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“In the war for talent, characterizing recruiters as 'warriors' may be an apt metaphor but, it is still a metaphor. Russ Moon on the other hand is the real deal. He drives for excellence in his profession and, the intensity with which he hones his skills to produce outstanding staffing results has few peers. In the war for talent, I want to have Russ leading the campaign on my side.”
"Tenacious and determined in his drive to succeed Russ applies his vast intellect and deep energy resources into efficiently solving problems. His curiosity, a natural born willingness to learn, propels him into the ranks of Master CyberSleuths while his propensity to share his knowledge makes him a trusted friend.”
“Russ has channeled ex-military diligence into recruiting & quickly moved into the elite levels by networking with the recruiting research/sourcing industry's leaders & putting in the time to learn & incorporating best practices into his daily work. It's paying off in his results & those in his circle benefit from his sharing of fast-growing expertise in all aspects of full life-cycle recruiting.”
• Russ Moon
• Sourcing Consultant, Talent Find LLC
• Richmond VA
• RecruitingBlogs Profile
• Office: 804-643-8604
• Mobile: 804-402-2364
If I were to be limited to a single sentence to describe Russ Moon - the professional, I would preface that he is a "seasoned, world-class, internet researcher possessing both an MBA and technically advanced sourcing skills." To be more verbose and genuine to his daily mission however, Russ is indeed a leading Sourcing Consultant for Fortune 500 companies; delivering his own brand of specialized content development and delivery for sourcing training programs. Market Research, Social Media - Analysis and strategic direction, Training - Recruiting and Sourcing, Sourcing Scorecards, Sourcing Programs, Job Board Training, Work Aid development, and Hiring Demographics. Russ, however, is a man of many titles and distinguishing characteristics. Let's start with the ones we tend to be less familar with:
One the top, highest ranked cadets of the prestigious military academy, The Citadel; graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. Recipient of the Renee Clark Memorial Scholarship Awardee, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2 Citations), and President's Advisory Committee. A First Lieutenant and US Military Veteran of the United States Army and a Disabled Veteran with a Service Connected Disability. Russ earned his Senior Parachutist Wings (Jumpmaster), Air Assault Wings and Honduran Airborne Wings until he broke his ankle in three places jumping an experimental parachute.
A renown Sourcing Tool Beta Tester; i.e., Broadlook Technologies, Zoominfo, Jigsaw, CareerBuilder, PureDiscovery, AutoSearch.
Earned every AIRS Certification offered ACIR,CIR,CDR and the CSSR (Certified Social Sourcing Recruiter)
The only non-employee Broadlook Technologies Black Belt
A SourceCon veteran, Russ will be co-facilitating a unique Firefox lab March 15, 2pm in San Diego as part of SourceCon 2010. We will be sharing the best of best “add-ons” to maximize your browsing productivity and experience. This unique format will deliver real time results as well as an opportunities for attendees and blog supporters to continue their sharing via a select community to be announced at the conference. Post a suggested add-on at my blog and secure your invite.
Gerry Crispin said it best, "In the war for talent, characterizing recruiters as 'warriors' may be an apt metaphor but, it is still a metaphor." Russ Moon is indeed a warrior, and for those who know him well his intensity is characterized interchangeably with "ferocity." He is the man whose booming voice laughs with the most savage wind instrument, he is the friend who calls out your name reminding you owe him a hug and does so with pronounced loyalty to the physical effects of a "Bear Hug." Breathe in deeply, my friends, as his stride breaks new ground - Russ Moon has brought UFC to the staffing world. It is an event to see him, to work with him, to share with him. In all things, the term warrior is more apt with a hyphen; he is the consummate warrior poet. A man with deeply held passions to each of his loves in life, be it his wife, his profession, his friendships, and to the world he calls his oyster. It is an open world, where knowledge is the battle cry.
In all things, I am glad to call him a friend, an "inner circle" friend - and a colleague. It is an honor today to introduce one of our own, Russ Moon.
Q& A with Russ Moon
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world, Russ.
Russ: Married 2.5 years to Diane Sinnatamby Moon,MD Internal Medicine/Infectious Disease. I was in the middle of my MBA taking an advanced marketing class and thought “Why am I not using my internet skills to help identify my life partner? Why can’t I use some of this knowledge I am learning to help myself be happier in life? So I used my skills of research on Match.com and found Diane in less than 4 hours.
