massive layoffs have decreased the pool of employed executives and that’s changed this recruiting industry bias towards passive candidates when looking for “A List” talent. That change means increased opportunities for unemployed executives, according to Sheila Greco, Founder and President of SGA, a Human Resources Consulting and Recruiting Solutions company.

In a new interview on Total Picture Radio, (a popular career development podcast hosted by Peter Clayton), Ms. Greco shares twenty years’ experience working in the recruiting industry. Based in New York, since 1989 Sheila Greco Associates has specialized in services and solutions that support the recruiting process for Executive search and human resource professionals.

Regarding the economy Clayton asked Ms. Greco, “Given your company has lived through three recessions, what’s different this time?” She responded, “The immediacy of how it happened. Around the end of September, the light switch was turned off. Everything just stopped. Companies shut down, all the layoffs started.” She added, “Companies went out of business the quickest I’ve ever seen, and spending came to a screeching halt as well.”

Clayton asked Greco for an overview of current employment opportunities and hot industries, since SGA’s staff has special expertise and experience in energy, pharmaceutical, health care, industrial manufacturing, and retail. “I assume retail is dead. Am I right?” Surprisingly, “not really” was her response. “We do a considerable amount of international work in the retail area, and that seems to be very strong. Opportunities exist for great designers… titles such as Merchandisers, Buyers, General Merchandise Managers; turnover is high, so you’re still seeing quite a bit of hiring going on in those areas.”

“The pharmaceutical industry is hiring as well,” according to Greco. “You still need the clinical folks, and those remain a strong area to recruit in.” Hiring in the health care industry picked-up in February, she reported. “We do a number of searches in the medical communications area, and that has started to rebound at a senior level. When you see that happening, you’re starting to see the healthcare industry pick up.”

Her message to the many clients and colleagues in the recruiting industry who’ve called her; “If you weren’t ready for a rainy day, you’re going to have issues.” Many recruiters and other suppliers to the HR industry have adjusted to the recession by quickly diversifying their product offerings in an attempt to stay afloat.

“We’ve always been diversified,” Greco said. “We started as a name generation company, supplying recruiters with highly qualified candidates for their search assignments. A few years ago we branched out into online tools like SGA Executive Tracker, our contact database tracking half-a-million executives at the top U.S. public and private firms. It’s the phone verification that separates us from everyone else”, according to Greco. “Unlike most other firms I have an entire staff dedicated to telephone verification,” she concluded.

Sheila has also decreased the firm’s marketing budget, adjusting to the severe contraction in recruiting and HR. “We’re cutting back on trade shows this year and shifting our resources to other more focused activities,” Greco said. “For example, we’re inviting our clients and prospects to a special event in Manhattan, featuring guest speaker George Bradt, author of ‘The New Leader’s 100 Day Action Plan.’ (Bradt is an internationally recognized expert in the executive onboarding process.)

For those facing a career transition in these difficult times, Sheila Greco has this advice: “Stay cool, know that you’re worth something. Now is the time to take a look at who you are, what you want to be, and what you value.” Greco often advises those who’ve recently been laid off, “When you’re taking your next step, make it something you want to do… Stay positive. Don’t give up on yourself. Know you’re still a great person with much to offer the right employer.”

About Sheila Greco Associates, LLC
Sheila Greco is Founder and President of SGA. SGA’s primary mission is to dramatically shorten the amount of time it takes clients to find the RIGHT business professionals. Since 1989, SGA has been a True Recruiting Solutions Company, specializing as a single source provider of online data, Custom Research, Recruiting Support, and candidate name generation to executive search and HR professionals. To learn more about SGA visit

PODCAST – A Candid Conversation with Recruiting Industry Veteran, Sheila Greco

It’s no secret that our clients and colleagues in the recruiting industry are getting hammered in the current recession. In December, Heidrick & Struggles announced plans to cut its workforce by 15 percent. The job boards are getting hit, too. ERE reported CareerBuilder had terminated about 15 percent of its 2,100 person workforce in December. Other job boards also recently reported staff reductions.
Sheila was interviewed today, listen to her Inside Recruiting podcast Interview on Total Picture Radio, with Peter Clayton reporting.

Sheila Greco Interview in Daily Gazette, Schenectady, NY

Recruiting firm keeps focus to weather the tough times

Original article published here in the Daily Gazette

Recruiting firm keeps focus to weather the tough times

By Jessica Harding

Sunday, February 22, 2009
Photo of

Sheila Greco of Sheila Greco Associates poses in her Amsterdam office.

— It’s not part of her normal job, but Sheila Greco, a recruiter with her own company in Amsterdam, is finding herself doing more and more career counseling.

The Amsterdam native doesn’t mind. She started as a career counselor in New York City, so she knows how to help people spruce up their resume and actively search for jobs.

“I have no problem helping people do that,” she said.

Meanwhile, Greco’s company, Sheila Greco and Associates, which employs roughly 30 people, is working its way though the third recession in its history.

Greco said the company was going strong throughout 2008 until September, when things halted.

“It was like a light switch,” she said.

The human resource industry began to see smaller organizations go out of business, mostly mom and pop operations that focused on a particular industry — especially those that focused on the financial industry.

“The strong will survive, and in this business that seems to be the case,” Greco said.

