Through New Doors

EMC's chief diversity officer says going beyond what's familiar could lead to your next opportunity

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Jackie Glenn

Although the economy seems to be heading toward recovery, the job market is still suffering losses. As a result, job seekers are encouraged to examine new and growing sectors as well as investigate competitive companies that are less high profile. Jackie Glenn, chief diversity officer and senior director of human resources for EMC Corp., says that because many who look for jobs tend to first focus on more recognizable business-to-consumer organizations (companies that sell products primarily to consumers), they potentially miss opportunities with business-to-business organizations (companies that primarily sell products to other businesses), such as hers—a technology company that employs more than 41,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 80 countries. We spoke with Glenn about what makes EMC an attractive option for those in the market for a job.

You suggest that people move beyond their comfort zone by considering opportunities with companies that may not be as well-known but are just as competitive. What makes EMC unique in comparison to big-name tech companies such as IBM, Google, and Microsoft?

Intrapreneurship thrives at EMC. Whether our employees are in human resources or engineering, they have the opportunity to be innovative every day and deliver creative solutions and results. Although we are a big company, we still operate as a startup with all the resources and influence of a global brand leader. By that, I mean we want people to be really creative and bring a diverse talent to the table. One of the things that attracted me when I first came to EMC in 2000 was that I was given a lot of leeway to be as creative as I wanted. Before I was in healthcare, and you had to go by the book with everything. Here, I had a template I had to work with, but I was encouraged and empowered to innovate.

What is EMC’s strategy for internally training employees?

EMC empowers its employees to create their own career paths and provides them with the tools and training to achieve their goals. We support this effort with a robust training and development curriculum comprised of hundreds of in-classroom and virtual courses offered through EMC University (EMCU). Classes can be technical, organizational specific (manufacturing, sales, or engineering), or business and leadership focused. Some examples are “Business Writing—Write to the Top,” “Advanced Negotiation Skills,” and “Managing Inclusion.”  In addition, we provide employees with a full suite of talent management programs and processes, such as individual development plans (IDPs), which encourages ongoing career development discussions between managers and employees and provides employees with a formal action plan to attain their career goals. We require employees to build a new IDP with their supervisor every year.

What approach does EMC take in its recruitment efforts and in what areas are you looking for talent?

We are looking for passionate, success-oriented people who are representatives of the diverse customers and markets we address. Currently, EMC is seeking talent in nearly every geographical location. Skill areas of particular interest are professional services, sales, and software development. We also have marketing, finance, communications, engineering, and project management opportunities—pretty much anywhere across the company. We’re using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and employee blogs to build awareness and affinity with the talent market. On our Careers page (www.emc.com/careers), we feature the voices and views of EMC employees sharing their unique stories about life at EMC. We use these tools to provide prospects with a genuine, testimonial-based look at EMC’s culture, careers, and capabilities, as well as to bring awareness to certain job openings, company development, and general career tips. We’re also recruiting at universities worldwide, at industry career fairs, as well as our Website and on more traditional mediums such as online job boards.

This article originally appeared in the December 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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