Today marks the end of an almost three year journey. Today I leave my contractor status at VMware and when I return to work after the Labor Day Weekend holiday I’ll be a full time employee at VMware. In HR terms we call it a contractor conversion and I’ll then be categorized as an FTE (Full Time Employee). And I’m thrilled.
I began working for VMware on October 7, 2010.
In the Spring of 2010 I had been a Recruiting Specialist at a day trading firm in Austin, but 2009 was not a good year for the stock market. In August of 2009 we conducted a round of layoffs and by March of 2010 it was necessary to have an even deeper round of cuts if the company was going to continue to be somewhat financially stable. This round effected a larger number of employees than the earlier one and included my manager – our Director of Human Resources and myself – their only recruiter. I recall that day vividly and remember telling those that were being laid off that I completely understood, since I too was in need of finding new work.
From the time I found out that I was being effected until the time of my first contract gig was less than 48 hours. And from March until October I worked a few contract positions including as a long-distance sourcer, where I located candidates that were potential fits for companies in the New York area, an off-site recruiter for a health-care software company, a front desk / HR consultant for a medi-spa, an HR generalist for an identity theft company and finally for a little company based in California, PayPal as a sourcer. Each position was a short-term solution and I enjoyed each of the opportunities, but none were my employment home.
As my contract with PayPal was coming to an end, I looked for my next position. From the time I heard that my contract was wrapping up until I found my next job was less than 2 hours. My very first step was to look at the job opportunities in Austin on LinkedIn. A connection I had made years ago had posted earlier that week about a recruiter position at a software company’s Austin offices. The company was VMware.
I knew a little about VMware. I knew that their Austin office was relatively new. I knew that they were obviously a technology company. I recall that in speaking with IT folks that they thought that VMware’s products were good and that’s about it.
I quickly sent an email to my contact, Brooke Anderson and forwarded her a copy of my resume. It only took a day for me to hear back and within the next week I had a face to face interview. I remember meeting with Antonio Busalacchi, Gil Oakes and Kevan Blanco. I also recall that as I pulled into their parking lot that I had completely forgotten to bring something to take notes with and on. No pen. No paper. Nada. And I had cleaned out my car the day before and couldn’t even find a piece of scrap paper. So, I decided to take notes on my iPhone.
After all, my resume touted that I was a social media savvy recruiter and I had mad technology, cutting edge recruiting skills. Surely, taking notes on my iPhone would make sense to them.
Months later I learned that Gil had not been so impressed and commented to the others, “What was she doing texting while we were interviewing?!” I wasn’t texting, Gil. I promise. I was however, quickly pulling up each of my interviewers LinkedIn profiles.
The other part that I didn’t know until much later is that their then Social Media Administrator, Will Staney, had been asked whether or not I really was a social media savvy recruiter. He did a quick pass of the internet and assessed that indeed I was. [Thanks, Will!]
When I came on board as a contractor I started sourcing, locating candidates that might be a fit for our business openings such as financial and sales roles. I teamed up with a long-time recruiter, Tom Triolo. I’d find the candidates, make sure that they were good potential matches to the openings and Tom would take them further along in the process should they be deemed a fit. Over the next 11 months I supported other recruiters as well and sourced for a wide variety of roles in mostly our California and some in our Austin offices. We had a team in Austin of about six and it grew to around 14. Good people and fun to be around.
Then in the late summer of 2011, I found out about a new opening on our University Relations recruiting team. I applied to a full time role specialist, but the manager thought I’d be a better fit for a contract recruiter role. He was right, but I wasn’t thrilled about staying contract. I was ready to call VMware my full time home. I moved to the University team in August of 2011.
Since then my role has pretty much been the same. I’m tasked with finding great recent college graduate and intern candidates for our California office. My job is mainly a virtual one where I rarely have a chance to ever meet my candidates, but sometimes I do travel to college campuses and even meet the candidates that we eventually hire and I love my job. Seriously.
There’s not many things better than helping people find jobs – okay that’s just a blanket statement of being a recruiter in general. But finding jobs for university students is the best of the best. For most of the candidates that I recruit, I’m potentially offering them their first job EVER with the exception of some candidates that are completing their graduate degrees and have had some work experience.
Telling them about VMware’s fabulous perks of being a FTE is great. VMware has worked hard to be one of the best places to work for and earlier this year Fortune dubbed us as the Third Most Innovative Companies in the World. VMware is mindful of making sure that employees have a solid work/life balance, they encourage employees to give back to the community and I’ve seen first hand the compassion and passion employees have for each other and their work.
So, today, I say goodbye to being an outsider on the inside and join the ranks of the many that I’ve helped to hire. I’m so looking forward to being able to take part in everything that my full time new employment home has to offer me come Tuesday and starting the next leg of this journey.