The graphite vetting process: carefully screening high-level business talent

The graphite vetting process: carefully screening high-level business talent

According to Linkedin’s most recent Global Recruiting Trends report, 46% of recruiters say the most challenging part of their job is identifying the right candidates from a large applicant pool. Indeed, posting a job opportunity or searching online platforms often yields a large number of candidates. The challenge is how to quickly sift through all the data and qualifications to identify the best choices.

Some players in the talent acquisition industry are betting on artificial intelligence as the answer, but our team at Graphite has taken a decidedly different and human-centered approach. We call it artful intelligence, and it involves a strict and thorough pre-vetting process. This ensures you’ll only find carefully screened and high-level professionals on our talent network.

How the Graphite Vetting Process Works

Unlike other online talent platforms where anyone can sign up, we focus on delivering top-tier and thoroughly pre-screened business professionals. We provide top-tier independent consultants and experts in finance, strategy, marketing and IT. As part of our vetting process, our team personally reviews each candidate and applies strict standards of qualifications before admitting anyone into our network. Here are the core qualifications and requirements we apply.

Top-Tier Organizational & Work Experience

We start by requiring that candidates have experience working at a large and highly reputable company or firm, such as one of the following:

  • A Big Three or other major consulting firm
  • A bulge-bracket investment bank
  • A Big Four accounting firm
  • A Fortune 500 company
  • A similar high-caliber organization

Industry Expertise

We also require that each candidate have at least two years of professional work experience in one of the following fields:

  • Investment banking
  • Management consulting
  • PE/VC
  • Corporate development
  • Marketing
  • Information technology
  • A closely related field

Candidates that come from these organizational and industry backgrounds generally have excellent training and core skills that are transferable to their next role or engagement.

Independence & Availability

Importantly, we also look for candidates with a good career trajectory and learn more about why they want to join the Graphite network. We prefer independent consultants because they understand the nature of freelance work, have the bandwidth to commit to projects, are committed to our on-demand platform, and are actively looking for new clients and projects.

Verification & Onboarding

Before a professional is approved for our network, we review their resumes and profiles and thoroughly check their qualifications, certifications and other information. We cross-reference their resume and Graphite profile with their Linkedin profile, and we use web-based tools to verify employment history, education and ensure there are no indicators of unethical behavior or litigation involving the candidate.

We also ensure their resume is up to date, that they have a professional photo, and their Graphite profile matches their résumé. In addition, we set up initial onboarding calls with all professionals that land their first project on Graphite. We make sure they know how to use our platform and understand best practices for time tracking, invoicing and expenses, and client service.

Monitoring & Setting Expectations

Once professionals are admitted to the Graphite network, we monitor them closely and usually get them started on smaller projects. This allows us to assess their work style and monitor their work progress as sell as how they interact with clients. By starting them on smaller jobs, we can ease them onto our platform and apply quality controls before they take on larger engagements. We also set clear expectations, and any professionals who fail to abide by our standards are subject to removal from our network. We expect all Graphite professionals to:

Be Responsive.

  • Respond promptly to messages and e-mails from clients and/or Graphite staff

Be Transparent.

  • State availability (hours per week, start dates and upcoming time restrictions)
  • Share location info (openness to travel or relocation as well as any travel restrictions)
  • Notify clients of life events (expecting a child, weddings, extended vacations, etc.)

Fulfill Client Expectations.

  • Maintain an agreed-upon work schedule
  • Meet deadlines
  • Make regular check-ins
  • Adhere to an invoice/payment schedule

Communicate Effectively.

  • Be reliable and have open lines of communication at all times

Have a Sense of Urgency.

  • Respond promptly to all communication and questions
  • Complete projects in a timely manner

Produce Quality Work.

  • Complete all projects to the best of their availability
  • Earn client loyalty through outstanding performance

Evaluating & Sharing Performance

As projects or engagements are completed, clients evaluate the work and performance of Graphite professionals. We encourage them to share their ratings and feedback, and we provide simple mechanisms to facilitate this. Each professional’s work history and evaluations are maintained on a Graphite profile, so clients can see the work they’ve done and their feedback scores and ratings. This information helps our team and professionals ensure that clients are receiving outstanding service and expertise, and it helps other clients find proven candidates for their roles and projects as well.

Using Graphite to Find Your Next Talented Professional

If you’re looking for a faster and simpler way to find highly qualified professionals on demand, Graphite is here to help. Our network includes more than 4,000 independent business professionals that are carefully screened to meet the highest standards for education, qualifications and experience. Our professionals have an average of over 10 years of experience in their field, and each has at least two years of experience working for a major consulting firm, investment bank, accounting firm, Fortune 500 company, or similar organization.

In addition, more than 1,000 of our professionals have an MBA from a top 10 U.S. business school, and hundreds more have an MBA from top global programs such as INSEAD and the London Business School. If you need an expert in finance, strategy, marketing or IT for a short-term or long-term hire, visit to create your account and start your search now.

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