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Devon James: HR case studies
August 1, 2005
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Due to the extreme and sudden popularity of their Board Game, post 9/11, Richard Tait needed to hire the game industry’s brightest, most creative, “fun-producing” talent to quickly ramp Cranium to a size that could handle explosive domestic and international expansion, localization, and distribution.   Devon James Associates was invited to set up their Recruiting War Room at Cranium headquarters, and work with the executive team to quickly deploy a high quality recruiting program.  In a few short months, Cranium was able to screen and hire the next generation of “Craniacs” who drove the company forward to win the GAME OF THE YEAR and TOY OF THE YEAR awards 3 years in a row.    

“When it came to recruiting the team for phase 2 of Cranium's growth we needed a world class partner that could embrace our brand, the incredibly high bar Cranium has for recruiting and perform at a pace that is unprecedented in our industry. We chose Devon James. Not only did they recruit outstanding new hires for Cranium on schedule and on budget, but the tools, training and processes they implemented while on site has delivered incredible value to our organization. Devon James has been an outstanding partner for Cranium Inc."

Richard Tait
Grand Poo Bah/CEO/Founder
Cranium, Inc.

Rhapsody Networks

Poised in the late 90s as an acquisition target in the Storage Networking industry, Rhapsody Networks needed 40 top-level ASIC Engineers to complete the development of their core offering, under tight deadlines.  Their lead investor, Sequoia Capital, introduced the Devon James Associates solution to Rhapsody’s CEO, who immediately saw the economic and timing benefits.   The original contract for 4 months was quite successful, and was extended several times as the logical solution for all other hiring.   In 11 months the Recruiting War Room hired 93 people across all departments and functions including Senior Directors and Managers in Engineering, Marketing, Product Management, Chip Design, Sales and Administration.   Subsequently, they were acquired by the market leader, Brocade Communications, and much of the asset value was in this extremely talented human capital.


An industrial equipment company with a revolutionary new technology approach to a 50-year-old industry needed a human capital consulting company who could help them acquire the top talent in the industry while not disclosing the company name or the product details.   From extensive research, Devon James was chosen by the executive team as first-line ambassadors for the company. In just one month, DJA’s professional recruiting team traveled to the major U.S. business regions, and was able to attract outstanding talent. As a powerful by-product, DJA garnered critical competitive industry data that significantly enhanced the national product roll-out.

According to Kevin Kelley, COO of Dux Area, “Devon James was the partner we needed to confidentially attract top talent and, at the same time, assisted us in the day-to-day business decisions that are affected by the hiring process. They also gained critical industry data from the candidate pool, which was used for product positioning and deployment decisions.   Bottom line is that they worked as a strategic partner, leaving us with a database full of candidates and activities, and a comprehensive system for future talent acquisition.”

Visio Corporation (now Microsoft)

In 1993, Visio (then, known as Shapeware) found themselves in a high growth phase,  needing to hire 30 employees within 90 days. They couldn’t justify adding to the HR department, and then Director of Human Resources, Susan Slaton, dreaded going through the frantic process of hiring thirty qualified candidates in less than three months in addition to her normal workload. Slaton turned to Devon James Associates.

Within days, Visio discovered they had found more than just a recruiter. DJA provided the services of a well-connected confidant, third-party company ambassador, and savvy business partner all rolled into one. Together, DJA and Slaton filled the thirty positions, and Visio continues to call on DJA for on-site projects to this day.

"We periodically hire temporary recruiting help to do parts of the process, but we didn't fully appreciate the benefits of on-site recruiting until DJA came in-house and started working with us," said Slaton. "It was important for me to see somebody on a day-to-day basis actually go through the process of placing ads, sending follow-up postcards, tracking and responding to candidates, sifting through stacks of resumes, pre-screening them, coordinating interviews and being a general Visio ambassador to the candidates."

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