Tag Archives: human resources
In my recent blog post, What Millennials Want, I mentioned that we are bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.” Today’s post, “What Millennials Want – Putting My Potential to Work, at Work!”, comes from Amitha Narayanan, a Technical Writing Documentation Intern located in our Redwood City HQ office. Amitha is pursuing her Masters in Technical Communication at North Carolina State University. When Amitha is not authoring technical content, you can find her outdoors, exploring the city, reading books on park benches, or doing yoga.
Putting my potential to work, at work!
Have you ever had an Aha! moment that changed you forever? If yes, you know what I mean when I say “that feels great.” If no, I pray you do one day. I had two epiphanies this summer.
My mentor entrusted me with the task of creating video tutorials for our users of Big Data Trial Sandbox for Cloudera. The first time I heard the string of words, it was all Greek to me. I had to do voice narration too, which was my least favorite part. All in all, I was off to a shaky start! However, as the summer progressed, I made small steps into the world of Big Data. The Big Data videos gave me confidence in a BIG way. I now love the sound of my own voice and am positive that I can do this stuff! This experience single-handedly kicked years of me restricting myself from exciting possibilities.
Every time I hear people talk about their love for networking, I wish I felt the same way about it as they did. This summer, I got my wish. Informatica gave me the perfect non-threatening environment to interact and grow to be comfortable in my own skin. The networking event for interns turned out of be one of my most favorite events of the summer. From the prep tips to the informal setting to the absolute coolest senior management, the event was a wholesome package. For a person like me who tends to shy away from these, it was a revelation that networking does not have to be intimidating!
I now know that all of us have “wow factors” in us, sometimes it takes a bit of work to help us realize what they are.
In my recent blog post, What Do Millennials Want?, I mentioned that we are bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.” Today’s post comes from Jacob Lauing, a Product Marketing Management Intern located in our Redwood City HQ office. Jacob is a journalism junior at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). When Jacob is not working at Informatica, you can find him editing news stories and managing a staff full of reporters as Editor in Chief of Mustang News, Cal Poly’s student newspaper.
An empty pick-up truck rocketing down the highway screeches to a 10-mph stroll, then packs on 100 pounds of cargo.
That’s how I’d describe my first week at Informatica.
I come from the world of journalism – a fast-paced, whirlwind of an industry where news breaks at all hours of the day and nine-to-five jobs are a myth. It’s a hectic lifestyle, so when I began my tenure as a product marketing management intern for the cloud division here at Informatica, it’s safe to say things were a bit slower. With that transition came fear – fear that I wasn’t qualified to work here, fear that I wouldn’t catch on to the technical nature of the company, and fear that I simply wouldn’t mesh with the industry as a whole.
But fear is exactly why I’m here. I wanted an internship outside of my comfort zone, something completely new and exciting in an industry I know nothing about. Whether it ends up working out or not, I’m here to learn, and in that regard, my time at Informatica has been nothing but successful.
I thought I was tech-savvy when I came to Informatica.
21st century journalists pride themselves on being technologically sound – they rely on technology to tell stories in innovative ways. But when I sat in on my first product marketing meeting, I knew I had a whole lot to learn. At that point, I probably couldn’t name a difference between Data Integration, Data Quality, Master Data Management and Real-Time Integration. Keep in mind all of these processes are shortened to their initials, so DI, DQ and MDM meant nothing to me.
I felt lost, and pretty far behind my co-workers. But, the one trait that has carried over from my life as a journalist is the ability to learn quickly. After a couple “brain dumps” with my manager, where he poured all of the basic data integration knowledge into my head for hours, I found myself rattling off industry jargon like I’d been here for years.
I never assumed Informatica would be a perfect match for me, because that’s not why I applied for the internship. Like most journalists, I’m driven by curiosity. My brain is a sponge, and I’m at Informatica to absorb as much as I can about this essential industry in 12 weeks.
That truck I mentioned earlier, it’s been through a lot. It’s been forced to cruise on a new highway at a much different pace. That heavy cargo slowed it down, and had it driving far below the speed limit.
Now, it’s starting to accelerate.
In my recent blog post, What Do Millennials Want?, I mentioned that we are bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.” Today’s post, the first in the series, comes from Amitha Narayanan, a Technical Writing Documentation Intern located in our Redwood City HQ office. Amitha is pursuing her Masters in Technical Communication at North Carolina State University. When Amitha is not authoring technical content, you can find her outdoors, exploring the city, reading books on park benches, or doing yoga.
