Strategy & Process Consulting for
Corporate Recruiting & HR Teams
custom, real-world, collaborative recruiting consulting
Since 2005, we’ve helped organizations of all shapes and sizes improve recruiting speed, quality, and diversity.
We’re a specialized management consulting and training firm focused 100% on helping companies recruit better. We’re former practitioners who partner closely with you – heads of talent acquisition or HR – to better define your hiring standards, create custom interview guides, improve your strategies and processes, articulate why top talent should join your firm, and elevate the performance of your recruiters and hiring managers.
All of our work starts with clearly defined deliverables based on your goals.
We’ve been trusted to help startups, who are just starting to build their foundations and culture of recruiting, as well as some of the biggest, most complex, well-known organizations on earth. We can scale up – or scale down – our projects so that you get just what you need.
I’m interested in…
Strategy, Org Model & Process Audit/Consulting
We help talent leaders audit and assess their current strategies, organizational model, programs, processes, team capabilities, and training needs. And we do it all with a strong practitioner orientation.
If you want a big binder full of academic, ideal-state best practices, we’re not a match for your needs. But, if instead, you seek real-world, custom best practice recommendations to help ensure you are delivering what your business needs, given your unique culture, goals, and hiring needs, we should talk. That’s what we do.
Listen to an overview of our audit and recommendations work:
Talent Acquisition Leader Coaching
We provide retainer-based coaching to heads of talent acquisition, recruiting directors, and TA managers. This work is not focused on career coaching or general management/leadership coaching. Instead, our consultants – all former senior TA leaders – work with your TA leader to provide ad-hoc decision support and real-time consulting on all things talent acquisition. This ranges from critiquing and improving recruiting strategies and plans, to helping to prepare a business case for a new investment, to recommending the right type of organizational structure and alignment to meet the needs of the business, to reviewing metrics and preparing for a quarterly business review with the CEO or senior execs, to helping the TA leader deploy new programs or training or changes to the recruiting team or hiring manager expectations.
We will not serve as interim TA leaders. Instead, we work to help your TA leader win in their job, providing more than just a sounding board or basic validation. We typically set up our retainers as 2-4 hours/week of work, with 1-2 hours delivered as live zoom-based coaching, and 2-3 hours of offline research, review, and preparation, so that our zooms are super productive. Additionally, we’re available for email and slack questions and updates.
EVP, Employment Branding, and Messaging
We partner with you to build out your employee value proposition (EVP) – why would top talent, who is already working for a great company, want to work for your company? We go beyond the generalities that plague so many EVPs to come up with compelling content that captures what makes you, you and content that’s tailored to the personas of your target candidates.
Your EVP is written in an authentic tone, resonates with existing employees (truthful, and not too aspirational), and – most importantly – is leveraged to improve your ability to attract top talent via better job ads, more compelling career site content (including testimonials), better LinkedIn and social media content, and more effective selling skills of recruiters and hiring managers.
Hiring Standards & Interview Guides
Misalignment on “what good looks like” is the root of all evil in recruiting. We help companies better define their hiring standards/hiring bar by developing values-based behaviors/competencies that reflect the characteristics of top performers in your unique culture, and then we build complementary interview guides that help your hiring teams gather evidence – through behavioral and situational interviewing – that the candidate they want to hire will be successful on the job.
We also build out hiring principles that help your interviewers, hiring managers, and recruiters understand what kind of hiring decision tradeoffs are acceptable, how you think about diversity when hiring, and how you balance technical/hard skills and soft skills. These help you articulate your way of thinking about talent and hiring – the who you hire and how you hire that differentiates your recruiting approach from other companies.
If you’re looking to raise the bar on hiring, you have to define the bar first. We can help. Let’s talk.
Bar Raisers & Quality Control Mechanisms
For some companies, hiring mistakes are just too costly, so they need a mechanism to ensure a fair, consistent, diverse, high hiring bar is leveraged across all hires. Enter Bar Raisers. The Bar Raiser program was co-developed by our founder, John Vlastelica, in 1999 when he led tech recruiting at Amazon. Today, it’s scaled to hundreds of thousands of hiring decisions across the globe, and is getting traction as a mechanism for quality control and real-time hiring coaching inside all kinds of interesting companies.
If you’re considering a program like this – which, by the way, is not for every company, and is not easy to copy-paste into an existing interviewing process – we should talk. We’ve helped companies design and implement bar raiser programs, as well as hiring committees (the model used by Google) and pipeline interviewing models. Learn more about the pros and cons of programs like Bar Raisers and Hiring Committees at BarRaisers.com. Want to learn more about the origin of Bar Raisers and how it was used to scale a high hiring bar at Amazon? Listen here. Want to learn more about Bar Raisers training? Download the training overview.
Hiring Manager Self-Service Toolbox
A culture of recruiting, where everyone in the company – especially hiring managers – feels like they’re an extension of the recruiting team is a key ingredient in the secret sauce to great recruiting. But, getting Hiring Managers into long training sessions can be challenging. And even if you offer up training, you need tools and templates, how-to guides with well documented processes. We can help.
We build out self-service hiring manager toolbox content that you can load onto your intranet. Recruiting process steps, from opening a req to on-boarding. Job ad templates. LinkedIn profile update best practices. Interview guides. Selling and offer tips. On-boarding checklists. We can inventory what you have now, and then custom-build content you need to help you enable more self service with your hiring managers.
What Do Our Clients Say?
“One of the most well-informed, experienced, and passionate recruitment authorities in the business.”
VP Executive Recruiting, SAP
“Earned the trust of our business leaders and delivered great results. I highly recommend Recruiting Toolbox.”
Director HR, Zumiez
“Able to understand our complex organization and provide actionable insights and recommendations that has helped us achieve our recruiting process improvement goals.”
VP Recruiting, Sodexo
“Thought leaders in the recruiting space.”
Head of Recruiting, Europe, Nike
“I have interviewed over one thousand individuals at notable companies and was a bar raiser at Amazon. This was 5/5!”
Senior Director – Manufacturing, Beyond Meat
“Their work truly is a game-changer for companies striving to compete in a difficult talent market.”
VP HR, Rhapsody
“Fabulous to work with. Their expertise runs so deep that within minutes they establish credibility with a skeptical and analytical crowd.”
L&D Leader, Yahoo!
“Delivered excellent results, knows what it means to be a practitioner, was respectful of our culture, pushed back when needed, and provided coaching to help us implement.”
Head of Recruiting, REI