Anna Brekka, senior director of Kennedy Information, a New Hampshire-based organization with offices in New York City that follows and trains the recruiting industry, said recruiting companies that do executive recruiting, such as Greco’s, have said that the last quarter of 2008 was tough and they are expecting 2009 to be tougher.

Brekka said the industry has experienced a 12 percent increase in the last five years, but it is impossible to tell what will happen in the future because companies don’t assess themselves yearly.

Need for executives

Most C-level employees — CEO, CFO, COO and so on — move within two to three years, Brekka said, so recruiting for those positions is still going strong, but recruiting for nearly all other positions is tough in this economy.

Brekka said many companies are experiencing hiring freezes; however, most companies can’t operate for long without a C-level employee.

“Certain positions that you can’t operate without, that doesn’t change,” Brekka said.

Recruiters that recruit for just one industry are especially vulnerable, Brekka said, and while boutique operations are going under, larger recruitment companies are also flailing.

Global recruiting firm Heidrick and Struggles recently cut their work force by 15 percent, she said.

Greco currently has 2,100 clients worldwide. Her 30 employees often work nights assisting clients along the Asia-Pacific rim.

Her firm specializes in pharmaceutical, health care and retail industries, and her clients include Nike, Sears, Wal-Mart and Deloitte and Touche.

Greco worked in New York City before returning to her hometown to start her own company in 1989.

“I had no idea that the company would be like this,” she said.

Sheila Greco and Associates has four main branches: research, recruitment, competitive intelligence and the company’s special executive tracker.

Greco said she started researching potential employees for clients and generating databases of qualified people. The company now has seven databases.

She then got into recruiting people for her clients. From there she began to work with her clients to study their competition.

She now has her specialized SGA tracker, which is a database that tracks executives in 1,100 publicly traded companies.

Local efforts

While Greco said she doesn’t have any Capital Region clients, she is negotiating with two health care companies and is trying to work with Beech-Nut.

“We’re always making changes so we succeed,” Greco said. “We want to come out of this strong.”

This is the third recession that Sheila Greco and Associates has had to weather in its 20-year history. Greco said her motto in times like this is “under promise and over deliver.”

Greco does see a silver lining amid this recession for her industry. In hard times, Greco believes it is more important than ever for businesses to have the best possible people, and clients will turn to her to seek them out.

“There are a lot of people out on the street right now so companies are looking at the competition to pluck out their A players and get rid of their B players,” she said.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting that jobs in human resources and recruitment will increase by 17 percent, faster than average, through 2016. As baby boomers retire, it is predicted that there will be an increase in demand for people to replace them, which will increase the demand for people to look for and train potential employees.

For now, however, Greco said her company is surviving by making practical business and personal choices.

Cautious approach

In running her business, Greco tries to work like Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, who cut the bottom 10 to 20 percent of his work force at the end of the year.

“At times like this you really need utility players. You cannot have people that can do only one thing,” she said.

She said she’s not sugarcoating the situation for her employees, either.

“Small companies are like a family, as most companies are, and they have to believe in you and trust in you,” she said.

Greco is also reducing her fixed costs including renegotiating contracts — especially those for health insurance. She is in what she called “hunker down mode” and thinking cautiously about every decision she makes.

“I always pretend I’m poor, I always work like I’m just starting out and I always give it 110 percent,” Greco said.

Meet Peter Malamas, Senior Vice President at Sheila Greco Associates

Originally Posted by Dave Mendoza on Six Degrees from Dave on January 12, 2009
Filed Under Interviews, Sourcing Technologies |

** Try Free Trial of SGA’s Executive Tracker, HERE

Peter Malamas
Sr. Vice Present, Sheila Greco Associates (SGA);
Board Member & Committee Chair (Current) at Habitat for Humanity

Peter photoshopped

RecruitingBlogs Profile

Linkedin Profile

SGA Executive Tracker

ExecutiveTracker Testimonials

Email: peter @

TESTIMONIAL: “SGA ExecutiveTracker provides me the opportunity to search a wide range of industries and executives within one system. The functionality is simple, but the results are robust. Tracker supports my recruiting efforts greatly, providing potential candidates, referrals, company profiles, corporate structures of leadership, and Bio’s that give me an overview of the persons career. I researched similar tools and chose SGA ExecutiveTracker, because it’s best at providing the in-depth information that I need to successfully recruit at all levels and functions within the organization.”– Annette Greene, Director of Executive Recruiting

Working with SGA since 2004, Peter has focused on the creation and launch of the SGA ExecutiveTracker product as well as the continuing growth of the SGA ExecutiveTracker division. His experience includes driving significant revenue growth as President of idEXEC, an online business intelligence service, under both Thomson Financial and infoUSA, and the founding of Tactical Business Concepts LLC to assist Subscription-based Content & Software-as-a-Service providers with new product development and business growth. He was a key team member in the sale of idEXEC to Thomson Financial, as well as the subsequent sale of idEXEC to infoUSA.

Peter launched, and continues to manage, the ExecutiveTracker product & division, including marketing, sales management, strategic alliances. SGA provides clients with proprietary business intelligence, executive profiles, & company research through its ExecutiveTracker online subscription-based tool, custom research projects, as well as through content partnerships Peter developed with Lexis/Nexis, Sendouts, &

Peter is a Board of Directors Member and Fundraising Committee Chair at Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County NJ, and is the NJ Executive Networking Group Moderator for NETSHARE.

