Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Interview With Tom Vegos - Director Of Human Resources - Semtech

Current Jobs at Semtech

By Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth Consultant,
A JobMachine Inc. Affiliate Partner
Tom Vegos serves as Director of Human Resources / Staffing for Semtech Corporation - a leading Analog /Mixed signal IC company headquartered in Southern California. Prior to Semtech, Tom was Staffing Manager for Intel’s ICG group and was responsible for staffing several of the business units within that organization.
Tom has been in the HR /Staffing field for over 15 years and prior to that was a partner in a contingency based IT search firm. A native of New Jersey, Tom has a BA in Behavioral Science from Widener University in Chester, PA
Tom was kind enough to share his perspectives on the state of the semiconductor industry in general, and, more specifically, how the business environment has effected Semtech’s hiring priorities. Tom provided an in-depth look at Semtech’s proactive approach to meeting its staffing priorities.
Q & A with Tom Vegos, Director of Staffing, Semtech
How long have you been with your company and what is your position within the company?
“I have been with Semtech for close to four and a half years. Prior to Semtech, I worked with Intel as a Staffing Manager for their Communications Group (ICG). “
How many years have you been in recruiting within the Semiconductor Industry?
“Overall I have ~8 years within the semiconductor field. Prior to moving into semiconductors I worked for an electronics manufacturer and a mortgage company. For me, moving into the semiconductor field was relatively painless in the beginning, however after a short introduction, I did come to terms on how complicated these products are and the amount of infrastructure and technical expertise needed to move a product from inception to final production. “
How would you describe your particular niche in the semiconductor industry?
“We are a leader in the integration of power management functions used in portable, battery operated, and telecommunications applications. Our products focus on high-volume product lines like cell phones, Mp3 players, and notebook computers, and our products are designed to be adaptable to other non-portable applications as well.”
How would you compare your product line sales growth as compared to the overall semiconductor industry in the present economic climate?
“The analog semiconductor sector continues to grow at or above the average rate for the entire industry. Our sales growth has seen four consecutive quarters of growth since the last downturn in the semiconductor market, and our sales projections plan on growth to exceed the industry average for the foreseeable future. We are now producing twice as many new product releases as a year ago, all of which are expected to lead to substantial sales growth.”
Do you see an increase in open requisitions? If so, what kinds of people are you looking for?
“Yes, we see a definite increase in requisitions and business seems to be on an upswing. Overall, we are not that different from most semiconductor companies in that we are always looking for strong analog design engineers, test engineers and technically competent marketing professionals.”
Why would someone who is employed and satisfied or at least, somewhat satisfied with their current situation consider making a move to your company?
“That is a question that most staffing professional have to deal with every day and once answered correctly, can make the difference between landing or losing a “top” candidate. In our particular situation, Semtech is in a growth period and over the last few months has received very positive reviews from both industry insiders and Wall Street. The types of candidates we go after need to be forward thinking, believe in what the company’s future will look like and what this will mean for them from both a personal and professional level.”
What are your top five job family areas your staffing organization has prioritized in its hiring forecasts?
What specific niche talent areas are you finding particularly challenging? What strategies have you attempted to address the issue and detail your success stories and continued obstacles?
“As mentioned earlier, good analog designers with low power experience are extremely difficult to source as are knowledgeable sales and marketing professionals. In an effort to address this lack of talent we have been relying heavily on our in-house employee referral program – which is pretty rich - as well as increasing our Company “Brand” with the help of our Marcom group. Based on the size of your company, success stories come in different versions, the fact that we are able to recruit top talent away from some of our larger competitors is always a good starting point. The obstacles we (and others) face is the issue of supply and demand of very technical talent that we all search for. Overall, the types of people we want working for us are the ones that understand and believe in our value proposition and can look beyond our current size / revenue and see a ‘diamond in the rough’”
How would you describe your staffing organization's proactiveness in meeting your talent forecasts?
“Great question. As we are a very lean group, we stay very close to our customers and try to balance their needs with the overall budgeted forecast of the Company. In our view, being proactive means encouraging managers to not only look at filling their current needs, but also look at how they plan to grow their resources internally or via new college grads – which I highly recommend doing.”
Is there anything you would like to say to potential engineers about why your company is a great place to work?
“Semtech is a company with a rich history of developing innovative product for a variety of applications. Candidates need to be prepared to join a team of highly dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who share a common vision of personal and professional growth. We have established Core Values that exemplify what we believe in and what we strive to become. Hard work is essential, but belief in Semtech’s future is key. “
What are your expectations when interviewing a potential candidate?
“Overall, we look for technical competence in the specific area that the individual is interviewing for. Since we are not as large as many of our competitors, we also look for candidates that have a work/ life balance and that are interested in growing within the organization. Our interview process is pretty straightforward, however when we meet for our “candidate debrief’ process, we review the candidate from an overall perspective not just if he/she can do the the job. How the person fits into the group is just as important. “
What gives your company a competitive edge over its competition?
“Strong leadership, technical expertise, loyalty to our customers with a reputation of doing whatever it takes to fix a problem, and without being marred with excessive internal bureaucracy. Additionally, we have various design centers throughout the global which allows us to be flexible on where we locate our staff.”

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