Well, I got your book, I've been reading this board and the articles, I have been trying
to do the research, but ya know, there is this one little nagging problem. According to
the people I talk to (friends at Dell Computer) and according to the research that I have
been able to come up with, there is no way to talk to anybody unless you go through HR. Of
course, when you submit your resume they put you in the data base with your key search
words and send you a nice little card saying they did so. You just have to hope that they
entered it right. It's very touching.
The only thing I haven't done is to fill their office with resumes so that their paper
shredder fails and they talk to me just so that their office doesn't fill up. The friends
have tried to help but the hiring managers apparently do not have the authority or means
to speak to who they want, just who they are sent. Then again, maybe I'm just a bad hire
with 15 years experience, and having owned my own business and all. I mean maybe I just
don't measure up.
Their procedure goes like this. The hiring manager submits a form to request permission to
hire somebody for whatever position. The form goes to HR. The HR department shuffles
through their database and gives the hiring manager a choice of a few people that they
think meet the requirements. Those are the only people that the manager has a choice of.
HR has such a stranglehold on hiring at the company that I have yet to be able to talk to
anybody other than the friends that I have there. They have not been able to get me
through to a hiring manager that can do anything without the HR department taking total
control. This stonewall has steel behind it.
I will be interested to hear what you have to say about this. There has to be something I
am missing. (Duh.)
Insider Advice from
An Anonymous Manager
Dell Computer Corporation
There are two sides to this story and the truth lies in the middle.
In the sales arena most managers recruit their own candidates themselves with the
assistance of Dell's recruiting office (these recruiters are not HR folks). When I have
preliminary discussions with a sales candidate and I decide I want to hire that person,
it's true that I turn them over to HR for the typical screening process. But that's after
I've decided the candidate is of interest. Once HR completes their function I move to a
more formal interview process. I've never had HR stand in my way of hiring someone I felt
would be an asset to Dell.
However, in areas outside of sales I can believe things get a tad more tedious for
candidates, as all other positions are based in Austin, TX and relocation issues come into
play. To put it simply, we have an enormous pool of technical folks right here in our
backyard. There are several major universities within 1-2 hours of Austin, as well as many
other large manufacturing facilities including IBM, Apple, Motorola & Samsung. As you
can guess, with the number of technically savvy folks at our disposal we try to keep
relocation costs to a minimum when possible. However, even if you're you are not from
Texas you can land a career with Dell.
Case in point... I was recently contacted via the Net by a gentleman who had done some
solid research on Dell. He identified me as a possible contact through this research. He
indicated Dell has always been a company he found quite interesting and would welcome the
opportunity to check out career opportunities within one of our product engineering areas.
I looked at his resume, talked with him personally, then forwarded it to some folks I knew
within our Dimension product group. Yes, he too found our HR folks a bit difficult to get
past. However, he persevered and got creative... went outside the box! Isn't that part of
what you recommend to people?
When he couldn't find someone in engineering to talk to directly, he focused on finding
another contact -- me. But he did a lot of research to find me, and that's as it should
be. If it were that easy to get to a manager in every company, managers would spend all
their time talking to unsolicited job hunters. What this person did revealed his
motivation, his persistence and his intelligence. Ultimately, he went through sales to get
linked directly into product engineering. Most important, he was able to convince me, in a
brief conversation, that he had something valuable to contribute. Not everyone can
accomplish that in a phone call. Today this fellow is a senior engineer for Dell within
our Dimension product group.
I can tell you that any good manager at Dell who hears about a potentially good job
candidate will refer that candidate to the appropriate manager. Part of our jobs as
managers here is to look out for the interests of our company, not just for our own
departments. I'm proud of my company, and when I can help two good people get together at
Dell, I'm more than glad to do it.
Having said that, something about this person's story doesn't add up. When someone has
good inside contacts in a company, that usually ensures at least an introduction to the
appropriate manager -- not just at Dell, but in any company. I have a feeling this
gentleman's "friends" at Dell probably are hesitant to bring his name forward
for some reason. (This isn't a judgment, because I don't know anything about him -- but
it's my guess.) Throughout the company we always preach "tell your qualified friends,
neighbors and family members Dell would love to talk with them". In a recent month we
hired 2,000+ people. Skilled folks are always in demand at Dell. I'm not saying this guy's
not legit, but I have a feeling there's more to this than what appears on the surface.
NOTE: The advice provided above is an opinion, not
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