After about 35 e-mails in which she asked me about everything from my family history to what I eat each day, she finally felt comfortable sharing her phone number. She was enroute to a medical meeting and I met her in the lobby of her hotel. I knew prior to meeting her that we had already learned a great deal about each other, but when I saw her I was pleasantly surprised to find as a bonus she was really attractive! I walked over and introduced myself, she suggested we go find somewhere quiet where we could sit down and talk …then reached out and held my hand. I literally almost cried. About a month later she said she thought I was “The One” and I felt the same way but was afraid to say the words because I didn’t want to frighten her or for her to think I was some type of weirdo.
We decided to date another year and if our feelings were the same we would revisit those words. One year went by and our feelings for each other greatly deepened, we were engaged and now have been married 2.5 years. She had just taken an assignment about 1.5 hours from me to work in a medically under served area for three years to earn her green card so it was tough making that work, but I think it strengthened us in hindsight. We are very close, she is literally my best friend and I could not ask for a better partner. Never thought I would have wound up with someone like her but it just went to show that you can’t plan everything and it is important to recognize opportunity when it is staring you in the face. I have enjoyed learning about the Asian culture and Sri Lanka in particular. We have many common interest but the cultural and professional differences provide for a great deal of diverse viewpoints and experiences.
As for hobbies, I have several I am passionate about: Kettlebells – I discovered them January of 2009, have immersed myself in learning more, lost 25 (lost the weight then gained some muscle) pounds in the process while dramatically increasing my strength and endurance. Largemouth Bass Fishing – I am on a “safari” to catch a VA State Citation size largemouth bass. Guitar – two Fender Stratocasters that I enjoy playing for myself - just like the way they sound. Biking – Love to ride my bike, just upgraded a year ago to a nice Lemond road bike and love it. Reading – I rotate several books and read them simultaneously. Something people might not associate with me. I sent two Bibles to my sister who just finished 6 months in Africa on a mission to give to people she trained to speak English so they can help carry on the work.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
Russ: 9 years directly with other jobs where hiring was a big part of my role
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Russ My start in recruiting was involuntary. I was serving as a Pharmaceutical District Sales Manager in Chicago and used zip code data to develop 12 new territories to generate more business from my assigned area. The VP of Sales smiled, signed off on my data after the Sales Information guy said “These numbers check out and would support additional reps.” Then the VP looked at me and said “Russ I want you to personally go select these people.” Total panic, but I would up making some strong choices including several diversity hires and a couple “mavericks”. We wound up ranked #2 in the nation for sales the next year in essentially a new district which was pretty significant. I later landed a role managing brokers serving the mass, grocery and general merchandise markets and recruited my broker team to sell our general merchandise line. Most of the reps had been with the owner a long time and were content to just cash their monthly commission checks without hunting for new business. So I called all the key accounts I wanted to sell and simply asked “Who is the best broker who calls on you for general merchandise?” Once the same name came up a couple times I then recruited them to join our team selling our product lines.
My next job was a formal recruiting role where I led 4 business units serving the Power Generation industry on a global scope. We increased contract billings 356% in the first 6 months and I began to realize I liked recruiting and was good at it. Later I moved over into the sourcing side during my MBA because I didn’t think I could be on the phone at night with candidates and have enough time to study for my homework. So I learned Sourcing, realized that suited me even better and just kept honing my craft through intensive training, mentoring and increasing demanding practical experience.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Russ I had a period about 6 years ago when I was very heavily engaged in both attending professional training sessions while simultaneously receiving mentoring from multiple sourcing thought leaders. The impact of that condensed learning and the subsequent impact on my career progression embedded “continuous learning” as a mantra. When I started to see what was possible it changed my mental outlook on sourcing and talent acquisition forever. Happy to say I am repeating that cycle again right now, on an even more intensified level.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Russ There is no one person, my philosophy has been to scan the talent horizon and lean towards gleaning the most desirable attributes from a diverse group of talent acquisitions professionals. My end goal being to become an amalgamation of those attributes which then constitute my unique offering. A Retired Sergeant Major I met while at The Citadel, taught me to “Take the best from each person you meet, leave the rest, move on to grow and evolve.” It was truly sage advice.
