Avanade Talent Acquisition gives back with ‘Hiring Heroes’ initiative
- Posted on July 31, 2019
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
If you ask Paul Phillips what values shape him professionally, he’ll be quick to mention corporate citizenship. That makes him feel right at home at Avanade, where giving back is at the company’s core.
As an executive, Paul leads Avanade’s talent acquisition, and he wanted to establish an initiative that tapped into value while motivating his team.
“I felt our people continued to go above and beyond – we have a bit of a superhero culture at Avanade,” he explained. “I wanted to try to highlight that great work and provide an extra incentive that would keep the momentum going with a team award approach.”
What he came up in April 2018 with was “Hiring Heroes,” a program that celebrates team hiring milestones while also spotlighting certain members of the team. Here’s how it works: For every 1,000 hires made in a financial year, Avanade matches that with a dollar amount given to a charity. For the first 1,000 hires of the year, Avanade donates $1,000 to a charity. Then when talent acquisition makes another 1,000 hires to hit 2,000, Avanade donates $2,000 to another charity, and so on.
Who chooses the charity? Recruiters on the talent acquisition team.
“It’s not money in their pocket, but a chance to choose something that’s important to them and give back,” Paul said.
Group manager Alissa Scroggins was one of the first selected to choose a charity last year. She chose the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as a way to honor the memory of her sister.
“I had recently lost my sister to cancer,” Alissa said. “She was a huge animal activist and volunteer. She’s the reason, after she passed, that I started volunteering at my local shelter. I considered donating to a cancer organization, but I went with a charity she was passionate about as opposed to something she suffered from. It was really personal for me.”
The decision also got personal this year when the entire team selected Imerman Angels, an organization that provides free one-on-one cancer support. The charity works with individuals who have cancer, but also those who have lost someone to cancer or are providing care to a loved one with cancer.
“When we first announced it, it was important to us to have it not be for one person because quite frankly, there were some people on our team who were going through things and weren’t as public about it,” explained Julie Madayag, director of talent acquisition. “By donating to this support community, we were honoring not just people who are literally going through chemo, but maybe also people who are supporting a loved one through that as well. It’s an organization that supports supporting one another through this, so it was well received because that’s how we operate as an Avanade family.”
Aside from ASPCA and Imerman Angels, Hiring Heroes has donated to a number of charities since the initiative launched last year, including the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Who Code, Junior Achievement and The Beautiful Gate Foundation.
“I don’t think of it as, ‘Every hire I make is going toward this,’” Julie said. “That’s part of it, but when we do reach a goal as a team and then Avanade supports rewarding that achievement by doing something for the greater good, there’s this good feeling that accompanies that. This is a place you want to be, this is a place you want to support, because you know personally you’re helping contribute good at Avanade.”