Editor’s Note: The following story highlights a job opportunity at Gartner. Committed to filling its ranks with talented members of the military community, Gartner is a Hirepurpose client. Learn more here.
Minutes into my conversation with Gartner Executive Vice President of Human Resources Robin Kranich, I find myself nodding my head to the beat of her enthusiasm. Her passion for the work that the world-renowned innovative research and advisory company does is contagious; it’s no wonder she’s served with the company for more than 23 years.
“What we do at the most simple level is help leaders across the entire enterprise make better decisions, get access to better advice and help grow their businesses,” Kranich explains with excitement in her voice.
“What we do is inherently good,” she continues. “What we do is help people.”
She goes on to describe the essence of Gartner as one of sustainable growth and sustained success. “Every year, we want to grow in double digits. What are the kinds of people that flourish in sustained double digits?”
As head of human resources, Kranich’s goal is to answer this question while building a mutually beneficial partnership between Gartner and its new recruits.
“One of the things I’m most passionate about is: We want people to grow with Gartner,” Kranich reveals.
In 2018, the company plans to hire 4,000 new employees, and four of its expanding locations are in cities with high populations of veterans, including Dallas, Texas; Stamford, Connecticut; Arlington, Virginia; and Fort Myers, Florida. Kranich has her eye on candidates with prior military experience.
“We recognize veterans as a group of people who have made sacrifices at the highest level that intrinsically come with great leadership skills,” she says.
In addition to outstanding leadership skills, Kranich reveals five qualities she recommends veterans highlight when interviewing with Gartner.
1. The ability to adapt.
Kranich understands service members know how to adjust and re-adjust as quickly as necessary in order to maintain a tactical advantage over adversaries.
“In particular, that military behavior — evolve and adapt — is essential as a trait in any environment with sustained growth,” she says. “The world is complex; things are always changing and you are going to have to adapt.”
2. Sound judgement.
Savvy decision-making is also vital to Gartner’s model of success.
“You have to hire people that have a growth mindset and a real sense of purpose. People that have the kind of traits to be successful,” she says. “They are smart, bright, and have good judgement that’s honed through experiences.”
“We really like to study what people do, what best companies do and what best practices are,” Kranich explains. “Veterans are trained to very quickly try best practices.”
3. General manager mindset.
Military training also sharpens executive presence and comfort in command. Kranich refers to this as a “mindset of ownership.”
“I tend to think of a hotel manager getting off the elevator and straightening a picture on the wall. That sense of accountability is extremely important,” she explains.
4. Team-player personality.
While having an ownership mindset is valuable, Kranich also stresses the importance of being comfortable operating within a client-centric team.
She elaborates further by using a successful football team as an analogy for the Gartner-customer relationship.
“The client sits in the middle, but we build a team. You can’t have a team with 11 quarterbacks,” Kranich explains.
Gartner is looking for employees who have a “true sense of collaboration and understanding of the unique resources that are available and when leveraged can play a huge advantage in winning.”
Going a step further, Kranich reveals the worth of employees willing to put the team before self, a trait that is asked of every man and woman in uniform.
“I value people who try to do the right thing, who care about doing the right thing, and who come prepared with some humility,” she says.
It is apparent that Kranich believes in hiring candidates with the right qualities over applicants boasting specific skills. At Gartner, the chief focus is on “identifying people with the learner’s mind and the mindset for growth, and then building the infrastructure to support them.”
Kranich’s encouragement to veterans who are unsure how to translate specific skills and qualities is to, “Quite simply, be you. Embrace the experiences you’ve had and look to us to leverage those. We’ll build the system to support you.”
In addition to building a support system, Kranich looks forward to helping professionals who have served in the military serve and grow with Gartner in another way.
“Gartner will be an even better place with more veterans,” she says.