SGA specializes in custom research and subscription based online content and tools for HR, Executive Search and Sales professionals.

Q & A With Peter Malamas

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

Peter: Dave thanks for inviting me to be interviewed on SixDegrees. I think you are providing us a great opportunity to connect on a more personal level with all the people we work with or hope to work with out there in the industry.

I live on what’s now known after a NY Times article 2 years ago as the “New Jersey Gold Coast”, right across the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan. Hard to believe 30 years ago it was all industrial buildings, shipyards, and factories over here, now mainly high rise apartments and condos!

I have a wonderful 6 year old daughter who just lights up a room when she walks in. I have to say, as you know from personal experience too Dave, fatherhood has been one of the greatest developments in my life. Kids can really show you how to approach every situation as an adventure and positive experience, because it’s all new to them. I certainly learn as much from Alexis as she learns from me.

Six Degrees: What do you outside of your day to day professional activities?

Peter: I’m on the Board of Directors as well as Chair of the Fundraising Committee at Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County here in NJ. It’s a terrific organization that provides affordable housing for families in need. Two things I really like about Habitat are that we help families help themselves. It’s not given to them, they make payments into an interest free mortgage. Also most of the work we do is all here in our own communities, so we get to see the result of our good works of Habitat and improving our own neighborhoods all around Bergen County. It’s pretty satisfying.

For fun, I have had motorcycles and trail bikes since I was a kid growing up riding the trails in Massachusetts. Now for pure fun I like to ride my motorcycle in the country. You really can reach a kind of Zen-like experience riding up there. Riding in the city is a great way to get around Manhattan and it’s very easy to find a parking space, but dodging yellow cabs on 6th Avenue on a Harley isn’t exactly as relaxing as a ride by the lakes in Harriman State Park!

I plan to mix my hobby and my charity work, we’re planning the first Habitat Bergen Bike Run Fundraiser for September 2009.

Six Degrees: How did you get started in the staffing industry?

Peter: Actually Dave I never have been a recruiter, although I have been a hiring manager for most of my career. On the candidate generation side I have been very focused on the related field of “business intelligence” since I moved to NYC in ’94. I started that part of my career in sales at a small product division of Knight Ridder’s Business Info Services called Finex, which at the time was a part of KR along with Lexis Nexis. We were a business information company specializing in Executive Profiles and Company information. Recruiting firms and Sales organizations used us, they both were very interested in contacting the right executives at U.S and Global firms. The product was generating less than a $1mil when I started. I then worked my way up to leading the sales team and then President of the company, brought the product online, and along the way we grew the company to about $6mil and renamed it idEXEC. We sold it twice, so I was President under three different parent companies including Thomson Financial and then infoUSA/infoGroup. After 9 total years at idEXEC including three years of growth under infoUSA/infoGroup I left to do my own thing.

I then setup a consulting LLC to work alongside clients in long-term engagements called Tactical Business Concepts. That’s how I connected with Sheila Greco and SGA (Sheila Greco Associates) four years ago.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Peter: Well when it comes to answering both of the above questions I really look to Sheila as the main influence on me. Her taking me in to help bring SGA into the online data world and start the ExecutiveTracker business was the reason I got more deeply involved with the Recruiting marketplace, and she is also the one responsible for teaching me about the internals of the Recruiting industry. It’s been a great relationship because as we work together we draw on similar experiences, we both are entrepreneurial and have been in the driver’s seat for multi-million dollar companies, but from different industries, the recruiting world and online information. That provides a great… and sometimes crazy… environment where we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other and moving quickly to launch new ideas.

I not only admire Sheila’s creativity and energy in growing a great business and building a great team at SGA, but I have also learned a lot from Sheila on work-life balance. I have a lot of respect for her focus on her family. She is always there for her son Joey while meeting the demands of running the SGA business. Needless to say Sheila has a LOT of energy to accomplish all that. Anyone that has ever met her can confirm that opinion! Sheila’s has built a great team that she can trust to help run the business including Joe Morse, Mary Maines and Tere Masters, just to name a few. People tend to stay with Sheila. At four years with SGA I’m actually the “new guy” among the group I mentioned!

Six Degrees: Tell us more about your position, responsibilities, and size of your organization:

Peter: ExecutiveTrackerPro is a product line that’s integrated into the full range of services provided by SGA that support the recruiting process. SGA’s specialty is finding “passive candidates”. It’s that full range of services that is our greatest strength because we not only have an online passive candidate database, which is unique because it is telephone verified, but we also specialize in the custom research, name generation, and Traditional Research that fills in the gaps not addressed by all the online products out there.

It’s funny Sheila and I joke often about my job description. While officially I help lead the Tracker division, including product management, marketing, sales, and strategic alliances such as Lexis/Nexis, Sendouts, or, I really get involved in more than that. Whenever anyone asks my job description I usually say my job description is “Sheila let’s me know whatever we need to accomplish and then I go figure out a way to get it done”. I’m only half joking since one day I may be evaluating the terms of a client contract, while the next day I may be giving a product demo, creating a marketing email, or dealing with a user interface design issue. In an entrepreneurial environment you become even more goal oriented and a little less focused on an official job description. What’s great about that environment is the diversity, you’re working on technology, sales, customer service, marketing. That keeps things very interesting. It’s always great to be interested and still learning something new every day. I especially enjoy the constant contact with our clients, and telling new people about our service.