If I were to name someone specifically, Shally Steckerl (thinks big, pursues knowledge), Eric Jaquith (leverages technology, generates more speed than anyone I have personally observed), Glenn Gutmacher (Ivy League IQ scientifically explores and knows the logic behind what he is pursuing, Tim O’Connor, (willing to try new things and put himself out there ), John Turnberg (genius, another expert at leveraging tools and techniques), Rithesh Nair (fire, ready , aim a first adapter who jumps out there and discovers things well prior to the masses..knows how to couple sourcing and the recruiting pieces exceptionally well. Suzy Tonini – (deeply respect her, knows what she speaks about willing to step outside her comfort zone and does so on a regular basis. On the consulting side Gerry and Mark from CareerXRoads have consistently provided practical, actionable and candid feedback. I have had the opportunity to work on a couple projects with Dr. John Sullivan and deeply respect his intellect and ability to break down complex topics to the molecular level. Kevin Wheeler is someone I am getting to know better who I am impressed with and would like to learn more from. Phil Hendrickson at Starbucks, Kim Warne at GE....I tend to gravitate to people with ample intelligence who are leaders...that seems to be the common thread. I know this implicitly they all leave pieces of their DNA with me with every e-mail, phone call or personal visit and I would not be who I am without people like them in my professional sociosphere.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your present professional endeavors:
Russ: I just wrapped up three years at Wachovia as the lead internet researcher supporting all lines of business on a national scope. I am offering my services as a sourcer/consultant for short term gigs of (2-12wks) working remotely from my dedicated work studio located in the downtown of Richmond, Virginia outside my home known to my inner circle as ”The Hive”. Loads of computers, more tools than the Batcave I have everything I need to do some serious ”digging” and all those tools come with me at no extra charge. So you get me, the tools and someone who knows how to use them. Hence the Sourcing Samurai, theme to my shortly forthcoming podcast radio show, which I encourage people to tune into. Nothing like it out there, its going to break new ground and reveal learnings not previously available to the general public or for that matter to most anyone. My guests who have been exposed to the concept are stoked about it and the select ground of Senior Talent Acquisition leaders I have test marketed the concept with have said ”I want this like not just for me but for my entire recruiting organization.”
No joke....and those comments literally took my breath away.
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
Russ Recruiting operations at Microsoft, Starbucks, and Dell are innovators, however, I am sure there are many others I am not intimately aware of. No one person can have a monopoly on information so no slight intended to the people out there bringing their best, these are just top of the mind groups I am aware of at the moment.
Six Degrees: (B) In what aspects are they superior?
Russ: They all share the common attribute of ‘common sense oriented’ sourcing model that is delivering valued product to their business groups. Microsoft – They “get it” and have amassed a solid team of people who can actually execute the strategy. “Get it” – my definition is they are consciously competent, they know what they are attempting to achieve and they have a solid common sense measurable process to track their progress towards the goals…all while innovating. Starbucks – forward thinking, aggressive, understand workforce planning. Dell – I have been following Kim Rutledge and her team for some time -- they deliver.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
Russ: Social Media – not everyone has adopted, so much untapped potential, room for massive growth and utility. No secret the space has exploded and is continueing to explode. Where there is chaos (massive change) there is also opportunity.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry:
Russ: Yes. I intend to increase the frequency of my visibility in the future. In the last two years I have served in various capacities throughout the speaker circuit, including each of the following:
Fall 2007 SourceCon Panel – “Internet vs Phone Sourcing”
Spring 2008 Electronic Recruiting Exchange Expo – “Cultivating Your Organic Research Team”
Fall 2008 Kennedy Recruiting Expo Panel – “Where the Corporate Sourcing Function is Headed: Expert Views from the Trenches”
Spring 2009 CareerXRoads – Atlanta Colloquium – Diversity Sourcing
Spring 2009 Kennedy Recruiting - “Becoming a Strategic Partner in Your Organization, Workforce Planning”
I had made a mistake of spending too many long weeks head down at the desk churning the work out and not mingling enough to keep my name out there appropriately, to physically cultivate time with my ”inner circle” to feel the vibe....that was feedback from a mentor which I took to heart and I am correcting that error with vigor
Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities. Are there specific groups, both online and in-person that have proved fruitful in extending your personal brand and job seeking prospects?
• ERE Expo is a winner, plug into the events you will have amply opportunity to learn just about anything you wish.
• Kennedy – the after hours dinners are great to start building real relationships
• CareerXRoads – you learn at the colloquium, but the relationships and the ability to pick up the phone and get near instant response from global talent acquisition superstars…still wows me.
• My personal circle – humbling myself and saying “help teach me” has gone a long way
• My webpage, homepage, blog and upcoming radio show.
