Electronic Design

Veterans Guide Rookies On The Path To Success—And Fellowship—At ADI

To sustain its reputation as a technology leader, Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has developed several human resource initiatives to foster the growth of its newest and most promising employees.

All new hires -- 12% of which are just out of college -- get more than just an employee orientation. Newbies have their first week of work planned out for them, ensuring they meet with key coworkers and managers. If on-the-job questions arise, rookies have to go no further than their "go to" person. That "mentor" is assigned from the outset to answer any questions and provide assistance.

On the human resources side, each new hire participates in the "how's it going" program, in which an HR representative checks in via interviews and surveys several times throughout the new employee?s first year with the company.

There's also a formal mentoring program, where the best and brightest new hires are paired with senior leaders for a year. About 25 "proteges," or mentees, are selected each year and work with both their mentors and each other to solve problems and business challenges.

"We strategically select the pairs to give the protege an opportunity to gain a broader perspective on the company and obtain coaching and career counseling," said Erin Hurley, spokesperson for ADI.

Another incentive for employees is ADI's fellowship program, which recognizes high levels of technical achievement. Fellows are inducted at the company's annual General Technical Conference, which brings together global members of the company's technical community to share ideas and learning.

Typically, the fellows have made a significant contribution to the industry. Beyond increased visibility in the industry, the title comes with a salary increase and promotion to a senior-level job. And this crop of fellows often yields significant mentors for ADI's mentorship program, to help grow the skills of young technologists.

The role of the fellows doesn?t end there. They will continue to serve as both consultants to help other employees solve problems and make the company's technical knowledge accessible and as ambassadors to represent ADI in the industry.

These three programs are part of the company's philosophy of hiring top employees and providing the canvas for them to create and invent. Company Chairman Ray Stata noted this when he was inducted into Electronic Design's Hall of Fame in 2003 for his initiative in bringing technology to developing nations. The company should provide "as much freedom as you possibly can and still have a collective, common purpose and vision. Then you encourage \[employees\] to do their best," he said.

ADI's corporate leadership philosophy, paired with its numerous employee programs, have played a factor in maintaining its workforce of approximately 3300 engineering employees out of its total 9800-member workforce. Hurley said the long-standing existence of the programs has been a factor in making the company's retention rates much higher than the industry average.

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