Six Degrees: (A) What other companies’ recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?

Peter: Well Maggie Yen Smith at Heidrick and Jim O’Malley at Huron as executive recruiters, and I’ll go outside of “recruiting” to mention George Bradt at PrimeGenesis in executive on-boarding, and Mark Berger at Swat on the use of technology and online search tools for candidate name generation… These have been folks that have certainly made an impression on me. They have earned a high profile for themselves as thought leaders in this industry. You’re really getting a name for yourself out there too Dave, leading the charge as an evangelist for the application of social networking tools to the recruiting and search process

(B) In what aspects are they superior?

Peter: I think if you look at these people I mentioned it all comes down to a combination ot the qualities I admire, which are that they have great technical mastery and the skills to get the job done, but also those intangible personal qualities and positive outlook that engender confidence in them and just make it more effective and fun to work with these folks.

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Peter: Right now it has to be the economy. Clients are going to take a harder look at budgets and are more fiscally conservative in times of economic uncertainty. These are challenging times but also I view it as a time of opportunity for us at SGA. When you have been in this business since 1989 delivering consistently high quality results for clients like SGA, that track record will go a long way towards reassuring your current and new clients that they are doing the right thing investing their budget dollars with you. We are stronger as a partner in their search process vs. a lot of other firms that are unproven, may not deliver the best results, or may not have the depth to make it through the next economic cycle. As a client you don’t want to sign a contract with someone that may not be around to complete it.

Six Degrees: What venues has SGA sponsored or attended?

Peter: We’ve maintained a very consistent conference and event presence at SGA, including some of our own in-house produces events. We have sponsored AESC, Kennedy, IACPR, SHRM, OnRec events, just to name a few in the past year, and have had Sheila or others on the team speak at several of those.

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Peter: My goal is to continue helping Sheila and the team grow SGA. To get there we just need to keep doing what we’re doing through the current macroeconomic challenges, providing high levels of service to our clients, and delivering maximum value. Our clients most often call us when they are under pressure and don’t have time for mistakes. Clients need to know we are like a part of their virtual team, where they can just pick up the phone and know things will get done right the first time.

And in the longer term who knows, maybe I’ll combine my volunteer work with a job and end up running a not for profit charity someday.


“Peter has proven to be a real team player and leader at Sheila Greco Associates. He is involved in both a sales and project management role and is outstanding in both. Hats off to your successes and may there be many more with us. Sheila Greco” March 23, 2008
Sheila Greco, President, Sheila Greco Associates, a woman owned business

“Peter was instrumental in bringing a business opportunity between our two companies to fruition. He is a solid negotiator and brought about a win-win situation for both parties.” January 11, 2008

Jonathan Hoy, Strategic Alliance Manager, LexisNexis

“I’ve known Peter since 1992, and we’ve worked together in several capacities since then – at the same company, and as business partners for our own respective companies. I trust Peter’s judgment, and I rely on his counsel for business development, and lead generation matters. I own a public relations agency called “For Immediate Release PR”. We work with approximately a dozen clients who range from start-ups to mid-sized companies. Each client is interested in lead generation and business development, and Peter provides the counsel we need to help our clients reach their goals. Peter’s insight is based on more than 20 years of real-world experience. He communicates with clients, partners, and colleagues in a clear and concise manner, and his counsel always seems to work out, once it is acted upon. Peter is a tremendous asset to FIR’s clients, and to FIR’s staff, and he’s a valued friend and colleague to me personally. If you would like to discuss Peter’s contributions to FIR in further detail, I welcome you to contact me directly at” January 13, 2008

Todd Keefe, President and Founder, For Immediate Release

“In my dealings with Peter I found him to be a very professional senior executive who was intimately involved with the details of his division and its marketplace. Peter was also very receptive to the strategy of working with other divisions within infoUSA to grow corporate revenues and was well respected by the corporate executive committee, his peers and direct reports. I highly recommend him for a leadership position.” January 11, 2008
Chris Lundgren, SVP, Donnelley Marketing

“SGA ExecutiveTracker has been indispensable to our practice because of the quality of contacts and the reliable information it provides. As a management consultant, I’ve used many executive contact sources over the last 17 years, and SGA’s data is superior to most, if not all other competitive offerings. I’m hooked on SGA ExecutiveTracker, and I use it every day.”
Trisha McGovern, Partner

“I have been surveying my colleagues about SGA Tracker-it is a unanimous hit!”
Karen Hall, Senior Associate

“SGA ExecutiveTracker is where I start with every new search. It’s an incredibly valuable tool for me”
Mark Misiurewicz – President, Tax Integrity LLC

Sheila Greco’s Search Technique from the “Recruiting Animal”

Sheila Greco’s Search Technique from the Recruiting Animal

Source: Dave Mendoza

Sample Search:

Goal: Get names of brand managers
Tools: Directory listing brands of each target company
Technology: Phone

– research from the top level down
– set a target of 10 names per call.
– if you can, find out who they report to and who reports to them.
– don’t be afraid to ask questions about structure
– think of your questions as guiding “the interviewee”
so the information needed is obtained.
– keep asking till they won’t give you any more.