• Keeping my inner circle informed of my proposed marketing efforts and being open to collaborating with them to leverage their expertise. Realizing that where they know more it is wise to listen to the expert and it shows them the proper respect.
• Perioidically ...try not to lose your breath laughing here but I recognize to those who really know me I constitute free entertainment...but pick that phone up even briefly to let people know you are thinking about them, ask them how you can help them, what’s changed since you last spoke etc....it doesn’t have to be a marathon conversation but I am rediscovering how fruitful it is to connect more frequently albeit more briefly.
Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do?
Russ: Networking for me has been about a consistent nurturing of relationships.
To – Do’s: Find ways to add value to your network, be organized, do what you say you will do
Not to Do’s: Our sense of urgency is not necessarily your networks, take that into account. Don’t overdraw your account balance (ie. Taking way more than you give back.) Don’t quit, just keep trying to grow your network and determine who you really want to share your personal journey with.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
Russ: My next career goal is working as a consultant where I can leverage my ability to take in information, diagnose root causes and then develop/implement solutions. I want my clients to know they can count on me to deliver, to be knowledgeable and candid, to attempt to be the calm place they can anchor to know that in 2010 I am already on a pace that will allow me to reinvent myself to become more authentic, more informed, more productive and a better partner. One they will want to seek out. The technical, physical and mental program I am embarking on is the most strenuous one I have ever attempted and I am very interested to see what the lump of clay I am starting with this year will look like in 3,6,9 months. Not to mention what that person is going to be able to do...exciting. I have publically and privately committed myself to bringing my very best and believe my very best will be something I can be proud of. As humans we will never be perfect, I will never know it all, but I can tell you this I am going to really move my own needle in 2010 and the people I am drawing to me are seeing the front end of this program and the results already....did I say that I was excited about that ?
(1) Sourcing: To start putting to the test a host of new techniques that I am really excited about. Thrilled to be in a situation that will support my leveraging all this technical learning mode in a situation where I can bring more of those learnings to bear to add value.
(2) Teaching: Seeking some opportunities to teach others as I travel the path, teaching is sharing, sharing is learning.
What do I need to get there ? People who:
1. “Get it” – The people who understand the dynamics of talent acquisition and sourcing, what is realistically involved in achieving their objectives. For those who are playing catch up and that is not a criticism I myself am playing catch up in a couple areas, having the self-esteem and personal security to be able to say “I want/need to learn more, I know I don’t know, but I need you to help me.” People who do what they say they will do. Playing catch up is easier said than done, it can be intimidating or humbling to have to candidly say to someone “I don’t know but I want to learn.” I have felt that feeling and it is a tough mechanism to overcome, but it is truly empowering when you do. Given the number of times I have been in that position in the last two to three weeks I can say from my experience it becomes easier and certainly is empowering.
2. Senior Talent Acquisition leaders - it all starts at the top. So important for them to stay up to date even though the demands on their time are at all time peaks because ultimately they lead and to lead effectively you need to have enough personal understanding to weigh all your viable alternatives. Difficult to overestimate how important that is.
3. Reading a book now called “Lean Six Sigma for Service”- it is all about reviewing the processes to eliminate waste while delivering the value. Zeroing in on what truly adds value, how to identify the value and how to eliminate “waste” (non-value added activities)
4. Establish budgets which reflect their objectives with established leaders in their fields, be it talent attraction, sourcing, etc. to establish the appropriate scale and productivity level worthy of the task. Employing someone like myself, and fellow colleagues who share these objectives to attain their goals are a natural next step in the process. I see savvy leaders engaging someone like myself to reverse mentor them on sourcing, to privately share with them what they need to know to continue to lead from the front.
I take my work very seriously, myself not so much, but those who know me know I guard my personal brand closely and do whatever it takes to get the work done.…
Fan of the following: Captain C.B. Sully Sullenberger and Starbucks Coffee Company
Admire of : Shally Steckerl and JobMachine Cheatsheets
Quote: " .. You can find us walking the dogs downtown Willow Glen stopping at Starbucks to refuel"
Community Volunteering: Human Society, ASPCA, PugPros, Local Hospital, Reading for elementary school students through a Junior Achievement program"
• Email Julia: email@example.com
• Phone 408-504-4061
** Currently Seeking New Opportunities**
Q & A with Julia Margherita-McInerny
Julia Margherita-McInerny is a Corporate Sourcer based in San Jose, California. Her staffing areas of expertise are in Advanced Internet Research identifying passive candidates, full-cycle recruitment, cold calling, and networking. She has worked at prominent Silicon Valley companies such as Intuit, The Gap, and most recently, as a Talent Scout at Adobe where she worked for the last three years until this past February. Julia has experience targeting varied job req disciplines, i.e., Marketing, Product Management, Human Resources, Legal, Corporate Communications, Internal Communications, Real Estate, Corporate Architecture & Construction, Visual Merchandising, E-commerce, User Experience Designers, Visual Designers, Technical, Engineering, Finance, Internal Consulting, and Customer Support.
