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Meet Krista Bradford, Principal, “The Good Search” (Bradford Executive Research)

Posted on March 11, 2008
Filed Under Interviews, Krista Bradford | 3 Comments

By Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth, an Affiliate Partner, JobMachine Inc.
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Our continuing series on the rank and file and thought leaders who make us proud of our vocation.

Today someone finally beats Russell Glass’s famous photo opp, “The Monkey Indian Jones Montage.” Today we have been introduced to someone who actually has ‘sourced’ for danger, looked it in the eye, and lived to report about it … and hire to create a highly reputable executive search and research firm.

Meet Krista Bradford, Principal & Founder at The Good Search (Bradford Executive Research, LLC). She serves as Founder and Principal of The Good Search, a retained search and human capital intelligence practice based in Westport, CT in the Greater New York City Area. Before founding her firm in 1997, Ms. Bradford served as a three-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and television journalist, having held positions with WNBC and WWOR in New York as well as with stations in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. She is a former national news correspondent for “The Reporters” on the Fox Television Network and a senior correspondent Tribune’s nationally syndicated “Now It Can Be Told” series.

Krista is a member of the International Association for Corporate & Professional Recruitment (IACPR), the Executive Search Roundtable (ESR), Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), the New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA), the Connecticut Venture Group, and she is a lifetime member of Net Impact, an organization of more than 10-thousand leaders committed to using the power of business to improve the world. She studied at Harvard and Columbia University.

She is the glamorous side of our craft and has experienced the “year of Living Dangerously” without the metaphors. She is my friends, a sourcing extraordinaire, often sharing the podium at a conference workshop with Shally “Elvis” Steckerl, and usually the better dressed and glamorous of the two, and yes, we also share something in common, … Shally’s friendship. What Shally and I don’t have in common with Krista is that she is the only staffing industry thought leader, or recruiter for that matter, who had a contract on her head and has been literally shot at within a battlefield. You see, unlike us mere mortals, Krista was a frontline reporter and expose’ muse.

Maybe Krista can give us the details of her adventures so when I sleep tonight I can pretend I was in Delta Force. or we can keep it simple and have her current manifestation as star power within the sourcing community share her wisdom of nine lives lived. Let’s run with it, the bullets at our back, and Krista giving … Just the facts of field commands and syntax and a life well lived. You see, nothing could ever be described as mundane when Krista provides perspective and instruction as a Human Capital Intelligence Consultant, because she developed her art in actual trenches, bringing her keen sense of investigative inquiry from another industry and transitioned into ours, over a decade ago, with equal passion and success.

Q & A with Krista Bradford,
Principal & Founder, Bradford Executive Research

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

Krista: “I live in Westport, CT about an hour outside of New York City with my husband Crispin Cioe (pronounced “SEE-oh”) and daughter Katharine, who is a freshman at Staples High School. Katie’s an amazing student, field hockey and lacrosse athlete, and does volunteer work feeding the homeless and helping in the cancer ward and at the local hospital cancer center.

My husband is a renowned saxophonist and composer ( who has played on something like 600 albums and has toured with the Rolling Stones, among others. He has a band called Cracked Ice and they have an new album out that, remarkably, is getting significant radio airplay and is climbing the charts in certain parts of the country.

Crispin and I both work from home offices. We have 2 dogs, a corgi mix and a Labrador puppy that we got this Christmas who’s a real handful. We also have two cats, so at regular intervals our personal life resembled Looney Tunes cartoon with dogs chasing cats and cats chasing dogs.”

Six Degrees: What gives you personal fulfillment Krista?

Krista: “I’d say the main personal motivator that has driven my life-long interest in finding things out, whether as an investigative journalist or now in a search practice powered by human capital intelligence, is my being an adoptee. The adoption records were sealed by the court and so I simply didn’t know who my birth family was when I was growing up. It was as if I’d been dropped into the government Witness Protection Program and had my past erased. As a young adult, I searched for my birth parents. It took me two years, but ultimately I found them and enjoyed very touching reunions.

As for hobbies, a couple of years ago I discovered yoga, which inexplicably gave me amazing energy and mindfulness far beyond a typical runner’s high that you get with all those endorphins from intense workouts. I can’t recommend it enough. I garden when I have time, though do not recommend pruning as a way to blow off steam when one is frustrated or angry. My rhododendrons ended up looking like Japanese bonsai.

I do pro bono work. I’ve served as an advisor to, a guide to good journalism.”

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the recruitment profession?

Krista: “I’ve been a recruiter now for more than a decade.”

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

Krista: “I initially fell into it. When I left television news in 1997, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. The wife of a business partner of my husband’s suggested it, and the fit was amazing. Every skill I’d developed as a journalist gave me an advantage as a recruiter. I started out doing candidate development, reference checks, and writing candidates dossiers for the retained search practice Plummer and Associates. John Plummer has an amazing boutique search practice focused primarily on retail. Next, our practice specialized in technology and new media recruitment. During the bubble, my firm served as the execution engine for Robin Reed’s retained search practice. She was an incredible mentor and our work with her allowed us to work on best of breed startups of the top tier venture capital firm. Just as the bubble collapsed, we moved on to serving as a strategic recruitment partner large corporate clients including Intel, Microsoft, Google and others.”