How To Present Results
– show the org charts you create to the client
– get feedback: she might know some of the people and tell you
who to target or avoid

– when you present candidates provide a written summary of
how they compare to eachother
– give the client an org chart of her own company to show
how the candidates fit in
– this prop helps you explain the logic of your short listed selections

Example 2:
Goal: recruit a VP Merchandising
Results of Sourcing: identified 100 names to call
Short List: 5 candidates were presented.
Cost: 20 hours sourcing, 35 hours recruiting

Value Adds
1. built a database of candidates used on future searches.
2. gave client “in-depth knowledge of the competitive landscape” (talent pool?)
which could be used for future searches

Sheila Greco interview on

By Dave Mendoza, Partner,

Linkedin Profile

RecruitingBlogs Profile

Company Website

Sheila’s Blog

ExecutiveTracker Demo – Demo and receive 20 free
Telephone: (518) 843-4611
Amsterdam, NY

Featured Blog Posts by Sheila:
The Best Advice I Ever Got
* Research & Recruiting – Lingo Simply Defined

Today is a sourcer’s delight. Sheila Greco has always practiced
the “pass it forward” doctrine valued at “SixDegreesfromDave”. From
traditional search, competitive intelligence to research/name
generation this petite, soft spoken personality is a well known brand
in research product delivery and services to her clients. Sheila has
established herself as an industry Thought Leader within the
conference circuit as a presenter. Most recently, Sheila spoke at
ONREC this past September in Chicago, “Best Practices Combining New
Technology with Traditional Sourcing.” Today, Sheila walks us through
the process of traditional search as a practitioner, and from the
vantage point of her clients – with her recipe for successful value-
ads in pursuing and utilizing research in the long term with all the
ferver of an evangelist.

About Sheila Greco

With Sheila’s leadership responsibilities as President and Chief
Executive Officer of Sheila Greco Associates, LLC and her active role
in the overall growth and success of the company, she places her broad-
based skills and experience at the disposal of clients, candidates,
and colleagues alike. As an entrepreneur, she has gained extensive
experience in human resources to include, research, recruiting, and
competitive intelligence. As a strategic results oriented leader,
Sheila has a proven track record of building long-term and solid
relationships with clients and candidates.

Prior to launching Sheila Greco Associates in 1989, Sheila spent
several years with Goodrich & Sherwood, an executive search
company in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She began her
career as a research associate and quickly climbed through the ranks
and ultimately became a Director of Executive Search specializing in
consumer packaged goods marketing and sales.

An alumna of Hartwick College, Sheila received her Bachelor of Arts
degree in Economics and Marketing. She is a member of the National
Association of Executive Females, Society for Human Resource
Management (SHRM), SCIP (Society of Competitive Intelligence
Professionals), Women in Technology International, and participated in
many events sponsored by the New York State Olympics. Sheila is also
currently Chairperson for the Amsterdam YMCA.

Q & A with Sheila Greco, CEO at SGA

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world, Sheila

Sheila: Family has always been #1 on my list. I have
a son who I adore, a great husband and dog. Just like you Dave, I do a
lot of traveling but I will share a secret with you, it is always
scheduled in between my son’s games and school activities. He is 15
and I am proud to say I have only missed one baseball game. This is
quite an accomplishment since he plays golf, baseball, and basketball.

As I travel around the country each meeting that is set is scheduled
around my son’s activities and games. Part of my mission in life is to
NEVER miss my son’s games and school activities. He too travels as he
is part of a NIKE Basketball National AAU Team. This continues to be
part of my life too.

My philosophy is to work hard and play hard, something I live
everyday! I am a very competitive person, I guess I passed this along
to my son. I tell him and I tell all I come in contact with; when you
step on the court, baseball field, spelling bee stage, lacrosse field
(I played in College), tennis court (played in college) whatever, you
need to have a winning attitude and give 110% or don’t play at all. I
also say you win some and lose some… and you tend to learn more from
the losses that you experience. But I love to win!!

Six Degrees: How did you get your start into the Recruiting

Sheila: Networking, and being in the right place at
the right time! Some would say I was lucky in how the opportunity came
to me Dave. I started as a research associate with the Tidewater Group
in Stamford, CT and my job was to identify names for recruiters to
recruit. On my first day I was handed the Standard Directory of
Advertisers, “The Red Book” and told to identify 500 marketing names
from consumer packaged good companies and to do it quickly! Baptism by
fire….I must say! I remember my boss telling me “here’s the
telephone”, and the rest is history! When I started the Internet
wasn’t even thought about. As the year went on, I became a sponge for
knowledge, learned all about companies and how they are structured and
loved it…obviously!

Six Degrees: Baptism by fire? I recall you once told me, your
Initial Thought – “Is this really a job?” You peaked my interest
Sheila, tell us more about your initial perceptions as a researcher
and overall practitioner.

Sheila: “After the handshaking and signing of papers.
I was told my role as a research associate in a nutshell was to obtain
names. I was handed the standard directory of advertisers and told to
identify 500 brand managers in one week from P&G, General Foods,
Kraft, Colgate Palmolive, General Mills, Coke, Unilever, just to name
a few. Why? Because Pepsi needs 10 brand managers yesterday.

Catholic Guilt began to set in….so I went to my boss and said “Why are
we doing this? Why are some people hesitant to give names? This is not
rocket science! I am having some difficulties here.”

She said, “I used to feel the same way, not anymore… Our job is
simple, our clients ask us to offer an opportunity and these folks can
either take advantage of it, refer someone or not!” Next without
skipping a beat she said, “How many names did you get so far?”