Life is an adventure, and Julia has a team effort supporting her latest chapter. Aside from her recent job search efforts, Julia has experienced the more satisfying life transitions that come with a recent marriage this past October with her husband Tim McInerny and building a nest with their two dogs, Carson the Mastiff and Lola the Pug.
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Julia: My husband Tim and I were married this past October. We had a beautiful wedding in Los Gatos, CA with 150 of our closet family and friends. We are settling into married life quite nicely along with our two dogs Carson the Mastiff and Lola the Pug. We are working on adding to our family! Since we both waited to marry a little later in life, we feel very lucky to have found each other. I’ve always said that finding your soul mate is like searching and finding the perfect candidate -- sometimes you have to search high and low and wait for the right one!
We enjoy eating out and trying new restaurants. We also love entertaining and having friends and family over. On the weekends, you can find us walking the dogs downtown Willow Glen stopping at Starbucks to refuel or going to the dog park.
Anyone who knows me knows I am an extreme animal lover. If I could adopt all of the stray and rescued dogs and cats out there, I would! I am a strong supporter of the Human Society, ASPCA and try to help PugPros, a local pug rescue group when I can. When I was growing up, I really wanted to become a veterinarian but I think it would be too hard for me to see animals hurt and in pain day in and day out. I can’t even make it through commercials about abused animals without shedding a few tears and forget any movies where the family pet passes away in the end!!!
I also enjoy reading in my spare time. I’m always game for anything Oprah recommends! I also never get tired of a few of the classics including "Catcher In the Rye", "The Great Gatsby", "To Kill A Mockingbird", etc. For kicks, a good laugh and to keep in touch with the girly side of me, I’ve also ready the "Confessions of a Shopaholic" series!
I have done some volunteer work in the past at a local hospital as well as reading for elementary school students through the Junior Achievement program. I’ve always found volunteering very rewarding and hope to donate more of my time soon.
I try to stay active and make it to the gym a few times a week. I’ve dabbled in yoga and core training classes. I also love playing tennis and have played golf a few times but get frustrated easily!
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
Julia: I started recruiting in an agency in San Francisco in 1997. I placed paralegals and case clerks in some of the top law firms in SF. Prior to settling in staffing, I was a paralegal right out of college and worked for a large SF law firm mostly working on environmental and insurance defense cases. After 7 years working for lawyers, I decided it was not the right career for me -- I wanted to interact with people not documents day in and day out! I had always had an interest in human resources and recruiting so I decided to make a go of it. It was an easy and welcomed transition for me and I never looked back!
After working for the agency for a few years, I desired corporate experience and really wanted to work for an internal staffing organization so I landed at Gap Inc. as a Sourcer and stayed for 5 years. I had the pleasure of working on all of the fun, creative jobs in the company including Advertising and Visual Merchandising. My hiring managers were the brains and talent behind all the Gap commercials and photo shoots -- I thought I was the “coolest” sourcer in town!!
At that point in my career, I wanted to get exposure to the high tech and software industry and landed a contract gig at Intuit where I was hired to support Marketing and Product Management. Intuit was a wonderful experience and the free tax software was an extra bonus!!
I joined Adobe Systems in 2006 as a Talent Scout and was brought on to source for the G&A functions including Marketing, Finance, Legal and Human Resources. I was also fortunate to get exposure to many other business functions within the company including User Experience Design, Professional Consulting, Customer Care and Inside Sales. I challenged myself every day with hunting for User Experience Designers/Architects and Computer Scientists!!