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Krista: “Shortly after getting my start from John Plummer, I went to work a briefly at one of the major retained search firms as a contract researcher. I was shocked by what I witnessed. I saw the highly paid search partners focused almost exclusively on new business development. They left the execution to very junior, inexperienced people in the back office. They treated research as an administrative, low-level task rather than the execution engine that, in fact, it really is. They had no idea how to do hard-core research or intelligence. They didn’t know how to use their own highly touted database. They were hamstrung by immense off limits lists. They offered me a full time position for a salary that was a small fraction of what I’d been making as on-air talent. I gave myself a week to launch my business. If I couldn’t drum up accounts, I vowed I’d have to accept the offer. I put my website up over the weekend and within days I landed my first clients. I haven’t looked back since.”

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

Krista: “Because we’re a new kind of search firm, one that combines the best of retained, contingency, and research and sheds pieces of those models that do not work, I have had no single mentor. John Plummer I credit with giving me my start. Robin Reed gave me a rare glimpse into recruitment at the highest levels within the very heart of Silicon Valley. Corporate clients that include Danielle Monaghan at Microsoft and AOL’s Glenn Fox helped us understand how best to serve Fortune 1000, if not 100, clients. Shally Steckerl got me on the speaker circuit which has been immensely rewarding. And my Good Search Team including my longtime associates Carrie Moore and Sarah Kleck are a continual source of inspiration. I am mindful that there is always much to learn from clients, candidates, colleagues and the members of The Good Search team. The longer I am in the business, the more I realize how critically important all of these relationships are and I am devoting increasing amounts of time to meet with people (offline) to in an genuine effort to forge meaningful relationships that can last a lifetime.”

Six Degrees: Tell us about your search firm.

Krista: “We are a boutique search firm with four associates in the U.S. Our focus is U.S. recruitment and some overseas assignments in China, Europe, and the Middle East. I have teams in India and the Philippines that allow my firm rapidly to scale to virtually any size, enabling us to deliver large candidate pipelines with little turn around. As head of the firm, I focus on company growth, positioning, branding, client relationships, and oversee all of our engagements. I also serve as evangelist for improvements in search, which is what inspires our work every day – the realization that “there must be a better way!” Sarah Kleck, who has a master’s degree in Library Science, manages our large research projects, whether it’s identifying and profiling everyone from the director level on up in a particular industry, or identifying and profiling a hundred ideal candidates to recruit for a candidate pipeline, or whether its delivering custom human capital intelligence of stunning complexity. Carrie Moore, a former Microsoft recruiter, is truly gifted at engaging and ultimately recruiting rock star executives and technologists.”

Six Degrees: Can you share your thought leadership contributions within the industry, Krista? I hear you have rather unique items on your trophy mantle in your ‘prior life.’

Krista: “I will be speaking at an upcoming Kennedy Information Sourcing Summit on May 16 in Las Vegas. I’ve spoken at a number of ERE Expos and am scheduled to do so again either this coming Fall ’08 in Florida or Spring of ’09. I was a speaker at SourceCon 2007. I have two blogs: The Good Search on and another at I frequently write for ERE and Kennedy Information newsletters and have a listing of those articles with links on our websites News page.

As for awards, I’ve got Emmy’s and numerous other awards from my prior life as an investigative reporter and television journalist. One of my favorites is one from NENOA (New England Narcotics Officers Association) for risking my life reporting on Colombian cocaine traffickers. Until they gave me the award, I had been unaware the smugglers had put a “hit” contract out on me. (Thanks for letting me know, guys!)”

Recommendations For Krista Bradford

“Krista is among the most deeply knowledgeable in advanced recruitment strategy I’ve ever met. Her background in journalism contributes to an innate inquisitiveness that yields only when answers are found, but its really her disarming charm and respectful approach that open doors for her.” September 2, 2005
Shally Steckerl

“Krista is all about achieving the best results for her clients. I’ve worked with Krista on several projects and have always been impressed with her integrity and knowledge.” April 11, 2007
Tom Williams

“I have enjoyed all of my interactions with Krista. She is very personable, professional, and quite knowledgeable as to important issues in computing.” October 23, 2006
Grady Booch, IBM Fellow, IBM

“Krista has been fabulous to work with and the quality of her work is supreme!” August 1, 2005
Monica O’Neil

“I have had the pleasure of working with Krista on several occasions. In addition to being valuable and knowledgable partner in the search industry, she is also a great person to talk to on the phone!” April 14, 2005
John Moed

“Krista is excellent at what she does. She is a professional and very connected to the industry.” April 5, 2005
Danielle Monaghan

“Krista is a capable, inquisitive, knowledgeable, and creative individual. She regularly considers methods to improve the gathering and distribution of crucial information for both her client’s needs and the CI industry as a whole. Her professionalism, integrity, and wisdom are part of her nature. I highly recommend placing Krista at the top of your list for intelligence services.” April 5, 2005
Julie Stock

“I have worked with Krista and her team for more than 8 years and have been very pleased with the level of service and professionalism. She has a grasp of the recruiting like I have never seen before and continues to come up with innovative ways to generate candidate interest and enthusiasm.” April 4, 2005
Mike Gore

“I have worked with Krista for many years and know her to be an extremely conscientious, honest and capable individual. She is also very easy to work with.” January 19, 2004
Lee Black
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3 Responses to “Meet Krista Bradford, Principal, “The Good Search” (Bradford Executive Research)”

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