“The new ideas, energy and creativity you receive are well worth the investment that you will make.” – Greg Foran, NTT DATA
With 800 employees in Halifax and steady growth each year, NTT DATA is living proof that hiring new graduates is good for business. NTT DATA has been ranked as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People in 2016.
Since joining NTT DATA in 1998, Greg Foran has played various roles from developer to team lead, to project manager. Today, Greg is Vice President of Application Services for the largest IT employer in Nova Scotia.
Hiring New Graduates
“About 30% of our new hires each year are new or recent graduates. We hire roughly 50-70 people each year that are either new graduates, or have 1 or 2 years of experience. Each year they continue to bring so many new ideas and energy,” says Greg.
With 10 universities and 13 community colleges in the region, there is a wealth of skilled talent close to Halifax. After the employees join the team, NTT DATA provides professional development opportunities to help keep these people in the city.
“If you want to retain employees, you have to help them grow. That’s why NTT DATA provides training to build both their technical and business skills,” says Greg.
(Above is a photo of just some of the recent graduates hired over the past couple of years.)
NTT DATA offers an employee tuition reimbursement program, which provides funding for career development courses. They also have an internal training system and additional online courses, such as project management, risk management, leadership courses, etc. Each year, a group of professionals across North America are selected to participate in the NTT DATA North America New Leaders Program. Halifax employees are often among this group.
Mentorship is another key way NTT DATA fosters a positive work environment. Every new team member is assigned a mentor. This person is a senior employee, separate from the employee’s direct supervisor that provides guidance for the new hire.
“Right from day one, NTT DATA wants all our employees to have someone they can go to ask questions about their projects and beyond. This is critical for the company,” says Greg.
Being part of a global organization has its benefits as well. NTT DATA employees have the opportunity to work with people from around the world opening many doors, including the option to travel and work abroad.
“We’re truly a global company and we support employees going to work abroad for clients for both short-term and long-term opportunities,” says Greg.
In fact, Greg had the opportunity to work for a client in London, England, early in his career at NTT DATA.
Hiring Co-op Students
In addition to recent graduates, NTT DATA regularly hires co-op students. Each term, they hire about 3-4 business students in marketing and project coordinator roles for 4-8 month terms.
“We’ve seen a lot of success with hiring co-op students. They really contribute a lot to our team and in many cases they have been hired on full-time after their placements. It’s amazing to be able to give someone the opportunity to grow within your organization. The knowledge that they maintain and can pass along helps to accelerate learning across the team,” says Greg.
NTT DATA also works closely with local universities and colleges to link academia and industry. They often send guest speakers to the universities and colleges and recently hosted a summer workshop on project management in partnership with Dalhousie University. These partnerships help to align curriculum with what industry is looking for and also allows industry to better leverage the strong expertise and programs within the universities and colleges themselves.
Worth the Investment
Ultimately, Greg emphasizes that the contributions of new graduates have helped contribute to the company’s success.
“The new ideas, energy and creativity you receive far exceed the investment that you will make. These days, so many companies are looking for differentiators and new graduates can play a large part in that differentiation.”