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The Recruiting Toolkit at SYPartners

What do you think of your firm’s interview process? Can you quickly get people in the door? Are they the right people?

This is the post where we shine the light on the interview experience and tell you about the innovative way one company is training its employees to hire the best.

But first, more questions for you! (This is the shine the light part).

  • When you interviewed for a job at your company, was it a good experience?
  • How about when you meet candidates, are you confident about your own interview style and your teams?
  • Are you asking the most hard-hitting questions to properly vet someone? (Does each interviewer ask distinct questions so as not to be redundant?)
  • Do you talk about the firm’s business, clients and culture in a consistent way?
  • Do you have case studies at your fingertips to share with candidates?
  • Is there a good protocol for sharing feedback and coming to quick conclusion?

Our clients aspire to have all these things: An airtight and well-orchestrated process where each decision-maker plays a unique role in qualifying candidates. Where interviewers move nimbly between assessment and salesmanship and nobody loses a superstar candidate because it takes too long.

That’s closer to fairytale land than reality though. Which is why we’re so excited to tell you about Deborah Hankin, VP of Talent at SYPartners in New York!

She just delivered an interactive Recruiting Toolkit to her hiring managers, with all the bells & whistles described above. Yes, no kidding! Don’t you want to have one too?!

So before we describe the kit, it will help to understand a little bit about SYPartners and the type of talent they seek to attract.

The 20-year-old consulting company works with leaders at such companies as Apple, Nike, Facebook, IBM, Hyatt, AARP, Harpo Studios, and Starbucks.

Strategists and designers at SYPartners dig deep to help these leadership teams reach, return to, or push for more greatness. Every engagement is different and calls for myriad skills from everyone on the team: vision, systems thinking, spontaneity, imagination, and above all, collaboration. (Highly polished skills like branding, writing, design, and analytics are a given.)

Seriously smart people, yes. Not just management consultant smart, but also artistic and imaginative. As their shelves of right and left-brain books suggest, SYP employees must have the analytical skills to make sense of data, but also the vision and spontaneity to ideate and sketch. To walk between the well-informed and the intuitive.

Which is why asking potential hires how many golf balls fit inside a 747 won’t do it. Further, there’s really no set profile or formula that guarantees a successful hire. So Deborah, shortly after joining SYP a year ago, set out to codify the way they attract and interview talent. The toolkit she launched this past month is a comprehensive, interactive platform that lives on the company’s intranet.

It’s comprised of modules that address every part of the hiring lifecycle, such as:

  • Job profiles, the hard and soft skills the work requires
  • Questions to assess those skills, plus work style (e.g. collaborative and leadership behaviors)
  • Questions you want to ask, but can’t from a legal standpoint
  • How to talk about the company, its clients and work, including persuasive and dynamic case studies
  • How to describe the company culture, with videos and testimonials from executive team and employees from every level and discipline
  • A feedback portal that allows the interviewing team to share impressions and agree on what and how to evaluate
  • Follow-up best practices and etiquette

That’s the cost of not getting your interview process right. It isn’t only poor hiring decisions. It’s more far-reaching and disastrous. When your company can’t impress the people it wants to hire, it undermines its reputation and ability to attract the most-sought after talent.


If you’re interested I hearing more from Deborah Hankin and ideas for improving your interview process, Like this article and send me your questions. We’ll attempt to address them in future posts!

More tools you can use from SYPartners:

About four years ago, the company created a new division called SYProducts. This dedicated group of digital specialists translates the intellectual property of SYPartners into transformative tools and content for business and everyday life.

It began with the Unstuck app (, which is both an iPad app and web app that anyone can use to figure why they’re stuck and how to get unstuck.

Then came Teamworks (, a software product that helps managers and their teams work better together.

The latest release from these innovators is Kick-Off Kit (, a combo of digital and print tools that gets new projects off to a smooth start.

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