Inside the Essential Skills for Employment at Yahoo!
As one of the world’s leading Internet brands, Yahoo! Inc. is one of the most trafficked Internet destinations today—with an average of 3.4 billion page views per day in October 2005. Due to its ever-increasing popularity, Yahoo! seeks to employ the best and brightest employees to fulfill its mission to provide users with the information they want, when they want it, how they want it and on any device.
In order to fulfill this mission, the organization does not seek to hire people that think like Yahoo!, but think like the 400-million-plus people who use Yahoo!. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Yahoo! employs several hundred IT professionals. Yahoo IT professionals hold job roles such as network server ops, employee support, voice/data technologies, systems administrators, storage administrators and many more.
Connie Cormier, staffing manager, Yahoo!, is responsible for identifying and recruiting top talent for the company. She said that Yahoo! looks for IT professionals that are smart, passionate and always learning and adapting as technology evolves. “We need Yahoos who are not only skilled, but also innovative,” Cormier said.
In terms of soft skills, Cormier said IT candidates should be adept at vendor management, account management, contract negotiation and, of course, people skills. Leadership, relationship building, consensus building and the ability to make compelling arguments are also important soft skills for potential Yahoo! job candidates to possess.
However, if job candidates lack any essential skills or knowledge, Yahoo! offers comprehensive learning and development opportunities. “We have a very extensive learning and development program that offers courses on a wide variety of company-specific needs. We offer online and offline resources, workshops, tuition reimbursement, etc.,” Cormier said.
At Yahoo!, cross mentoring and job shadowing are also encouraged to broaden employees’ skills and knowledge. According to Cormier, it is very common for Yahoo! employees to move internally and hold a variety of positions during their tenure with the company.
Certification at Yahoo! is valued and considered ongoing education. “We view education and experiences as the best indicators of performance. Certification is ongoing education and in concert with experience, certification becomes more valuable,” she said.
If Yahoo! sounds like an employer you may want to pursue employment with, Cormier suggests staying ahead of the technology curve. “Technology is constantly changing: Seek roles that will allow you to learn something new incrementally keeping in mind, ‘What can I learn tomorrow?’” Cormier said. “Study the progress of technology and always continue to learn.”