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Meet Tim Keefe, CH2M Hill’s Director of Enterprise Talent Acquisition & Deployment

Posted on September 4, 2007
Filed Under Profiles, Tim Keefe | 2 Comments

By Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth, an Affiliate Partner, JobMachine Inc.

To Connect Directly with Tim Keefe, Director of Enterprise Talent Acquisition & Deployment at CH2M Hill,
and insert his email,

“As Corporate Director of HR for Coors Brewing Company, Tim was a strategic thinker who consistently asked the probing questions as a means to improve our HR operations. Tim also demonstrated his ability to implement various initiatives through solid leadership fundamentals. Tim is well respected in his field and is a trusted adviser to me personally.” February 16, 2006
Ryan Baca, Director, Coors Brewing Company

I first met my friend, Tim Keefe, on the day before Thanksgiving, 2002. It was memorable in many respects. First of all, it was a post-9/11 recessionary environment broadly effecting the recruitment industry. Second, Tim invited me to meet with him at corporate headquarters in Golden, Colorado. It was my first visit to this picturesque state since my road trip in 1996 from Notre Dame. I can honestly state that this visit profoundly influenced my decision to relocate to the Rockies last year. And finally, it was memorable in that I was in awe of Tim Keefe as I sat across from him as I witnessed one of the most genuine, articulate thought leaders in our industry discussing forecasts for IT talent needs at the world famous Coors brewery.

Today we celebrate Tim Keefe the industry leader, but I likewise saw this as an opportunity to recognize on a uniquely, personal level, that on a Wednesday in 2002, I had my first glimpse of an accessible industry ‘disruptor’ who always took a call, advised, and referred while known throughout as one of the leading voices within the Recruiting Roundtable, and beyond, advocating the harnessing of technologies and processes that would eventually revolutionize Talent Acquisition as we knew it. It is a friendship that I was fortunate to rekindle the day I called Tim and told him I had moved no less than 15 minutes from his latest adventure at CH2M Hill. When Shally visited Denver last February to present at the Colorado Technical Recruiters Network quarterly meeting, I suggested we give Tim a ring – he had us visit with only an hour’s notice. It’s one of many opportunities in which I have witnessed first hand that Tim possesses all the attributes of a mentor; a true scholar responsible for footnotes attributed in many an article and whose willingness to devote time and resources to contribute best practices without fanfare is legendary. If you are in Denver or at any given staffing conference, you need to shake the hand of people like Tim Keefe.

We learn something everyday in this industry and Tim is among those bestowing the wisdom. Today is my virtual handshake to someone that matters greatly in our industry.


Mr. Timothy Keefe joined CH2M HILL as the Director of Enterprise Talent Acquisition and Deployment in April 2006.

CH2M Hill has more than 15, 000 employees in 450 offices worldwide. Headquartered in Denver, CH2M Hill is a global full-service engineering, construction, and operations firm, works in the areas of transportation, water, energy, environment, communications, and industrial facilities. The company was named in 2006 as one of America’s top employers by Fortune magazine. This is the second time in the past three years that the firm has appeared on this annual list. Two-thirds of the score is based on how randomly selected employees respond to the Great Places to Work Trust Index, a survey measuring the quality of the workplace culture.

Tim’s background and present contributions speaks volumes about the type of workplace CH2M Hill is building and consistently striving for as a world class employer.

Within his first year, Tim analyzed a decentralized recruitment structure and developed a best-in-class approach to filling 7,000 positions annually.

Tim Keefe likes to ‘Keep It Simple,’ … after a complete assessment of the talent organization and its processes.

“With over 200 offices across the globe, we needed to create “clear-as-day” role responsibilities and provide resources in a centralized location to make recruiting resources as accessible and easy-to-use as possible.”

By clarifying roles and responsibilities, Tim fashioned a model which limits the sheer number of individuals who are involved in recruiting, reduces time to fill, decreases the likelihood of dropped handoffs – while increasing credibility within the organization as a whole.

Prior to joining CH2M HILL, Tim served as the Global Strategic Talent Acquisition Leader for Johns Mansville. In this role, he designed and delivered a “best practice” talent acquisition and recruitment process outsourcing strategy. His Six Sigma implementation plan saved $1.5 million. While at Coors Brewing Company, his recruitment strategies helped the company double in size. He has also held positions with Raymond James Consulting, HR Innovations, Pricewaterhouse/Coopers, and as Director of the Peace Corps.

He has extensive training in organizational development, career management systems, human resources program development, change management, talent acquisition strategies, competency modeling, and people development strategies.

“CH2M Hill’s Role-Clarity Toolkit”

CH2M Hill’s Talent Acquisition organization was recently featured with the Recruiting Roundtable‘s best practices in their presentation, “CH2M HILL’s Role-Clarity Toolkit” and new book.

