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Decision Toolbox Celebrates 20 Years of Recruitment Innovation

(Pictured: Decision Toolbox founders, Debra and Jay Barnett circa 1992)

A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
~ Wayne Gretzky

Founded in Southern California in 1992, this year Decision Toolbox (DT) rings in its 20th year in the recruitment services industry.  Much has changed in our space over the years and while we’ve always been ahead of the curve, we’ve proudly maintained a keen focus on continual growth, evolution and original creation. Wise but always learning, we like to think of ourselves as part Yoda and part Grasshopper (a Yodopper, if you will).

The Early Years

In the beginning, Decision Toolbox was known as Pullscreen Communications, focusing on “double impact advertising” as a way for companies to maximize newspaper ads and avoid the high fees associated with using headhunters.  The company’s founders, Jay and Debra Barnett, were passionate about bringing new, win-win alternatives to the recruitment space, where clients would say “Thank you” when they received their bill, rather than “Ouch”!  Meanwhile, across town, Kim Shepherd was busy launching a new division of her recruitment firm focusing on high volume services at low fees.  When Kim became a client of Decision Toolbox, she and the Barnetts realized that their companies were completely complimentary and aligned on providing an innovative, quality-focused, low fee alternative to high cost headhunters.  What would make better sense than for these like-minded entrepreneurs to partner on their shared vision?  And in 2000, that’s just what they did when Kim Shepherd joined Decision Toolbox as CEO.  Many have since asked, “Why would a company choose to leave money on the table and NOT jump on the high fee bandwagon so common in the recruitment services arena?” The answer is quite simply “because it’s the right thing to do” – and this founding philosophy remains at the heart of what Decision Toolbox is today.

What’s in a Name?

Some have asked, “Why the name Decision Toolbox?”  Because every step of the hiring process presents a decision point for someone in the process – the client, the applicant, the recruiter, the candidate – and we provide decision support tools and resources to help ensure the right decisions are made at each step.  Today, our name is more relevant than ever as we have been inventing and adding groundbreaking tools to our toolbox throughout our 20 year history, and that makes for one deep toolbox!

What We’re Doing is Where It’s Going

Since status quo is not in DT’s DNA, our rear-view mirror is rather small.  We only look back long enough to identify how we can do something better, and then move forward with implementing those ideas and more.  As of this writing, DT is a 100% virtual company with nearly 100 employees located across the country.  Our clients range from smaller start-ups to large, well-known organizations.  We are known for recruitment best practices – leveraging technology and building out processes – and thought leadership in the human capital space. The last 20 years have certainly been a wild ride and we are proud of our accomplishments, but that’s enough of the past.  Our goggles are in firmly place, our foot is on the gas, and we’re eyeing where we’re going next!

DT Timeline

  • 1992 – Jay and Debra Barnett found Pullscreen Communications
  • 1993 – the company is rebranded as Decision Toolbox, and the cornerstone DT decision making tool is born – the Jobinfo Writeup, a hand-crafted, job-specific marketing piece not designed to attract the MOST applicants for a position, but the RIGHT applicants
  • 1994 – DT launches additional ground-breaking decision making tools:  the job-specific Resume Supplement and Hiring Manager Interview Worksheet
  • 1995 – as the Internet takes off, online versions of DT’s decision making tools are introduced
  • 1996 – Decision Toolbox introduces Recruiting Machine, its proprietary technology platform and Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  • 1999 – applicant sourcing is added to DT’s services
  • 2000 – Kim Shepherd joins DT as CEO and immediately builds out a full-service recruitment team
  • 2001 – things change as terrorists attack the U.S. on 9/11, the dotcom bubble bursts and recession ensues
  • 2002 – DT survives the economic downturn by going 100% virtual – this proves to be a fortuitous turning point for the company
  • 2003 – Decision Toolbox introduces its first RPO offering, years before it becomes industry standard
  • 2003-2008 – DT continues to fine tune processes and add functions into Recruiting Machine, including candidate video interview clips
  • 2008 – DT Hires first salesperson – VP of Sales
  • 2010 – Kim Shepherd publishes her first book, The Bite Me School of Management: Taking a Bite Out of Conventional Thinking
  • 2011 – DT builds out Sourcing Team, Quality Department and DT University (DTU), an online training program for internal new hires
  • 2012 – Kim Shepherd champions “Vetting Vets”, an initiative to qualify U.S. veterans for entry or re-entry into the civilian workforce
  • 2013 – Stay tuned for more recruitment innovation!
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Believe it or not, we don’t have giant heads. See More Client Quotes

  • " Your team has rocked the house, I am particularly pleased with the entire team's performance and responsiveness. You have a lifelong customer in me. Thank you for taking such great care of your team, they in turn are taking great of me! "
  • " (DT Recruiter) was a dedicated, true, business partner in helping us fill this position. We've worked with other recruiters in the past, but DT has been exemplary each step of the way. "
  • " Decision Toolbox was professional in every way. I appreciate how you responded to our feedback throughout the process, never being defensive, always acting from a position of service to our needs. "
  • " Referral is the best compliment I can give which I have done for multiple colleagues and it is my understanding DT is working on additional reqs for us so that is good to hear. "
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