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 http://www.sheilagreco.com/