Six Degrees: What was your progression track as a practitioner
to establishing your own research firm?

I began my career as a financial analyst. I joined the wonderful world
of executive recruiting where my real training began. I was recruited
to a prominent executive search firm in New York City as a research
associate. I joined Goodrich & Sherwood working in Greenwich, CT
and New York City where I worked as a research associate for
approximately 14 months. Soon thereafter I was tapped on the shoulder
and told that I was ready for the next step and was promoted to a
principal. This was my true entrée’ into recruiting. As a side bar, my
first candidate ever was George Brandt, most of you know him. His
company, PrimeGenesis is a company that specializes in Executive On-
Boarding! Anyway, he was always one of my biggest advocates and I do
thank him for that. Actually he is now on our company’s Advisory Board!

In 1989, I followed my dream and started “Sheila Greco Associates”

Today, I am still passionate about what I do. I continue to work hard
and play hard. May I also add, that this wonderful community plays nicely into my
personality…I like to listen, learn, respond, help and build

Six Degrees: Tell us about your company, Sheila Greco

Sheila: Since I founded Sheila Greco Associates LLC
in 1989, SGA’s primary mission is to dramatically shorten the amount
of time it takes clients to find the RIGHT executives. Since 1989, SGA
has been a True Recruiting Solutions Company, specializing as a single
source provider of online data, Custom Research, Recruiting Support,
and candidate name generation to executive search and HR
professionals. We offer Customized Research & Competitive
Intelligence, (CCI), in which we partner closely with clients, helping
them identify professionals to recruit, target their best sales
prospects, understand industry trends, and find valuable intelligence
on their competitors. We provide research and customized competitive
intelligence to corporations and search firms alike. Our clients
include professionals in recruiting, business development, sales,
analysts, competitive intelligence, and corporate librarians.

SGA is known for its signature delivery product, ExecutiveTracker,
which houses the most comprehensive list of executives currently
employed at major companies – both private and public – across all
industries. SGA carefully researches and sources each passive
candidate – from the C-level executives to the hard-to-find, mid-level
decision makers. Users can view company name, location, job title and
function and other information of passive candidates based on search
criteria. Once they determine contacts that best fit the current open
position, the recruiter can purchase the complete contact record,
which includes name, phone number, email, reporting structure and a
biography, if available.

Six Degrees: I think it’s fair to say you have been an
evangelist on behalf of the “Traditional Search” niche within the
sourcing sphere of our staffing industry. You have been especially
vocal about using ‘today’s research results’ for future search
assignments. Can you elaborate?

Sheila: As I became more experienced, I began to
understand organization chart structures, titles, roles,
responsibilities and how companies differ across industry segments.

Too many recruiters solely use the Internet. I am not saying replace
what may work for you, but consider adding traditional research to
your recruiting strategy. By fully leveraging traditional research,
the standard recruiting process evolves into a strategic resource to
be used not only for the current search assignment, but for future
assignments, benchmarking and competitive intelligence.

Six Degrees: Walk us step by step through an effective
“Traditional Search” process.

Sheila: Say for example, you need to find out who the
brand managers are. Here’s the telephone and the book which lists the
names of the brands for each company. Think of it as a game. Set a
target of 10 names per call and just keep asking till they won’t give
you any more. If you can, find out who they report to and who reports
to them.

Six Degrees: In having reviewed your presentations in the
past, I think you underscore an important criteria, “Titles can be
deceiving, know the role – research it just as you would the pipeline
throughout the process.” Can you elaborate for our readers?

Sheila: Definitely, Titles can be deceiving, know the
role. We recommend researching from the top level down. In general,
Never stop asking questions and guiding the interviewee so the
information needed is obtained. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
regarding structure and team members.

More specifically, however, consider that once traditional research
and charts are completed, we recommend showing them to the client.
Allow the client to provide feedback and offer comments which may
include: “proceed, I know this person, don’t proceed, already
interviewed, perfect.”

As the candidates are presented, I’d recommend developing a summary of
how they compare to one another – it assists the client with deciding
when to interview and for which business group. Along with resumes,
it’s ideal when you provide the client organization charts to show how
each candidate compares to their own internal staff structure. By
presenting the organization charts it enables you to intelligently
discuss why these individuals were chosen. Again, always share your
findings from start to finish!

Six Degrees: Can you walk us through a case study where you
employed traditional search strategies?

Sheila: Our client asked us to recruit a Vice
President of Merchandising. Following the steps using the tried and
true traditional research methodology, a list of approximately 100
potential candidates to call was developed and five candidates were
presented. The cost of research was 20 hours and recruiting
approximately 35 hours.

The result: we presented the client with an ultimate hire while saving
the client money. We also had built a pipeline of candidates that were
used for future searches. In addition we provided the client with an
in-depth knowledge of the competitive landscape which could be used
for future searches.

Six Degrees: As a Pioneer in our industry, what advice would
you like to share with those just joining or new to research and

1. You need to know that time is of the essence EVERY DAY. This is
crucial. Every one wants everything yesterday.

2. Do not be afraid to ask questions. It is okay to say “help me”.
Become aware of the tools the team uses and learn how to use them to
their fullest. It is also a great idea to learn how and where to go
get things yourself because you do learn more by “being in the

3. Never stop learning! Be knowledgeable, as time goes on, be the
expert and go-to person. Earn respect, do not expect it. Be thorough!
Do not take shorts cuts because in the long run it will come back to
haunt you! Take the time to do the upfront work.

