I have worked at Equinix for 11 years now, and I currently lead our Operations recruitment team in EMEA, hiring staff for Equinix’s data centres across Europe and the Middle East. Historically this has meant working tirelessly to find Mechanical & Electrical Engineers and Cabling Technicians with experience working in a data centre. However, at the start of 2020, it became very clear that we were going to need to do something differently. There was hot competition for the best talent, and we wanted to diversify our workforce to leverage new skills and approaches to the roles.
We started to explore the idea of bringing in people from unrelated industries. We had seen some small-scale success with this before - one example of this was a colleague who joined us on a short placement when leaving the Armed Forces and never left, thankfully! We soon realised that an idea we had for a short-term hiring program in could actually transform the way we hire globally – and we haven’t looked back! We quickly found ourselves deep in a global program build, which was a first for me, and The Equinix Career Transition Program was born, as a formal pathway to join Equinix with no data centre experience or knowledge. We partnered with an external training provider to support people with this move and ensure we are setting them up for a successful career with us.
What we hadn’t predicted was that as soon as we began our global build, a global pandemic was going to come along and change everything. It quickly became apparent that we were in an extremely fortunate position in that we were still actively hiring across the globe, whereas this sadly wasn’t the case for many industries. We made the decision to focus our efforts on promoting the program within industries hardest hit, to ensure people that had faced redundancy were aware of the career paths Equinix could offer them. We partnered with companies in the aviation and automotive industries, as well as holding information webinars about how to launch a career at Equinix. I can honestly say I am so proud to work for an organisation that fully supports these initiatives. Being able to adapt our program to support those out of work gave me such great job satisfaction. I felt like in my own small way I was able to make a positive difference in what has been the hardest time many of us will have faced in our lives to date.
Since the program launched formally launched in August 2020, we have seen huge success globally, more than we ever dreamed of for the first six months! People have joined us from the military, aviation, automotive, hospitality and many more industries. Our partners in the business are relishing seeing their teams diversify in many ways. We are looking forward to opening the program out to several different job types in the future, so watch this space!
Of course the launch of the Career Transition Program was not always easy. We were determined to launch a globally consistent program and as such had many conversations at all hours of the day and night with our colleagues and partners across the globe. Training needs differ, languages differ and the minimum requirements for each role differ slightly, but by working as one team we were able to come up with solutions, and we’re still learning as we go. I’m not even adding lockdown and home schooling to this list of challenges, but needless to say I’m still having nightmares about phonics! Whether educating my children or building the Career Transition Program has given me more grey hairs in the last year it’s hard to tell, but the hair salons are back open in the UK now so no one ever need know!
I am so excited and humbled to have been at the heart of this idea from the very beginning and so thankful to colleagues and leaders within Equinix for supporting us as a team to achieve our goals. I couldn’t be any prouder to have been a part of this, and am so excited about what is to come.