Professor, Corporate Speaker and Advisor
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Corporate Advisor

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Dr. John Sullivan has written extensively on the following topics:


"The Michael Jordan of Hiring"


Latest Articles

Metrics for STEM Women – a Critical Examination of the High-tech Approach

by Trena Luong and Dr John Sullivan

There has been a great deal of publicity lately surrounding the lack of STEM women at high-tech firms. Unfortunately, we have to give two thumbs down to the diversity data from each of the top high-tech firms that have publicly released their numbers. Although the firms’ intentions were good, the limited scope of the metrics that they revealed do not provide the necessary information that STEM women need in order select which firm to join or the right information needed in order to encourage them to actually apply for a different tech job.

High-tech firms have two basic reasons for attempting to hire and retain more STEM women into key roles.

The first and most obvious is to meet EEOC legal requirements, but the second is related to improving business results. This business reason is critical because if you don’t have a sufficient number of women designing a product and providing customer service, it’s unlikely that the products and services that the firm offers will fit the needs of current and potential women users. This business reason means that simply hiring women is not enough, because it is also equally important to make sure that STEM women are placed in influential positions that directly impact a firm’s products, services, and the way that it does business. The current metrics that firms use are not clearly aligned with their business goals, and because they are only “quota metrics,” we find that they do not provide the in-depth information that is needed in order to identify the barriers that prevent STEM women from applying, accepting an offer, and succeeding in a new job.


Retention — The Top 10 Ways a Manager Can Identify Who Is About to Quit

There are few things that are more shocking to a manager then to have one of their top-performing employees suddenly quit on them. Some managers have described it as the equivalent to a “kick in the gut.” It is a shock not only because losing a key employee will damage your business results, but also because managers hate surprises, and as a result, they frequently wonder how they missed the signals that this person was going to leave.

Employee turnover is always an important issue, but most managers are unaware of the fact that overall, turnover rates went up 45 percent last year. And because I am predicting that they will go up at least 50 percent this year, individual managers should be aware of the precursors or warning signs that can indicate that an employee is considering looking for a job, so they can act before it’s too late.

After 20+ years of research on predicting turnover, I have found that if you approach the problem systematically, you can successfully identify which individual employees are likely to quit with an accuracy rate of over 80 percent.
Firms like Google, Xerox, and Sprint, as well as several vendors, have developed processes for identifying who might quit. But for most managers, you must realize that you will simply have to develop your own identification process. So if you know of a manager who is worried about turnover, pass this list of turnover predictors to them so they won’t be surprised when their next employee announces that they are quitting. (more…)

The Last Strategic Recruiting Frontier — Sourcing Using Consumer Data

Recruiting leaders are constantly looking for strategic opportunities, which admittedly are rare in this progressive field. There is only one big missed opportunity in strategic recruiting and that is … harnessing consumer data to direct source passive prospects. Unless you have adapted a big data approach to recruiting, you will undoubtedly be shocked to learn that the most accurate and useful profile that you can get on a potential recruiting prospect doesn’t come from LinkedIn or their resume.

Instead it can be gotten from data brokers who sell consumer data. Imagine the recruiting possibilities if you had a complete profile of literally every employed passive prospect in your area … and that this profile included their job title and company but also their income, ZIP Code, a list of behaviors that would indicate that they were a top performer, and best of all, that they are about to seek a new job.

This last strategic frontier in recruiting goes by several names, including consumer data, credit card data, and sales leads. Let me go on record by saying that consumer data is the most powerful direct sourcing tool that almost no one in the world of corporate recruiting is using. (more…)

15 Ultra-bold Recruiting Practices — Are You Falling Behind Your Competitors?

by Trena Luong and John Sullivan

In case you haven’t noticed, the world of corporate recruiting has become so intense that formerly rare aggressive and ultra-bold recruiting practices are now becoming mainstream. Of course as a professional, you know that you have an obligation to keep up with the latest practices, but your outdated recruiting approach is damaging your firm. Are you willing to explain to: your managers why you can’t hire top performers?;  your employees why they can’t work alongside the very best?; your customers why your products have outdated features?; and to your shareholders why your company can’t grow because of its inability to recruit top talent?

