With an extensive background in recruiting and diverse interests ranging from charity work to competing in triathlons, founder Hayley D. Jameson is part of what distinguishes HDJ + Associates from other search firms.

Hayley D. Jameson is the founder and President of HDJ + Associates, Inc., a professional employment and search solutions company. HDJ + Associates, Inc. has consistently been ranked as one of the top Recruiting Firms in Pittsburgh. Hayley has 20+ years’ experience in the recruiting industry.

Hayley is also the founder and President of Clear Thoughts Foundation (CTF). Established in Pittsburgh in 2010, CTF is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with the primary purpose to raise funds to discover drugs and novel therapeutics to stop the progression of dementia and eventually end this terrible disease. Her commitment to CTF is visionary, but her passion for non-profits is deeply rooted through an extensive non-profit background, most notable as a Board of Directors member with the Auberle Foundation ( for over ten years.

Hayley is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and studied abroad at Manchester University in England. She is an active volunteer in several community organizations, as well as her church. Hayley can be counted among the “who’s who” in the Pittsburgh business scene as well. She is the founder and managing director of “PENS” (Pittsburghers who Educate, Network and Support), a local networking group. Hayley has been honored with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Community Champion award, as well as the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Fast Tracker award. She was chosen to be a keynote speaker at the Penn State Professional Women’s Network of New York and was a frequent co-host and guest speaker at Entrepreneurial Thursdays, a weekly networking event for Pittsburgh entrepreneurs. Hayley is also a sports enthusiast, who has run five marathons and competed in over twenty triathlons. Her interests range from competitive team sports to more extreme activities, including sky diving and white water kayaking. Hayley is happily married and above all, her pride and joy is a being a mother to her beautiful children.

Q&A with Hayley

1How did you get into the recruiting and placement business?
Ironically enough, I was recruited into the business. In the early ‘90s, I was hired to be a recruiter for a small company in Pittsburgh. After spending several years learning everything I never wanted to do in a company, I was offered the opportunity to start and manage a franchised IT staffing firm. I did that for several more years, before opening HDJ + Associates in 1999. We now have almost 17 years under our belt, with our eyes firmly focused on the continued growth of the company.
2Why your own business?
After managing several IT staffing firms, I basically decided I could do it on my own. I had a great network of clients and candidates, and I knew that with the support of my family and friends, I could start a very successful placement firm. My father always taught me to live by the motto, “Ready, Fire, Aim.” In other words, most people do too much analyzing, and hesitate to act. I firmly believe that most decisions are not 100% right or 100% wrong. Deciding and getting on with the task is the most important thing. So I decided to “go for it!” Running my own business also permits me to pursue my interests in nonprofit and community work and, most important to me, allows me to be more involved with my family. As a female business owner with a husband and two children, the balance between work, home and community involvement is crucial to me. With HDJ & Associates, I have the flexibility to maintain that balance, while remaining involved with the things I love.
3Why do you enjoy working in the recruiting and placement industry?
Because I love matchmaking! I’ve been known to do a little matchmaking in my personal life, and recruiting and professional placement are, to me, a form of professional matchmaking. I do it because I love people, and I take great pleasure in ensuring that I’m making successful matches when I place a candidate into a client’s site.
4And the name HDJ + Associates? Obviously, your initials, but was it your first choice?
Absolutely not! (Laughing) When I decided to open the firm, my family and I sat down and made lists of possible names. The names ran the gamut. Some were offbeat, others were more conservative. I had a few favorites, but it was a difficult decision. Selecting HDJ + Associates was the result of a conversation I had with my brother, who convinced me that as the owner of a placement firm, I was really selling myself and my abilities to make successful placements. HDJ, it was. I still kind of wish it was Mudpie, though. (Laughing) That was one of my favorites in the running!