You know what always brings people together? Cookies! ☺️

I LOVE making cookies.  There’s just something about sweating away in the kitchen, my hair powdered with flour, my face smeared with chocolate, ingredients all over the counter that I find rewarding. Its hard work, but I get so much out of seeing my recipes come to life. Cookie making is a wonderful mix of science and art – you have to measure, and time, and calculate but you’re also creating something beautiful (hopefully! 😉).

But my favorite part of baking cookies? The joy it brings others – cookies just make people happy!

Every year, I host an annual cookie party with our Recruiting and Talent Sourcing teams at Cisco’s Research Triangle Park (RTP) offices in Raleigh, NC, and it’s a great opportunity for our remote teams to get together before the holidays. We network, catch-up on our lives and families, talk about holiday plans, and (of course!) enjoy some sweet treats! I bring a little something to satisfy everyone’s tastes – chocolate chip cookie dough bites, orange truffles, snowball cookies, ginger crinkle cookies, and so much more. I’ve even gained a new title here at Cisco as the resident Cookie Queen!

In addition to being the local cookie specialist, I’m also part of the Talent Hub team at Cisco and our job is to find top talent for Cisco’s future.

Did you know that throwing a cookie party is a lot like recruiting? You have to plan, research, and put together your recipe box. Just like with baking, you need the right recruiting ingredients. It takes a PINCH of creativity, a DASH of fun.  You have to WHIP up interest in the ‘GRATE’ opportunities at Cisco and people ‘KNEAD’ to understand that Cisco has a culture that can’t be BEAT! 😉

Here’s my recipe for recruiting success!

  • For each new position, you have to create a new recipe. What is the right blend of skills and experiences to achieve the goals and desired outcomes for the role? What are your must-have ingredients?
  • Research your recipe and the ingredients needed. Where can you find the skills that you are looking for? What is the history of the role or the type of work? Are there new innovations related to your hiring needs? What are the best resources for getting information?
  • Even the best bakeries have to promote themselves. Use all the channels available to you – networking, job boards, and social media – to share the available opportunity. We all have a Cisco story to share in why we #LoveWhereYouWork – share that with potential candidates so that they can see why Cisco is the BEST place to work, too!

  • Know why your recipe is delicious. Why would someone be interested in your team and your role? What are the challenges your new hire will work to overcome? What are the cool new projects they will be working on? Let the candidate know what they can expect.
  • Make adjustments to your recipe. Sometimes a recipe doesn’t work and you have to make adjustments. Are you not getting the right applicants? Are they not succeeding in the interview process? Take a look at your ingredient list, you many need to go back to the test kitchen and make a substitution or try something new. And never be afraid to try something new — that’s how we innovate and create a whole new delicious recipe!

As much I love that my cookies make people happy, I love making a successful hire even more and finding the right person for the right job to start their amazing career here at Cisco is such a joy! Every new team member adds value for Cisco’s future and I’m so proud to be a small part of Cisco’s continued growth and transformation.

Do you want to be part of Cisco’s recipe for success? We’re hiring! Apply now.


Anamaria Gilster

Talent Hub Specialist

TA Ops