I have provided a few highlights of the article to feature the innovative practices being implemented under Tim Keefe’s leadership:

Industry: Engineering, Construction and Operations
FY2006 Revenue: $4.5 Billion
FY2006 Employees: 19,000
Headquarters: Englewood, CO

CH2M HILL clarified recruiting roles and responsibilities with the creation of a role-clarity toolkit for all participants in the recruiting process. The centralized toolkit includes an expanded Service Level Agreement (SLA) that includes not only recruiters, but also HR Generalists, hiring managers, sourcers, and recruitment coordinators, serving as a blueprint for discussion around task assignments. The online toolkit offers specifi c guidance on each of the responsibilities delineated in the SLA, providing detailed implementation steps for each portion of the recruiting phase. Beyond guidance, the kit includes performance-support tools designed to simplify each task and to facilitate implementation.

No Room for Error

Faced with rising talent demand for typically difficult-to-find professionals, CH2M HILL could not afford the typical redundancies that plague many recruiting organizations; therefore, they explicitly delineated roles and responsibilities across the broader recruiting team in order to simplify internal handoffs

Component #1: Getting on the Same Page – Comprehensive Service Level Agreement

By creating a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that includes all recruiting stakeholders and estimated timetables, CH2M HILL clarifi es responsibilities and creates greater process accountability

Key Features Include:
* All recruiting stakeholders are included in SLA: Generalists and coordinators also held responsible.
* Timelines are delineated for each task: In order to increase accountability for each stakeholder.
* SLA template facilitates dialogue: document drives discussion focused on eliminating redundancy.
* SLA calibrates necessity of key tasks: Serves as a mechanism to confi rm activities for similar openings.
* Clarity provided around coordinator role: As support is often expected to undertake various activities in lieu of recruiter.

Key Features of Tim’s Sample Service Level Agreement Include:

1. TASK: Identify need to open requisition and contact Talent and Recruitment Center (TRC).
Estimated Time Frame: Within 48 hours.

2. TASK: Initiate request for work plan session to discuss the vacancy and staffi ng process with hiring manager (HM).
Estimated Time Frame: Within one business day of the hiring manager contacting TRC.

3. TASK: Conduct work plan session using standard format. Ensure all details are accurate for the position and ensure that manager understands hiring process and all related policies/guidelines. Estimated Time Frame: Within three business days of the hiring manager contacting TRC.

4. TASK: Using the work plan document, enter requisition into ATS and post. Ensure that job meets the minimum internal posting requirements.
Estimated Time Frame: Within one business day of completion of the work plan session.

5. TASK: Generate a diverse pool of qualifi d applicants. Source, review resumes, and prescreen.
Estimated Time Frame: Sourcing begins immediately upon completion of the work plan session.

Component #2: Centralized Implementation Toolkit – From Theory to Practice – Taking It a Step Further.

CH2M’s staffing organization developed a comprehensive “Process Implementation Toolkit” which consists of a Process Map of the Overall Recruiting Process. Process Detail is provided for each phase of the recruiting process, including activities, responsibility and timing – with guidelines for implementing each phase of the recruiting process. Tools and Tips for streamlining execution of the recruiting process are included within an online toolkit to equip stakeholders with assignments and task details. The toolkit also provides detailed implementation guidelines…Sample Guidelines, ID Applicant Pool …providing further clarity around the “how” and the “what” of executing recruiting deliverables.

Overall Recruiting Process Map: Sample Process Detail from Toolkit

Activity: If internal employee is to be interviewed, confirm employee has notified supervisor and then proceed to notify employee’s current
Responsibility: Talent Recruiter
Timing: Within 24 hours of internal candidate identification

Activity: Conduct phone screens / interviews to determine applicant viability
Responsibility: Talent Recruiter
Timing: Within 24 hours of candidate ID

Activity: Present 3 qualified applicants to Hiring Manager via ATS eLink
Responsibility: Talent Recruiter
Timing: Within 10–15 business days of requisition posting

Activity: Assess applicants and provide feedback to the Talent Recruiter
Responsibility: Hiring Manager
Timing: Within 48 hours from receiving the applicant pool

Activity: Update ATS by logging activities Recruitment Coordinator
Responsibility: Talent Recruiter
Timing: Ongoing, as activities occur

Component #3: Push-Pull Utilization

To drive usage of the resources put in place, CH2M HILL leverages multiple delivery methods to generate “user-friendly” access

Help Me, Help You

“Establishing clear handoffs across the process allows us to drive credibility, capability, and consistency in everything we do. Metrics further accentuate role accountability, providing transparency to our entire hiring community.”

“Push” Motivation
* Signed SLA’s required for each requisition
* Mandatory process and toolkit training for all staff touching the hiring process
* Quarterly senior HR leadership meetings reinforce recruiting and line accountability
* Recruiting provides consistent updates and education via dedicated internal marketing resources to each business unit

“Pull” Motivation
* Online toolkit readily accessible via intranet provides simple one-stop shop of recruiting materials
* Ready to use tools and templates instantly available for entire global community through clickable hyperlink
* Specific recruiting tasks delineated in SLA, detailed activity guide, and role-specific work plans
* “Soft reinforcement” encouraged through public praise of business groups that consistently meet timetables

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2 Responses to “Meet Tim Keefe, CH2M Hill’s Director of Enterprise Talent Acquisition & Deployment”

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