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

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 Of course as a professional, you know that you have an obligation to keep up with the latest practices, but your outdated recruiting approach is damaging your firm.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top performers?;  your employees why they can’t work alongside the very best?; your customers why your products have outdated features?; and to your shareholders why your company can’t grow because of its inability to recruit top talent?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…)

7/10 2PM ET Webinar: Motivating Employees to Produce Higher Quality Referrals w/ @DrJohnSullivan

Meeting Description:

During this highly interactive session, Dr. John Sullivan will provide you with tips, action steps, best practices and he will also answer your individual questions during the webinar. If you’re striving to “re-energize” your current program or to start a new one, you can be assured that you will leave this webinarwith a handful of effective solutions and a sense of excitement.

Key topic areas to be covered include:

  •  Identifying the top reasons why employees don’t refer
  • Identifying the reasons why employees reduce their referrals over time and how to increase referrals after an employee’s initial list of contacts is used up
  • The most impactful motivator, “Do it for the team and your coworkers”
  • Using creative rewards and recognition to excite
  • Identifying pockets of referral resistance within your organization
  • Save your effort, these practices have little impact
  • The best practices in employee excitement practiced at the top firms


End the Shortage — Recruit STEM Women Who Are Working at Your Competitors

I almost broke out laughing when I came across an article in Fast Company magazine entitled Why You Can’t Find Women Engineers. This title reflects a common misconception among business executives about the shortage of technically qualified women at their firms.

This often-repeated “shortage statement” is only partially true, and if you believe it, you will never fill your firm’s diversity recruiting targets.

Let’s examine this shortage issue from a different perspective.

If you limit your perspective to the total workforce availability, you may be thinking about a long-term shortage of technically trained women coming out of college. But as a recruiter or executive, you should only be focused on recruiting the relatively small number of women you need at your firm. So if you stop worrying about the total supply and instead focus on the needs of your own individual firm, you will find that there is plenty of technical female talent available … and you can easily find them working across the street at your competitor!

So the answer to the “insolvable diversity recruiting problem” is actually quite simple. Develop a competitor recruiting process that effectively identifies and then recruits away the top female technical talent who are currently working at no more than a handful of the best firms in your industry. (more…)

Always Open ‘Evergreen Jobs’ Can Improve Your Chances of Recruiting Top Talent

As the war for talent continues, it’s time for recruiting leaders and hiring managers to shift to more creative and innovative recruiting solutions. A bold approach that I have been recommending since 1999 is the creation of “evergreen jobs.”

Simply put, these are the one or two most critical corporate jobs where you literally continuously search and hire every more-than-qualified applicant who fits the culture in order to ensure that you always have enough talent in these critical positions.

The term evergreen comes from the fact that the jobs are always open, just as an evergreen tree is always green. Now it might initially seem crazy to hire when you don’t have an open job, but the approach has proven to be quite effective. Imagine if you were an NBA basketball team and LeBron James suddenly became available. Would you hire him immediately, even if you didn’t have an open job or requisition? Of course you would. That’s the concept behind evergreen jobs. Evergreen programs frequently cover jobs with high turnover, including nursing, retail (i.e. REI), and call centers. But they work even better in high-impact mission-critical jobs at growing tech firms with large campuses. 

The Top 10 Reasons Why the Evergreen Job Approach Is So Impactful

Unique and creative recruiting solutions are unfortunately quite unusual in the corporate world. And in the rare case when one is introduced, it invariably receives an abundance of criticism and resistance. So please before you at least mentally think “I could never do that,” consider the fact that this evergreen job approach has many advantages and benefits that in fact far outweigh any potential costs and problems. The top 10 benefits include: (more…)

  • 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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