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Latest Articles

Proprietary Metrics — the Next Big Thing in Talent Management

The idea that you can create a template that will work forever doesn’t happen in any business … There’s some really, really bright people in this business. You can’t do the same thing the same way and be successful for a long period of time. — Billy Beane

I am a strong advocate of what I call “parallel benchmarking,” which is borrowing the proven best practices from completely different industries and functions. This article advocates the borrowing and the adaptation to talent management of what are known as “proprietary metrics” from the baseball industry. (more…)

Big Challenges for Recruiting Leaders — The Top 10 Upcoming Recruiting Problems

Those who follow my articles know that I frequently write on the positive trends and the big ideas that recruiting leaders need to be aware of. However, I have not often written about the biggest strategic challenges or problems that corporate recruiting leaders face. Of course no one wants to dwell on the negative. But since I am predicting that during the next few years we will all encounter a completely transformed world of recruiting, it only makes sense to at least be aware of our largest current and upcoming challenges. If you don’t act proactively to mitigate these major challenges, they unfortunately may grow out of control, causing exponential damage to your firm.

The Top 10 Highest-impact Strategic Recruiting Challenges

In this list, the highest impact problems and challenges appear first. (more…)

Recruiting to Avoid a Rocky Mountain High — the Impact of State Marijuana Laws

How a state law becomes a recruiting issue 

I recently visited Boulder, Colorado, and guess what: everyone there was talking about the new marijuana law. If you are recruiting leader for a large corporation, you may fail to realize how much the laws of individual states can either positively or negatively impact your recruiting in that region. Take this Colorado marijuana law, for example. As a result of the law and its related publicity, firms trying to attract talent to the state may get a noticeable increase in applicants from younger workers who view the new law as a positive thing, making the state a great place to work (For example, the University of Colorado had a 33 percent spike in freshman enrollments this year. Some have attempted to attribute the rise at least in part due to the publicity around the law).


These Strategic Goals Can Help to Focus Your Recruiting Function

What could be more important than having everyone on your team focused and on the same page? Unfortunately, in my interactions with corporate recruiting leaders, I am frequently surprised to find that they don’t have a formal set of strategic goals for their talent acquisition function. That’s a major problem because you certainly can’t be strategic unless you have a formal written strategy (most don’t) and a corresponding set of goals to make it clear to everyone what you’re trying to accomplish. Not having clearly defined, measurable, and communicated strategic goals can add to the confusion about “what is important” and “what is less important.”

While having goals provides focus and direction, their absence can cause team members to wander and to waste time and resources in low-value areas. So if you want your team to be laser focused on the important things, have clear goals that clarify your purpose and that specify what you’re trying to accomplish and what great results would look like.


  • 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

"The Michael Jordan of Hiring"


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