About Richard W. Stearns

Richard W. Stearns
Richard W. Stearns was born and raised in the Boston area. The oldest of 7 children, Richard quickly developed the leadership skills and sense of purpose that would lead him to success later in life. After putting himself through Boston College and graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1966, he enlisted in the U.S. Army the following year, beginning his career in Human Resources shortly before the height of the Vietnam War. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, he was trained in supervising the transportation of military personnel and equipment over jungle terrain.

After being honorably discharged from the service, Richard continued his career in the field of Human Resources, starting as a recruiter for a San Francisco-based staffing firm. In subsequent roles as an HR executive at Unisys and then Atari, Richard witnessed the challenges of finding and recruiting highly-specialized professionals, such as engineers. Traditionally, companies sought new hires by using agencies, placing employment ads, and leveraging employee referrals. He developed a methodology to identify people who were currently employed at competitors and who possessed the desired expertise. Thus, the concept of seeking "passive candidates" was born.

In 1984 he set out on his own, leveraging his hard-earned knowledge and experience to found RW Stearns Inc. Combining an industry-revolutionizing methodology of candidate identification with the simple principle of listening to clients to determine their needs, he addressed the growing need for a more focused staffing model developing in the world of HR.

Richard's leadership in the recruitment research industry has led to the increased adoption of his model. Under his guidance and tutelage, recruiters who developed the ability to successfully recruit candidates have moved on to other companies, further advancing his innovative recruitment model and revolutionizing the world of passive candidate recruitment.

Richard Stearns will always be remembered by family members, friends, clients and employees as a loving father, a great friend and an innovative leader. He was a humanitarian who was always concerned with the well-being of others. He was there to help, guide and coach. He frequently said "all you have to do is listen - really listen - to what someone has to say." His legacy is carried forward by co-owners Jeff Chamberlain and Brian Oxenham, who together were fortunate to work with Richard for a combined 20+ years.