4. Build relationships internally and externally! Two of my favorite
sayings are “what you do today, will help you tomorrow” and “maybe not
a candidate or client today, but maybe a candidate or client
tomorrow.” I tell everyone on my team, engage, listen, and respond.

Six Degrees: How do you see the staffing industry adjusting to
keep costs down and broaden its value?

Sheila: (1) We are seeing companies that are being
strategic, proactive and methodical as it relates to hiring. The days
of handing over 3-5 candidates for a specific rec and saying “here you
go” are over. Many hiring managers want to be part of the process and
want to be shown the research, the pipeline from the targeted
companies, how the potential qualified candidates compare and contrast
with to each other, their respective teams, and the available talent
universe. Methodical, yes… but very smart. Companies are looking for
ways to keep costs down while still recruiting top talent. By using
this methodical approach the research can be used again and again thus
creating value long term.

2. Building and keeping relationships: Company executives really want
those long term partners who can help them. Hiring managers and
recruiting professionals alike want a team approach and value the
results that it produces.

3. Today, more so then in than in the past, successful recruiters are
looked at as experts and partners. The respect has been earned and we
are now invited to have a seat at the conference table! Hiring
managers have learned to respect what it takes to find the candidates
and we have conditioned them to listen to what we have to say. A great
example is the fact that we have them understanding the value of tools
that are now available, ATS, research and recruiting tools, and online
communities. The executives are more on board with us! Great job guys
and gals.

4. Lastly we are seeing many top companies across several industries
going through the exercise of making sure their internal teams are
staffed with the best in the industry. It is not surprising to have
leaders take a peek at their competitors, their staff and compare it
to their own. If necessary we are seeing them pluck the good ones from

Six Degrees: What are the value-ads in pursuing and utilizing
research in the long term?

Sheila: Dave, time and again, it’s whether the client
has the vision and tenaciousness to view the information as a resource
that can also be shared with other business groups in the
organization. Once they review how best to leverage the yield of
valuable information they see how it applies not simply to just talent
management, but also issues of diversity, future restructuring
efforts, long term strategic hiring as well as other human resources
strategies. I’m in the business of being a long-term partner, not a
transactional partner – and I’ll do my best to work with my clients in
finding multiple venues to pursue their objectives with all the value-
adds that are implicit in the research process.

Six Degrees: We always see you smiling, cheerful and happy.
When you are not working, what are you doing?

Sheila: I am always on the go … I don’t really know
another way of life. I guess I am just like my mom and dad! They
always told me if I am passionate about what I do for a living, then
it won’t be a job! So I guess that is true….after all these years, I
remain passionate about what I do. I am a workaholic and a proud
mother too.

Six Degrees: Tell us something about you few know outside of
the industry:

Sheila: In the summer I spend my off time on the Lake
(Lake George in upstate NY) with lots of family and friends. The more
the merrier! I enjoy fast cars and boats, as well as fishing when I
need some quiet time.

I also love to volunteer and some day when I strike it rich, I want to
be a philanthropist. Nothing makes me happier than to put a smile on
someone’s face.


“We used Sheila’s web-based database when I was at JobPlex. Cant
remember a whole lot of specifics, but I do remember that it was very
good. Seemed to be comparable to Zoominfo, but I actually preferred
Sheila’s product a bit. I would use both pretty consistently, but
overall, very good. Hope this helps.”
Rob Daugherty, Executive Vice
President & Managing Director at Tri-Worth Solutions, in answer to
a question posted
by Brian Thibodeau of Korn/Ferry Futurestep on
LinkedIn Answers.

“Sheila is highly professional and persistent is obtaining the
information she needs. At FIND/SVP, we hired Sheila to unearth
information that we could not find through traditional channels, and
she never disappointed us.” August 6, 2007
Ann Middleman, Director of Research Services, FIND/SVP

“Sheila is whip-smart, focused on the needs of her clients, and a
natural relationship builder who always delivers on her commitments.”
July 23, 2007
Glenda Brown, Consultant/Director, Partnerships and Alliances,
Association of Executive Seach Consultants

“I have known Sheila Greco for close to 10 years and have worked
directly with her and her associates on several projects to include;
traditional search, competitive intelligence and research/name
generation. Her firm sets the standards for excellence in all of these
catagories.I am delighted to be able to endorse her work.” May 27, 2005
J. James O’Malley, Sheila’s client

“I have engaged Sheila on a number of occasions, going all the way
back to 1990. The work she has done across a broad array of subjects
has always been of very high quality, on time and beyond expectations.
She is a pleasure to work with.” February 19, 2007
Top qualities: Great Results, High Integrity, Creative
Don Rosenkoetter, client

“Sheila is extremely responsive, diligent and a great listener. Her focus is sharp and she’s able to direct her team/resources at the right point. Her team will be an asset to any HR building effort, be it recruiting for a new operation or augmenting an existing staff.” June 26, 2006
Anindya Dixit, Exec. Vice President, MMatrix, client

