Altruist Senior Talent Partner Ashlyn McIntosh


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Throughout her career of more than a decade, one thing has always remained the same for today’s guest: the importance of leading with empathy and humanity. As a young, queer, tattooed woman, Ashlyn stands out in the traditional world of finance, but it was in this world, where someone took a chance on her as a high school dropout, that she rapidly climbed the ranks. In her early twenties, she ran operations for several advisory firms before identifying her true calling: recruiting. Through her work as Senior Talent Partner at Altruist, she’s able to help people find their place and activate their talents and passions. Her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion really shines through in this interview, as does her mission to empower and educate candidates to make the best decisions for themselves and their long term. We touch on the process of poaching, negotiation and salary expectations, and Ashlyn’s ‘everybody wins’ approach, as well as how Altruist’s onboarding and training philosophy provides a safe space for new hires to say “I don’t know.”

Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to Ashlyn McIntosh, her career trajectory, and her current role at Altruist
  • The importance of being intentional when hiring and retaining talent.
  • How Ashlyn’s role as senior talent partner differs from that of the director of talent.
  • How the rest of the team is structured and how they have grown it through new hires.
  • Why Altruist believes in starting off with their best offer, not forcing candidates to negotiate.
  • Ashlyn explains how forcing negotiation inherently reinforces biased pay inequities.
  • Hear her opinion on salary expectations and listing salary bands in job descriptions.
  • Why she advocates for candidates who undersell themselves; the ‘everybody wins’ approach.
  • How smart companies retain talent by paying them what they are worth.
  • The value of breaking the taboo around discussing your salary with your coworkers.
  • The utility of soliciting salary expectations in a world where no one is forced to negotiate.
  • Ashlyn’s approach to onboarding, which involves borrowing from previous companies.
  • Find out more about Altruist’s skills-based and systems training philosophy.


“We need to be giving the best employee experience possible because all it takes is one bad day and, suddenly, somebody is responding to a recruiter InMail. You have to be careful about the kind of employee experience that you're providing people, or else they do have options.” — Ashlyn McIntosh [0:08:43]

“When it comes down to being competitive, I still always want the candidate to make the right decision for themselves and their long term. I don't get very pushy. I try [to] be a sounding board for my candidates.” — Ashlyn McIntosh [0:14:20]

“Forcing people to negotiate is inherently sexist and racist. There are going to be far less women who are comfortable negotiating. There are far less people of color who are comfortable negotiating.” — Ashlyn McIntosh [0:15:52]

“Letting people know ‘you can do better’ is really important. We have had such a mentality within our society because of capitalism that, if one person wins, it means you can't win when, in reality, there's room for all have us to win. Why would I hold somebody back from that?” — Ashlyn McIntosh [0:19:43]

“There are companies that reward their recruiters for costing the company less money. I don't necessarily think those are smart companies. Smart companies hire the ideal talent for whatever their company is for what they're worth.” — Ashlyn McIntosh [0:21:22]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Ashlyn McIntosh on LinkedIn


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