Company: MTN / EMC / Global Eagle Entertainment

How to Restructure Engineer While Keeping Culture Intact

Client: Marcus Araujo, Sr. Director Management Information Systems

Global Eagle, formerly Maritime Telecommunications Network, is a publicly held VSAT satellite service provider headquartered in California and with locations throughout the world, including Miramar, Florida, USA. Global Eagle provides connectivity services to major cruise lines, including Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Lines along with luxury yachts, oil rigs, government, airlines, military vessels, and commercial vessels. Since 2011, Octagon Technology Staffing has helped Marcus Araujo enhance and build teams focused on highly technical abilities, professionalism, and cultural fit.

What are some of the things you did to keep the integrity of the culture through transformative changes that can be interpreted as chaotic?

“I pride myself in being the type of manager that does not take shortcuts, as they lead to long delays. I am definitely not a micromanager either. To be honest, each member of the team is a grown-up, mature and talented professional with enough experience and skills to get a job elsewhere tomorrow if they chose. I think the reason we continue to work and thrive together while continuing to be laser-focused on the mission ahead is that we have built a team that is truly united. We have each other’s back and trust one another to deliver what is expected. It is like playing at a fine-tuned orchestra where each player knows the music well and, more importantly, knows when to step in and out in perfect synchrony with the other players.”

How did multiple mergers and acquisitions change the nature of the job?

“Our industry is in constant change and so are our jobs. This is typical of the high-tech environment we call home. Engineers that were strong on the infrastructure side had to evolve and become strong data analytics professionals. They are flexible and capable of changing direction as needed. We hire people with these potential changes in mind.”

How did your role change?

“What my team does is provide telecommunications solutions and support to the maritime industry. Ships travel from one location to another across the globe, which presents a moving target. Satellite capacity is very expensive, and so we needed to implement scalable solutions that provide the business with leveraged intelligence & actionable mathematical models. As we started to see a demand for intelligence and capacity engineers with coding and data analysis experience, my position evolved from Director of Voice Engineering to Sr. Director of Performance Analytics and now, Sr. Director Management Information Systems and Business Intelligence. I was tasked with building the team that would architect end-to-end solutions to support the many activities involved in provisioning satellites capacity in multiple bands for our global network coverage. We also bring the related network management and quality of service solutions in monitoring, reporting and dashboarding to the entire organization.”

How is your process when selecting qualified engineers for your team? What do you look for in a future hire?

“We naturally start with the resume, education and work experience. Obviously, the candidate has to be qualified for the job but more importantly, their personality, teamwork skills and overall expectations are critical. Typically, skills can be learned but certain values cannot. Secondly, their compensation expectations have to be within the budget. Highly qualified candidates with misaligned expectations are not very helpful either. Believe it or not, other recruiting agencies would fall short here at these basic steps.”

How did you feel in the process of working with us? If you’ve worked with other recruiters in the past, what was different with us?

“You sent candidates that met the three criteria:

  • Qualified engineers
  • Culture-fit
  • Within budget

Other recruiters would get 2 out of 3, and end up sending us candidates that were sometimes capable technically, but that required compensation beyond our budget or did not match our values and culture.”

If you were to recommend Octagon to a friend, what would you say?

“Octagon understands the human side of technology. This is by far the most critical piece that you’ve brought to this company. By the time I get to interview a candidate, plenty of recruiters from Octagon have double-checked the basic steps in the qualification process. This saves me a tremendous amount of time and effort.”

Is there anything you would like to share that we haven’t asked you?

“We have hired many people through you for a number of different positions. The common success denominator has been your good job in setting expectations for both employer and employee. Your relentless focus on cultural-fit has been greatly appreciated and most definitely a key differentiator against your competitors. Keep up the great work!”