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Social Media and Graduate Recruiting: Q&A with Sedef Buyukataman

Social media has allowed us to move to a more proactive model of recruitment where we are not just filling specific roles but we’ve been able to build communities of potential candidates who are interested in career opportunities with Cisco. 

Sedef M. Buyukataman, University Relations Manager European & Emerging Markets, Cisco

How has the use of social media changed the way Cisco recruits candidates in Emerging Markets and Europe?

We can now provide candidates with a better view of what we have available today and what position will be coming up in the future.  Social media facilitates conversations and by using tools like Facebook, for example, we can connect at a more personal level and address candidates’ questions directly and also create a broader community. 

Our hiring managers and graduate program alumni are able to join the conversation and this helps them better connect to their target audience to understand the market pool out there.

What is one example of how you use social media to recruit and what have been the outcomes?

Our Facebook community is a prime example of this.  We have an ongoing challenge of attracting females into IT careers (both engineering and non engineering backgrounds). For the month of February we ran a banner ad to target female college students (ages 18-26) in some of our key hiring countries in Europe.  The purpose was to bring more females into our community and make them aware of the types of roles we offer. 

Over the four week period we saw over 300 new females join the group and our overall demographic of female members went from 17% to 24% in this target group.  The ad only cost us 5K USD but the return is that we have more access to potential female candidates so we can show them Cisco’s commitment to Diversity and the portfolio of career opportunities available to women in IT.

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Colombian Government enters the era of TelePresence

Last week, we had the opportunity to witnesses the first TelePresence session from the Colombian Government. President Alvaro Uribe Vélez and Minister of Defense Gabriel Silva Luján inaugurated the first Cisco TelePresence™ rooms implemented by the Colombian government, with a virtual meeting between the presidential Casa de Nariño and the Ministry of Defense in Bogotá.

The TelePresence rooms will facilitate new methods of collaboration across government using virtual meetings and will allow government officials to meet face to face while avoiding transportation delays, and are designed to support a rapid and effective decision-making process in government. 

President Uribe seemed very pleased with the experience and said: ”I would like to have this technology solution in all government departments. They bring huge benefits in terms of productivity, help decrease travel expenses and reduce costs. The adoption of this technology is a crucial step and in name of the Colombian Government we thank Cisco.”

President Uribe of Colombia experiences Cisco TelePresence

Simbad Ceballos, general manager Cisco Colombia explains to President Uribe in Casa de Nariño the benefits of the TelePresence solution minutes before the meeting with the Minister of Defense. At the other side of the Telepresence, Luis Alejandro Arbeláez, vice minister of defense and Manuel Neira, general secretary of the Minister.

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International Women’s Day: Inspirational Women in the Middle East

Women in business have transcended the need for patronising political correctness. It is no longer just about diversity in the workplace; it is about inclusion and profitability. SMB Advisor Middle East features highly inspirational achievers this month – who just happen to be women.  And Cisco’s Clare Jones is among those inspirational women.

Claire Jones is the UAE Regional Sales Manager for small and medium business for Cisco. She has been working at Cisco for the past 5 years.  She is a British national who moved to Dubai in 1994.

Do you feel empowerment starts with the self?  Absolutely! I believe that every woman has as much of a chance as any man to be successful in business. It is not gender specific. It starts with you. Loving what you do is self-empowerment in itself. It gives you confidence to become the best you can.

Have you worked in other countries besides the UAE? How different have the experiences been?  Although I was not based outside the UAE, I have worked across the entire Gulf, North Africa and Pakistan. My experience has been rewarding in each country. My customers and colleagues have always been respectful of me and what I do.

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Emerging Markets press releases and blogs now all in one place

We’ve just updated our the Newsroom for our Emerging Markets theater with the content from this blog so we now have one page that contains both our press releases and an RSS feed from the emerging countries blog itself in one handy page…  There you’ll find a wealth of content from our emerging markets team that you may want to bookmark for the future: http://newsroom.cisco.com/emerging

Just as reminder, Cisco recognised the opportunity for emerging markets early and evolved, from the traditional EMEA model that most technology companies still use, to a dedicated model that puts focus on emerging markets specifically. At the same time we created a dedicated European Markets organisation.  We created our Emerging Markets sales theatre back in June 2005 under SVP Paul Mountford to cover territory from Russia / CIS through Europe East, the Middle East and Africa and our Latin American markets given the synergies we recognised in the development of these markets.

Cisco's Emerging Markets Newsroom

This is the RSS if you want to subscribe to our official press releases from our Emerging Markets sales theatre:

http://newsroom.cisco.com/data/syndication/rss2/EmergingMarkets.xml

and this is the RSS feed if you just want to subscribe to the Emerging Countries blog posts:

http://blogs.cisco.com/rss/emerging/

We’re looking into a combined news and blog feed for the future so please stay tuned.

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Creating a Stronger Connection With Customers using Inclusion and Diversity

One of the questions Cisco sales teams ask themselves is how can we continually improve our business with our customers. Often the answer lies in the relationship between Cisco and our customers.  

Customers want to do business with companies that understand their culture (both the company culture and the local, national culture), and they want to do business with organizations that have shared values. 

Nikos Gerogiannis, Cisco Service & Support Manager in Emerging Markets, is talking to his customers about inclusion and diversity during quarterly business reviews.  Instead of focusing solely on facts and figures, Gerogiannis and his team include non-direct business elements including Inclusion—how we leverage diversity by bringing together a mix of unique individual backgrounds to collectively and more effectively meet our business objectives and Diversity—the Collective mixture of differences and  similarities including but not limited to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical abilities, culture, occupation, position, education, work, and behavioral styles and the perspectives of each individual shaped by his/her nation and experiences.  

This move has created an open conversation between Cisco and our customers, as they share both the concept and experience of team spirit.   For example, one customer wants to leverage Cisco’s inclusion and diversity practices in their own business.   Another customer wants to start to change the perception that their customers have of them and are looking to Cisco to find out how we are doing this so they can model this same perspective for their own customers.   

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