My 1,300+-mile career journey all started when I received an email from a Gartner Talent Sourcer asking if I would be interested in setting up an introductory phone call. Upon reading this email, I could barely contain my excitement! “Gartner … Relocation to Fort Myers, Florida … Relocation package provided …” Sunny beaches and adventure flashed before my eyes. I could almost feel the sunshine on my face and my toes in the sand. I was already familiar with Gartner because they were a client of my employer, and I knew several sales recruiters who worked on the Gartner account. I knew that every recruiter boasted about the amazing culture, the generous benefits package and the professional development offered at Gartner. I was honored to be contacted by Gartner, especially because what makes me a little different is very obvious in my head-shot.
I had a series of phone interviews with the recruitment team that were more of a guided conversation about my career and professional experiences than a check-the-box approach to vetting my skills. We talked about awards and recognitions I had earned, tough vacancies that I had filled, building relationships with my hiring managers and trends in the HR industry. I remember speaking with my now-current director about changes in the “upcoming,” salary policy at the time, which barred us from asking for a candidate’s current salary. I was completely blown away by her thoughtful, even-keeled analysis of the policy and knew right away this was the woman I wanted to work for. I had about seven phone calls in total. Did you know that Gartner is ranked #4 in Forbes’ list of the top 10 companies that give the toughest job interviews? I was worried that being the bold woman that I am and with the “get it done” attitude I learned from the frigid Northeast, I might not fit within the subtropical paradise of Southwest Florida.
My mother was so proud of me when I called and explained to her that Gartner was going to fly me to Fort Myers for a final-round interview, all expenses paid, and my husband could come with me. The Gartner recruitment team made all the travel arrangements and even accommodated my current work schedule. I was nervous about traveling so far south but excited to tour the campus and meet the team. I had done a ton of research about the Fort Myers area and planned an itinerary of my own, leading up to the interview. We brought our two little ones to Grandma’s house for the long weekend and set off to the airport. We flew from Albany to Chicago to Fort Myers, and as we exited the plane we were greeted by palm trees and a sense of accomplishment. For three days, we drove all over the Fort Myers area, kayaked with manatees, went to the beach in Naples, ordered room service, swam in the heated saltwater hotel pool and made friends with the locals. I was surprised at how welcomed we were despite obviously being tourists.
When it was time for my interview, I drove down Gateway Boulevard, double–lined with palm trees, until I reached the impressive Gartner campus and knew this was the opportunity I had worked toward since I started my recruiting career. I was feeling a little apprehensive and nervous about looking a little different, but I touched up my brand-new Calvin Klein hijab and walked through the Gartner double doors. I was immediately greeted by a warm staff and felt welcomed the moment I entered the lobby. I completed my onsite interview, thanked everyone for their time and drove to the airport feeling confident. A few days later, I received a phone call extending an offer to me!
I am grateful for the opportunity to work for such an amazing organization. Working in HR gives me the opportunity to extend the same high level of candidate care to future Gartner associates. Gartner supports and encourages me to be a champion of Diversity & Inclusion. I am honored to be in a position to recruit diverse, global talent and to support better business outcomes.
Are you interested in joining Alycia’s team? Search for a new opportunity in our Fort Myers office here.