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Julia: It’s hard for me to narrow it down to just one event that has most impacted my sourcing career. Every company I’ve worked for has been unique from the other. Working for Gap in 1999 was really exciting -- we had prospective candidates beating down our doors wanting to work for the hip khaki retailer! Then the dotcom boom burst on the scene and we were fighting to save recent hires from going to start ups! It’s been such an experience watching the cycles of the economy and how it’s affected sourcing over the last 10 years. By the time I joined Adobe, I realized just how much I had learned about sourcing and what it takes to truly find and attract the ultimate passive candidate.
One project that does come to mind was at Adobe and I was asked to become part of a team of recruiters and sourcers to staff a customer care center located in Canada. We were given the task of sourcing and filling over 100 positions within a very short period of time. The open positions were very technical and skill specific. The screening process for each candidate was very lengthy and detail-oriented. Sourcing for 100+ positions in a small market with a limited talent pool proved to be very challenging. I was not really familiar with the market in Canada let alone the complexity of the regions but I had to learn very quickly! Along with sourcing the candidates, I was also managing full cycle recruiting on this project. Through excellent team work and exceptional hiring managers, we were able to meet our goal and complete the project. This was very rewarding and will always have an impact on my career.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Julia: I have been fortunate to have had many different mentors to whom I have looked up to throughout my career. I have had some wonderful managers who have been truly devoted to guiding and developing my skills as a Sourcer. I would have to give kudos to one of my managers at Gap when I started as a Sourcer who told me “you have to be fearless”. I remember being scared to death to make my first cold call! But I jumped in feet first and guess what happened!? The person on the other end of the phone was rude and hung up on me! I didn’t let that stop me - the more calls I made, the easier it became!
I haven’t tried to model my career after anyone specific. I’ve really tried to make it my own and play upon my strengths. I have learned and gained best practices from all of the wonderful and talented Sourcers I have worked with throughout my career. I do, however, admire industry leaders such as Shally Steckerl and Dave Mendoza.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your most recent gig as a talent consultant at Adobe, Julia.
Julia: During my time at Adobe, there were three Talent Scouts (Sourcers) including myself, each supporting multiple recruiters. I had the opportunity to learn about many functional areas of the company but the most recent group I supported was the Technical Recruiters. This team of recruiters supported the business functions including Creative Solutions, Knowledge Worker, Advanced Technology Lab, Platform and Adobe’s User Experience Design organization. My main job was to source and build pipelines of candidates -- both active and passive. To find the “best of the best” and find out where they live, both physically and virtually! I conducted a lot of research of professional organizations, conferences and dove deep into social networking sites.
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
Julia: Definitely Microsoft for its complexity and best practices through word of mouth. They are always such a fun company to watch and have no trouble attracting prospective candidates. It’s exciting to see how their brand evolves and how they change their recruitment marketing. I try to educate myself and follow the trends by reading different recruiting blogs and news stories.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
Julia: I think all the general hype around social networking sites are and will have an impact on the role of a Sourcer now and in the future. Most or all of the Sourcers I know spend at least 90% of their time networking and searching sites such as Linked In and Facebook. I really feel they will eventually take over completely. Perhaps even take the place of job boards -- at least for a means of sourcing candidates.
Six Degrees: Have you been involved in broader industry events as of yet?
Julia: No speaking events or awards to mention -- yet!!
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
Julia: I really feel I am in a good place right now. I am content in the role of a Sourcer. I enjoy the “hunt” and like the research aspect of the job. It is a thrill to source and develop a candidate that results in a hire. I am looking to be a part of a cutting-edge recruiting organization that isn’t afraid to push the limits. I thrive in a team environment where I can learn from my colleagues and feel my ideas are being heard and contributed. As long as I’m feeling good about what I am doing on a daily basis and my work is rewarding, that is all that matters to me.
“HOW DOES THEY DOES JULIA DO IT?”
Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?
Julia: In my experience, the companies I have worked for have focused on continually increasing the number of hires through employee referrals. In general, the number of hires from referrals fluctuates between 30-40%. It seems companies are constantly trying to improve their employee referral programs to make the rewards more enticing for employees to refer great people but truth is, in this economy, it is more challenging.
In general, I think about 10% of hires come from a corporation’s website or posting.
A strong number of my hires have come from Linked In. I think in this economy, people are more open to networking and referring colleagues/friends for open jobs. In these tough times, people are more apt to help one another.
Six Degrees: What is the source of the "Most Hires" collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)
Julia: In my experience, it really depends on the positions you are recruiting for. If I’m looking for a Computer Scientist or a specific type of Engineer, most of these hires seem to come from recruitment research done either internally or externally. Typically, these guys won’t have their resumes posted on job boards so a passive pipeline must be identified. There are some positions that are filled by job board resumes however, the types of positions I have worked on, require much more digging!
