Sheila Marcelo on building the right team

Faith Merino · December 6, 2012 · Short URL:

Marcelo tells entrepreneurs to pick team members based on what you should be, not what you could be

Finding a caregiver is a daunting task, because no matter what kind of credentials they have or how many CPR and first aid classes they’ve taken, you’re still ultimately looking for someone who looks like they won’t shake your baby.  I’ve found that person on, and I love her so much that I’m thinking of asking her to be my sister-wife. has become the go-to marketplace for finding caregivers.  At least half of the moms I know who have recently searched for babysitters and nannies have found them through, and you can find virtually any type of caregiver on, from babysitters and nannies to senior care, pet sitters, special needs caregivers, and tutors.

But the way in which the brand has become the de facto place to go for caregivers is interesting, since it wasn’t the first in the field.  There have been lots of other sites, but has become synonymous with caregiver searches.  Why?  Because CEO Sheila Marcelo knows how to build a brand. 

Marcelo spoke at last night’s Vator Splash NY, and one of the key points she touched on was the process of picking the right team members.

“You hear a lot about this—team and culture,” she said.  “But what kind of team are you building?  Are you building one that shares your values?  You want team members that share not just your vision of what you could be—but what you should be.”

Marcelo listed a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re building your team:

Be transparent: “My whole office is glass, everyone can see what I’m doing all the time,” she said.

Be humble: “It doesn’t matter how successful the company is, don’t drink the Kool-Aid.”

Be entrepreneurial: “It’s really hard to hire not only smart people but kind people.  We have a no-assholes policy here at” 

Have fun: “It’s Casino night at tonight!”  Marcelo also talked about how moves its team members around every April to keep people involved in the culture.

Marcelo also talked about the way in which your team evolves with time, but your company’s growth doesn’t necessarily equate to culture getting “better.”

“Focus on employees as you grow.  I was at an event with Reed Hastings, and he brought up a good point: why doesn’t culture get better as you grow?  Brands and cultures evolve.  I’ve been married for 20 years, I know our relationship has evolved.”

For more info on Sheila Marcelo, check out my recent interview with her here


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Founded in 2006, is the largest and fastest growing service used by families to find high-quality caregivers, providing a trusted place to easily connect, share caregiving experiences and get advice. The company addresses the unique lifecycle of care needs that each family goes through-child care, special needs care, tutoring and lessons, senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more. The service helps families find and select the best care available based on detailed profiles, background checks and references for hundreds of thousands of mom-reviewed and pre-screened providers who seek to share their services. Through its Employer Program, corporations can offer memberships as a benefit to employees.


Sheila Lirio Marcelo

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