For a busy manager or recruiting professional, realize that the recruiting bar is being raised every day. Because we specialize in advanced recruiting practices, we have put together a quick list of examples of ultra-bold recruiting practices in order to demonstrate just how aggressive and bold recruiting has become. Each bold practice takes only a minute to scan and we assure you that most will be startled with how much recruiting has changed.

The Top 15 Ultra-bold Recruiting Practices

We have broken these current (and relatively recent) unique and outrageous practices into four different categories. We are confident that you will find each of the recruiting elements in each company example to be unique, bold, and aggressive. (more…)

  • I have found the resources on your website to be an invaluable treasure in my recruiter toolbox. Working for a small office of four other employees is incredibly exciting and we are always seeking out creative ways to provide the BEST talent for our clients. Keep up the good work!
    Jeremy Boguslawski, Recruitment Specialist at Alliance Technical Solutions
  • John,
    it's probably impossible for you to ever fully understand the very positive impact your work has had on a global basis. I have become a much better recruiter as a result of reading your articles. This has helped me place the right people into the right roles. A few years back I met with a candidate I had placed at a large global macro hedge fund. I asked how he had been settling in in the first 3 months. He smiled and said, its a great job, the team and the manager have been terrific to work with and my wife is happy. Your wife ? Yes , in my last job at Bank of America I was very unhappy and came home complaining and stressed out and my wife could see this. Now she sees I am happy, less stressed and she is too. This same candidate almost didn't get hired because one of the hiring team had raised doubts about the number of jobs the person had in the last 5 years and labeled him as a job hopper. Fortunately I had read your article and was able to convince the hiring manager that this was not a valid reason for rejecting the candidate. He was hired and in his second year he helped raise $700 million in assets. So your positive influence extends beyond the US and impacts the lives of people - such as house wives that you may never even have thought about. Thank you once again and keep those great articles coming.
    Thomas De Brun, Recruitment Manager EIRE Systems
  • I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed reading your article and took away some great pointers!
    Megan, Recruiter,
  • Just wanted to tell you that your presentation was both entertaining and informative, I enjoyed your direct style and willingness to take a stand without compromise. Thanks for also picking on me a bit, I enjoyed it, not to mention I came out of the presentation with a new sense of empowerment and a renewed sense of  doing whatever is necessary to hire the best and brightest.
    Tony Ishwar Brijpaul, BASc Vice President, Operations Miovision Technologies Incorporated
  • Dr. John was the best teacher and mentor I had as an undergrad at SFSU. He taught me real world HR that I use every day in my current postion.
    Tracey Helton, Consumer Employment Manager at Asian American Recovery Services, Inc.
  • Dr. Sullivan's HR Management courses have taught me the critical lessons applicable in real world business. His courses are hard, but hammer down on the critical aspect that HR practitioners must learn how to measure and validate their HR programs in order for HR to earn the respect it deserves.
    Daniel Lopez, Human Resource Manager at Universal Custom Display
  • I regularly read articles written by John, and always find them insightful. John pushes the envelope of recruiting practices, and it desperately needs pushing.
    Phil Ojalvo President, The Best Talent Services, LLC
  • Dr. John Sullivan is one of the smartest people I have ever met. Though I graduated from his class 6 years ago, I still refer to him as my teacher and mentor. John has a lazer focus on what actually makes a difference on the bottom line and is never afraid to push the envelope. A thought leader on articulating a tangible, step by step process to take your results to the next level. Do not pass up the opportunity to learn from or work with John Sullivan and his team
    Nicole Drake, Senior Director at BTS Brussels
  • John is a forward-thinking visionary with regard to promoting and advocating progressive and strategic human resource development. John has a knack for discerning what is cutting edge practices, and improving upon them to yield the very best results. I highly value John's expertise, know-how and perspective.
    Steve Navarro

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