Saturday, May 05, 2007

My Third Stripe

I’ve joined Adidas!

I’ve been recruiting for over eight years now and it’s been a wild ride. My career started with an internship at Johnson Matthey Electronics in Spokane, Washington. My role, Human Resources Intern. My job, revamping their 200+ job descriptions. My degree was in Human Resources so this really allowed me to cut my teeth on some basic HR tactics. I quickly learned though my strength was not in HR administration but in relationship building, problem solving, innovating process and marketing.

When my internship ended I started to apply to roles throughout the Northwest and California. There were a few things that I was certain about at this point in my career. I knew I needed to get out of Spokane. I needed a larger marketplace. I also knew that I needed to work in an environment that was intense, that forced fast learning and constant problem solving. I was offered a role at a local recruitment agency in Portland, Oregon—Employment Trends. Here I quickly moved into a recruiting role and was able to build one of the agency’s largest accounts. I found that I loved recruiting. In recruiting you always have variables that create constant challenge. You can build the best process in the world but when you are working with people there are always situations that are going flip things upside down. To be good, you have to stay razor sharp on business indicators, know your clients business inside and out, be a master of relationships and know how to leverage marketing/branding to attract talent. These were the skills I learned quickly in this environment.

After two years I wanted corporate experience, greater challenges and greater resources to sharpen my craft. I moved over to Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, one of the top PR firms in the world. I recruited for just about every business within the agency and worked my way up to leading Waggener Edstrom’s Microsoft Staffing team. Here I learned how to plan for intense shifts in the business, how to continually innovative our process to stay ahead of the business, how to lead, how to amplify a brand and become a true brand ambassador. This lead me to my most recent role as Strategic Sourcing Strategist, which focuses on development, and implementation of strategies to build talent networks across the world—focusing on skill rarity and business criticality. I also am responsible for implementing the technology to support these efforts, which include a CRM build-out, a host of on-line media/social networking tools, blogging tactics…essentially evangelizing Web 2.0 to give us competitive advantage.

So now this leads me to my third stripe, Adidas North America. I just accepted the role of Recruiting Programs Manager at Adidas and will be leading the charge in developing Adidas North America’s recruiting strategy, in partnership with our global lead of recruiting, Steve Bonomo, and Adidas North America head of HR, Jochen Eckhold. There are many things I will be charged with in my new role but the thing I’m most excited about is building a world-class employment brand for Adidas North America. I’ve been fortunate that I have had the opportunity to work in PR, work around creative people who know how to solve intense business problems through strategic communications—including branding and PR. I have also worked in a culture where innovation and creative ideas are more important than profit itself—yes, this is true believe it or not. Waggener Edstrom puts people and innovation before profit—but profit always followed with this approach. This I will be forever grateful for because it taught me that no idea is too big or too bold or not worth considering. Now I plan to take this to the next level. Failure is not in my vocabulary, average is nothing, good is average—which is nothing—The only thing left is great. So my plan is to build one of the most innovative talent brands in the world. Nothing will be off the table, nothing too bold, and nothing too hard. To Adidas impossible is nothing. Impossible is nothing to me. As my former CEO used to say…”I want to work with companies that are on the lunatic fringe.” This is where I will spend my time building something great.

More to come on my role at Adidas…. I welcome feedback from anybody out there who reads my blog, people in the creative fields, innovative recruiters, passer by’ers--to comment on what you believe to be great employer brands. What makes you want to work at an organization, what creative tools amplify this message in the marketplace. OR…if you are interested in a career at Adidas I would also encourage you to leave a comment or send mail. I will be updating my profile and contact information in the coming weeks.

Now it’s time to earn my third stripe!


Believe Communications said...

Hi Steve - Congratulations on the new job with Adidas, and best wishes for continued success in your new role!

Sincerely, Matt Edwards

Choi Sze said...

Hi Steve, my name is Choi Sze. I come from Hong Kong but I have just completed my degree in England. I am very interested in joining Adidas's graduate trainee programme in the UK. After reading your sharing, it makes me even more keen to join Adidas, which is a company which I perceive we share the same passion in sport. I have once given up an offer from one of the big four accounting companies, and then I chose to further my studies in the UK in sports management. I truely believe that Adidas could be a right place that I can contribute my strengths. I am particular fascinated when you said about the norm of having passion towards sports at Adidas. Do you think this culture built around sport is generally happened in every brands all over the world? Any tips that you would give me in order to join Adidas's family?