A whole new world in 81 days…
I was caught between two very distinct emotions as I started my technical documentation internship. On the one hand, I was excited about rejoining the workforce after a year of being away in grad school. On the other, I had the apprehension of a six-year old on the first day of elementary school. I also had a nagging voice inside my head tell me that at 33, I might be the oldest intern in the group.
Well, seven weeks into the internship, I have kissed the voice good bye. And I can scream from any rooftop that this is by far the best decision I have made for myself.
If there is one phrase that sums up my intern experience, it is “a journey of (self) discovery.”
By the end of my first week here, I realized the following things:
- There is no such thing as a dumb question. This internship has taught me to ask without apology. The six words that made it possible are “that’s what we are here for.”
- It takes a leader to make another. I see that all around me in managers, mentors, and senior colleagues in the team, who go above and beyond to groom and instill in me the confidence to see myself becoming like them one day. Like they say, “it takes one to know one, show one, and grow one.”
- I am as important as any full-time employee. I might be here for just three months, but my growth and development are just as crucial as any full-time new hire’s.
- I won’t be spoon fed, which is the BEST part. Everyone is helpful and points me to where the information is or who the person is that can answer my questions. I love that it simply doesn’t come to me like breakfast in bed on a romantic weekend.
I also know myself better now. I am sure that I love being in an environment that expects me to hit the ground running; I work well with someone who is direct and simply cuts to the chase. I also now know that age is just a number and there is no better time than now to experience what it is like to be part of an organization that is truly young at heart.
Everyone is trying to figure them out. A now infamous Time Magazine article from last year described them as narcissistic, lazy and coddled. This seemed a little harsh, so I set off to separate fact from fiction. Luckily for me, Informatica has hired a large number of new college hires and interns, so I went straight to the source. I asked them what was important to them, what values they hold dear, and what is important to them in a dream job. Hold onto your hats, their answers may surprise you.
My first question was on a motto they try to live by, and I was struck by how similar what they said was to earlier generations: Family first. Live by the golden rule. Do unto others as they would have them to unto you. Where was the selfish, grasping millennial?
Another advised that “You should never think that you are the smartest person in the room: Ask questions and listen!” he said. Where was the raging narcissist? Yet another advised that you should try to make a contribution to the company beyond what you were hired for. “Get involved, participate, and work for the greater good”, he said.
This was a group of millennials who believed deeply in making a difference. Many of them appreciated that Informatica has a community giving project, and that employees were encouraged to volunteer and organize “giving” events outside of work. They understood that they would have to do some routine work in order to get to the good stuff. All of them recognized that not every day would be a day of scintillating learning. They appreciated that all of our executives have an open door policy and that we work in teams. That collaboration was not just a buzz word for us. Wow! Again, where was the raging narcissist. It would be interesting to expand my study to a greater control group, but in the meantime, I left the meeting feeling energized and really hopeful about this new generation of talent at Informatica.
As an extension of that day, and in the spirit openness, we thought it would be great to have our new hires speak directly to all of you. Our college hires work across several of our business functions Many of them use their technical skills to contribute to our world class data integration products, others flex their analytical and creative skills to dive deep, looking for new answers to old problems. Whichever team our new hires work for, they make an impact. And, to highlight their unique experiences, we’re bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.”
We hope you enjoy it, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on what millennials really want.
Our Big Clean-up of Our Big Data
Informatica, the company for which I work, deals in big data challenges every day. It’s what we DO, help customers leverage their data into actionable business insights. When I took the helm as V.P. Global Talent Acquisition I was surprised to learn that the data within the talent acquisition function was not up to the standards Informatica lives by. Clearly, talent acquisition was not seeing the huge competitive advantage that data could bring – at least not the way sales, marketing and research were viewing it. And that, to me, seemed like a major problem, but also a terrific opportunity! This is the story of how Informatica Talent Acquisition became data-centric and used that centricity to our advantage to fix the problem.
Go to the Source
No matter how big or small your company, the data related to talent comes from varied and diverse roles within the talent acquisition function. The role may be named Researcher, Sourcer, Talent Lead Generator or even Recruiter. Putting the name aside, the data comes from the first person to connect with a potential candidate. Usually that person, or in Informatica’s case, that team, is the one who finds the data and captures it. Because talent acquisition in the past was largely about making a single hire, our data was captured haphazardly and stored with….let’s say, less than best practices. In addition, we didn’t know big data was about to hit us square in the face with more social data points than yesteryear’s Talent Sourcer could believe. I went to our sourcing team as well as our research department to begin assessing how we were acquiring, storing and accessing our data.