Six Degrees: What is the source of your "LOWEST COST OF HIRES" - (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?
Julia: In my experience, a low cost hire is someone who has applied or submitted their resume in response to a posting or a resume posted on a job board. Also, prospective candidates who are already in our resume database are a good source. There could be someone who applied for one job but may be right for another. I usually go after the “low hanging fruit” first and I’m not implying they may be less qualified in any way -- the right candidate could be there right under your nose!! Another way to keep the cost of hires low is to leverage your own network. Reach out to current and former colleagues to see who they may know. Linked In has a great feature where you can send out job descriptions to your network to help with your sourcing efforts. No matter where I go or who I meet, I try to network -- you never know who you could meet!
Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?
Julia: I have had the opportunity to research and target numerous niche groups for the areas I have supported. Most of the positions I work on require digging and finding conference attendee lists, white papers and other publications, user groups, etc. For example, I have worked on a lot of User Experience Designer positions and this talent pool does not post their resumes on general job boards. The good talent is usually already working and in high demand AND receiving lots of calls from recruiters! There are a handful of niche designer websites/job boards I have to target to get their attention and potentially look at their portfolio.
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
Julia: In the past I have taken a few of Shally Steckerl’s seminars as well as attended AIRS training classes. I still use JobMachine’s cheat sheets! I recently participated in one of Craig Silverman’s webinars. I also subscribe to the recruiting/sourcing blogs and keep abreast of the news that way. I really like reading the daily blogs for tips from other sourcers or recruiters.
Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?
Julia: Google and Yahoo search engines for Boolean searches of course! I have also been exposed to Virtual Edge, Filefinder and other ATS. Most of the jobs I have worked on have been based in the U.S. or Canada but it is important that any tool we utilize can be used globally as well.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
Julia: When I worked for the agency, we were still using hard copies of job orders and Excel spreadsheets to track candidates! I also used something similar to ResumeMix.
Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people's assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?
Julia: When I worked for the agency, it was easy because all the candidates I called or interviewed came to us to register so there was no fear of the “unknown response!” I remember the day I made my first cold call -- sweaty palms and all! Of course the person on the other end of the call was rude and eventually told me never to call them at work again! What a way to start! But I kept going and it got easier as time went by. It’s easy to sell the company you are working for but it’s another story when you don’t know ANYTHING about what the person does that you are targeting!! I find it easier to let them talk about what they do. It helps me really learn the technology.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?
Julia: Well, everyone makes mistakes now and then! I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to gather all of the pertinent information from the candidate the hiring manager is looking for -- leave no stone unturned. You really need to know their compensation expectations, relocation requirements (if needed), visa needs and any other expectations in the beginning of the process to avoid any obstacles down the road.
Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.
Julia: I don’t know that I can change our industry but I can certainly work on changing and improving on my skills. If I can contribute creative ideas to an organization, I will feel good about what I am doing every day. I have good days and bad days -- there are some days when I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels with no results but that is what happens in the staffing world!
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
Julia: There are some days when I feel I haven’t accomplished much…..no matter how much research or digging I do, I still haven’t produced a viable candidate! I will complain and be frustrated one day and the next I will find three great candidates -- it’s very cyclical.
Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?
Julia: I think staffing organizations sometimes get a bad rap. There are some individuals out there that think recruiters are paper pushers who sit back and wait for resumes to come in and offer no value to an organization. When in fact the reality is, there is a lot of strategic work that goes on behind the scenes. There is a perception out there that most staffing organizations out there are more reactive than proactive. This is simply not the case.
Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, -- what inspires you as you continue in your career?
I try to remember all of the hires and successes I’ve had. It is so satisfying identifying and developing a candidate who gets hired and eventually comes on board and is so ultimately happy where they are. Also, working with a supportive team keeps me going. If my colleagues are happy and are having fun with what they are doing, it is very refreshing!
Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2009?
Julia: I really want to double or even triple my current networks!
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
Julia: I am currently looking for my next sourcing opportunity - please contact me if you are interested in reviewing my resume!…
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 World?
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 Recruitingblogs.com community plays nicely into my personality…I like to listen, learn, respond, help and build relationships.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your company, Sheila Greco Associates:
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 recruiting?
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 trenches”.
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 others.
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.
“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
“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 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
“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