September 9, 2009 Leave a comment
It’s a busy time of year in the Federal Business Unit. In addition to the end of year sales and contracting barrage, we have several projects coming to a close, and many more just beginning. All of this also means we have another task at hand – one of my favorites – recruiting! In the course of talking to folks about new opportunities I get to meet lots of bright and interesting individuals, which can be both exhausting and energizing (more frequently the latter), but an endeavor that is always informative and thought-provoking. So I thought I’d take a minute to share a few thoughts on one of the many interesting questions I’ve been getting more and more lately from those job-seekers in the industry – “Are you a GIS or a geospatial company?”
This isn’t a new concept – our DoD clients underwent the GIS to geospatial transformation years ago, rebranding their GIS people, technologies and programs under the IGI&S (Installation Geospatial Information & Services) banner. And, while I suppose the question can mean a lot of things to different people, I have answered recruits without hesitation ‘geospatial’, because I believe that being a geospatial company involves incorporating many different technologies to solve problems in many different ways (through existing systems, new development, people, training, etc.). I see it as including GIS as one of the tools in the toolbox, but not as the overarching driver for everything we do. That said, why do I think the question is interesting? First, I’m impressed that we’ve even gotten to the point where folks are asking this question of prospective employers at all, that it is being asked by much more than 1 person out of 100, and that people with diverse backgrounds and levels of experience are thinking about this. And second, I get the feeling that ‘geospatial’ is the answer people are looking for AND that they understand the difference! I can remember when interviewing people (and this was in the not too distant past) was like pulling teeth to find out how and why they’ve applied technology for clients versus just the number of years they have been pushing buttons. So here’s to all those folks I’ve spoken with recently that are really thinking about what we do, how we do it and why. I look forward to having you as colleagues (either at GISi or in our larger GIS family) and I appreciate the thoughtful questions. You guys keep me smiling!