Data is at the heart of so many recruiting conversations today but it’s not just about the data, it’s the access to the right data at the right time by the right person, which is paramount to making good business or hiring decisions. This led me to Dave Mendoza, a Talent Acquisition Strategy consultant, who had developed a process called Talent Mapping which we applied to help us identity, retrieve and categorize our talent data. From that point he was able to create our Talent Knowledge Library. This library allows us to store, access and finally develop a talent data methodology aptly named, Future-casting. This methodology defines a process wherein Informatica can use its talent acquisition data for competitive intelligence, workforce planning and candidate nurturing.
The most valuable part of our transformation process was the implementation of our Talent Knowledge Library. It was apparent that the weakest point with this new solution was not the capturing or categorizing of our data, it was that we had no central repository that would allow for unstructured data to be housed, amended and retrieved by multiple Talent Sourcers. To solve this issue we implemented a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) application named Avature. This tool allowed us to build a talent library – a single source repository of our global talent pools, which could then be accessed by all the roles within the talent acquisition organization. Having a centralized database has improved our hiring efficiencies such as, decreasing the time and cost to fill requisitions.
Because Informatica is a global company, it doesn’t make sense for us to house all of our data in a proprietary system. While the new social sourcing platforms are fast and powerful, the data doesn’t belong to the company once entered and that didn’t work for us, especially given we had teams all over the world working with different tools. With a practical approach to data capture and retrieval, we now have a central databank of very specific competitive intelligence that has the ability to withstand time because the tool can capture social and mobile data and thus is built for future proofing. Because the data is ours, we retain our competitive advantage, even during talent acquisition transition periods.
One truth became very clear as we took on this data-centric approach to talent acquisition – if you don’t set standards for processes and protocols around your data, you may as well use a bucket as no repository will be of much use without accurate and useable data that can be accessed consistently by everyone. Being able to search the data according to company wide standards was both obvious and mind-blowing. These four standards are what we put into place when creating our talent library:
1) Data must be usable and searchable,
2) Extraction and leverage of data must be easy,
3) Data can be migrated from multiple lead generation platforms with a “single source of truism”,
4) Data can be categorized, tagged and mapped to talent for ease of segmentation.
The goal of these standards is to match the data to each of our primary hiring verticals and to multiple social channels so that we can both attract and identify talent in a self-sustaining manner.
In today’s globalized world, people frequently change their physical address, their employer and their email addresses, but they rarely change their Twitter handle or Facebook name. This is why ‘people’ data quickly turns outdated and social data is the new commodity within the enterprise. People who use social networks are leaving a living, always-fresh data shadow making it easy for us to capture their most relevant contact data. It sounds a bit like we’ve become on-line stalkers, but marketers and business development professionals have been doing it for years. And just as we move toward predictive modeling on these pieces of personal data, so too are our competitors for talent. By configuring our CRM systems to accurately capture and search these social data points our sourcing team is more efficient and effective. It has reduced duplicate entries which caused candidate fatigue in our recruiting processes.
I think Dave says it perfectly in his recent white paper “Future-casting: How the rise of Big Social Data API is set to Transform the Business of Recruiting”: “Future-casting has the ability to review the career progression of both internal employees and external candidates. This stems directly from the ability to track candidates more accurately via their social data. Now, more than ever before, corporations and the talent acquisition professionals within them can keep fresh data on every candidate in their system, with a few simple tweaks. This new philosophy of future-casting puts dynamic data into the hands of the organization, reducing dependency on job boards and even social platforms so they can create their own convergent model that combines all three.”
Results Will Come
At Informatica we saw results very quickly because we had an expert dedicated to addressing the challenges, and we were committed to making our data work for us. But if you don’t have a global sourcing team or a full time consultant, you can still begin at the top of this list. Talk to your CRM or ATS vendors about how you can tweak your tracking systems. Assess and map your current talent process. Begin using products that allow you to own your OWN data. Finally, set standards such as the ones I mentioned previously and make sure everyone adheres to them.
This is original content published to ERE.net on May 8, 2013, and written by Brad Cook, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition at Informatica.
If you’re an outstanding software professional, everyone knows what’s in the package these days: you’re going to get a competitive salary, great benefits and challenging work assignments. You can pat yourself on the back and say out loud: “Look Mom, I made it!”.