“I’ve worked closely with Sheila for several years. She’s a successful
entrepreneur who has built an outstanding organization and assembled a
great team that provides the highest quality work to clients. The
significant value she provides to clients is to quickly and accurately
evaluate their needs, then very effectively partner with them to
provide solutions that make their businesses better. Sheila’s energy
level is inspirational, and she’s one of the funniest people I’ve had
the pleasure to meet. I highly endorse working with Sheila.” January
11, 2008
Peter Malamas, Sr. VP (Current), SGA ExecutiveTracker

presenting our next LIVE COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR Dec. 11

Due to overwhelming response to our last event we are once again presenting our LIVE COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR:

"Turbocharged Passive Candidate Sourcing: Combining the Best of Telephone, Google, and Online Database Research Techniques"


•    ENHANCE your CANDIDATE SOURCING EXPERTISE with best-of-breedtechniques as we compare and contrast ACTUAL examples of Traditional and Online Research
methodologies to incorporate into your recruiting process
•    LEARN THE MOST PRODUCTIVE WAYS to invest your time and energy on the Web, along with other expert sourcing tricks
use essential "traditional research" telephone skills combined with
subscription databases to dig up the golden candidates your competitors
can't find on the Web!

This event will also include live Q&A with our Presenters:

Mark E. Berger, CPC, AIRS CIR, Founder, Swat Recruiting

Sheila Greco, Founder and President, Sheila Greco Associates

Date : Thursday, December 11, 2008   
Start Time : 1:00 PM Eastern (12:00 PM Central/CST and 10:00 AM PST)   
Duration :   60 mins

Don't miss this opportunity….


your registration confirmation email will show the "12:00 PM CST" start
time. Please note the correct time for your time zone in your schedule.
If you have any questions on webinar registration please call SGA at
518.843.4611 or email

cosponsored by Sheila Greco Associates and Swat Recruiting

Traditional Research Still Rules! & the AESC Researcher Summit in NYC

What a nice show we had at the AESC Researchers and Associates Summit: Go for the Gold – Finding the Perfect Candidate in Today’s Market, held in Manhattan last Thursday Sept. 18. I really enjoyed it. Its nice to see old friends and meet new ones.

I especially enjoyed the panel discussion on Research methodologies and loved the statistics that were referenced. Like the panel members and much of the AESC members in the conference audience, I ALSO believe that the telephone is still the best way to do research and recruit. We absolutely need a foundation of traditional research to do our jobs most effectively! Direct contact and telephone networking (part of the traditional research methodologies that we employ at SGA) is still essential as an information gathering tool.

This year I am making a conscious effort to get THIS word out…

For many of the newer Professional Researchers just entering the field, especially for those younger professionals who have grown up in the
"post-Internet" age that are just entering the field of Professional
Research, there is a huge reliance ONLY on the internet as the primary source for candidate sourcing. The internet is an awesome and powerful tool for us as Research Professionals, BUT … it’s important to realize that traditional research techniques are still essential! NOT EVERYONE IS ON THE INTERNET!

Using Traditional Research as part of your recruiting process helps you build long term relationships with your clients. Let’s face it… our clients are not just looking for a transaction oriented recruiter, which is so "yesterday". Today, our clients want a strategic partner, a go-to person who is an expert. YOU NEED TO CONSTANTLY BE ADDING VALUE FOR YOUR CLIENTS!

I have been in the recruiting world for over 20 years and have experienced highs and lows along side the industry, and there are a few things that continue to stand the test of time; the relationships that the recruiter develops with clients, the successful reputation that results from satisfying the clients’ ever changing needs, and the historical knowledge base that the recruiter brings to the table regarding the clients’ industry and talent pools available for each assignment.

This year I have made a concerted effort to bring traditional research to the forefront of recruiting and communicate how important it is to the future of recruiting.  Most would agree that without great research a search for the "best of the best" cannot be accomplished.

Time and time again I hear that fully employed professionals are NOT looking for jobs, these top notch "passive candidates" are too busy working to put their information on the internet. So, having said that, why not use the powerful combination of Traditional Research AND the internet to best serve your clients?

What is traditional research? It is simply a recruiting methodology used to uncover potential candidates from a talent pool requested by the client. By using traditional research *you* build the knowledge and can know that when you are presenting a pipeline of candidates that you are not only presenting the best, but choosing them from the specific targeted list your client requested. 

Please respond and comment, and let us know how you feel. I would love to have you blog with us.

If you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of our team leaders directly.

Thanks again and happy "head hunting".

wonderful time speaking at’s Online Recruitment Conference & Expo

I had such a wonderful time speaking at’s Online Recruitment Conference & Expo last Tuesday, September 9th in Chicago!

A standing room only crowd made it a great place to speak. That attendance was a great testimonial to the high level of interest in the market regarding Traditional Research, and the great job done by the Onrec team in attracting the right attendees. The audience reaction kept me thinking about how we need to share with everyone the importance of using Traditional Research as part of a strong recruiting and search process.

We also were a sponsor of the event, having an exhibit on the floor enabling myself and SGA executive team members Mary Maines, Peter Malamas, and Joe Morse, to meet with attendees to advise them on SGA products and services.

My phone has been ringing off the hook since the event, by folks wanting to learn more about the use of Traditional Research and of course I am always happy to helpl Keep the calls coming and register here if you are interested in a copy of my Onrec presentation.

The venue itself was a wonderful one and the entire speaking list was impressive. All attendees that I spoke with gave the event a thumbs up! Great job Tim Hartrich  and RD Whitney at Onrec!