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Medtronic creates network groups with SHPE, NSBE, SWE and more

The program boosts interest in the organizations and the professional development they offer, and also gets the word out about jobs at Medtronic

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Leondias Butcher.

Leondias Butcher: "We leverage the minority career fairs that we attend."

Medtronic, which provides a wide range of products and therapies for health restoration and pain relief, has taken an unusual approach to employee resource groups.

The company has recently created internal organizations consisting of members of professional groups like SHPE, NSBE, SWE, Hispanic, black and women MBA associations and the National Sales Network.

These Medtronic professional association networks work with existing employee resource groups, sometimes as subcommittees or components of the group. Based on feedback from members, the program has been very successful.

Michael Valencia, manager of workplace inclusion, notes that the initiative is designed to emphasize awareness of the professional
Michael Valencia.

Michael Valencia.

organizations. "These networks are useful in getting the word out about opportunities at Medtronic," he says. "However, most members join because of the emphasis on professional development."

Professional associations are strong sources for recruiting, Valencia notes. "We attend their career fairs knowing we will see good candidates, especially highly sought-after professional early- or mid-career talent, to bring into our organization.

"The next step is to get these individual groups to come together and see where there are natural linkages."

Medtronic utilizes a number of resources to hire good techies, says Leondias Butcher, senior director of workplace inclusion. "We leverage the minority career fairs that we attend, we've expanded into more specialized career fairs like biosciences, and we're thinking about IEEE and ASME."

The company also goes to fairs put on by medical organizations like the American Black Cardiologists Association and the National Medical Association, two predominantly African American physician organizations, Butcher adds.

The majority of openings in any given year, he notes, are for people with three to five or more years experience.

The company's IT group is looking for technical people with MBAs, and finds them, for example, in the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (www.cgsm.org).

Software engineering for Medtronic products is done internally, often by techies who combine a software engineering degree with an MS in biomed and sometimes a PhD, Butcher explains.

Medtronic is enjoying growth in the U.S. and abroad. "Local chapters of professional associations make great partners for hiring within the geography of the business unit," Valencia says. "It makes sense to leverage the connections of our employees to help us find top talent in their networks of professional colleagues."



Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN
Employees: 33,067
Revenues: $11.3 billion in 2006
Business: Medtronic's mission is to contribute to human welfare through biomedical engineering that alleviates pain, restores health and extends life. Products and therapies are offered for cardiac rhythm management; vascular and cardiac surgery; spinal, ear, nose and throat navigation; neurological problems and diabetes


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