by The Red Recruiter on March 12, 2010

I clearly remember the day I swore that I would never again work for another person or company for the rest of my life. *Clenched fist*

How does that saying go?  Never say…

So what happened?

Back in September of 2009, I started working closely with a San Antonio based technology organization called Rackspace.  For those of you from San Antonio and the surrounding areas, I’m sure you are already familiar with this gem of a company.  If you are from further away, you may not be… yet.

This short description may help:

Fanatical Support® has made Rackspace the world’s leader in hosting. We deliver enterprise-level hosting services to businesses of all sizes and kinds around the world. We got started in 1998 and since have grown to serve more than 70,000 customers, including over 51,000 cloud computing customers. Rackspace integrates the industry’s best technologies for each customer’s specific need and delivers it as a service via the company’s commitment to Fanatical Support. Our core products include Rackspace Managed HostingThe Rackspace Cloud™ and Rackspace Email & Apps(formerly Mailtrust). There are currently over 2,800 Rackers around the world serving our customers.

In essence… really great and cutting edge technology, people (Rackers) who have a passion for what they do, and, if that weren’t enough, the organization has an amazing commitment to servicing clients.

What I’m up to

When I started working as a consultant for Rackspace, we began exploring concepts and approaches for creating a more authentic candidate experience.  Social media, as a tool for sharing and connecting with a variety of communities, seemed like the most promising route for establishing this piece of the talent acquisition arm.

During and after our initial conceptualization, I worked closely with the Director of Recruiting (Paul Norman), to design and create an employment portal (I like “Talent Portal”) that would serve as more than a simple stopping point to read bullet points and apply for a job.

We wanted to create something that would allow future Rackers to peer through the window and gain an understanding around what the culture at Rackspace really meant.  The hope being that once they had a chance to see it, they would be more inclined to engage in dialog about potential opportunities.

It takes a culture

While the above outlined goal was great, it takes more than a good idea and some planning to make something like this work.  I can tell you now (with a high level of certainty) that the culture of the organization matters most when attempting this sort of task.

Without the spirit and support of the many Rackers who have helped us along in this process, it would have been impossible to establish a system for sharing the authentic employment experience at Rackspace.

Fortunately, Rackspace is a company that takes great pride in being transparent and allows employees to engage in social media freely.  At last count, I’m pretty sure there were over 600 Rackers on Twitter alone.

As the months progressed, we engaged with Marketing, Communications, Legal, HR, Sr. Leadership and many others to establish a plan and level of understanding around what we were about to do next.  Everyone showed a huge amount of support for the project and so we pushed forward.

Further, the Recruiting team at Rackspace has been amazing!  I have never before worked with a group of individuals more committed or passionate about what they do.

Birth of an employment a talent portal

As of March 11, 2010, we launched our new talent portal and I accepted a permanent position with Rackspace to head up the efforts as we push forward.

With the help of the many amazing Rackers involved, we hope to share and engage talented individuals around the globe who are interested in working for an organization unlike any other I’ve witnessed.  For me, Rackspace is more than a company – it’s a way of doing business and a commitment to serving.

Just take a look at the Rackspace Core Values.  NOTE… these were not concocted during an executive retreat in the hills – they were created by the Rackers themselves and they truly reflect the spirit and commitment you will find when you walk through our doors.

  • Fanatical Support in all we do.
  • Results first, substance over flash.
  • Committed to Greatness
  • Full Disclosure and Transparency
  • Passion for our Work
  • Treat fellow Rackers like Friends and Family

I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Rackspace and to have once again regained my faith that a company like this actually exists.  It’s refreshing!

I encourage you to stop by “Racker Talent” to see what we’ve been up to!

  • Alicia Arenas (@AliciaSanera)

    Woo-hoo! Congratulations Michael!

  • VeronicaLudwig

    They couldn't have picked a better person!

  • Karla Porter

    You are exuding happiness and accomplishment – that rocks =)

  • Lisa Rosendahl

    Congrats Michael, from your writing, it sounds like an amazing fit. Your energy is leaping off the page!

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  • Bill boorman

    Really pleased for you michael. Ive noticed over the last few months that quite a few people are landing great jobs for being great at social. You are a real example of this. Admire you for this. Hope this won't curtail any #Tru adventures!

  • Joan Ginsberg

    WOW! How wonderful! Big congrats to you both because this is definitely a win-win!

  • jonlongsr

    Nice, it's a “Great Fit” for both and a “Happy Place” to be. Creative and fun… that's the best kind of workplace.

  • Lance Haun

    Congrats Michael. I remember talking to you in August and September about what you were planning on doing with Rackspace and it sounded exciting. Glad you both found a good match!

  • theredrecruiter

    Thank you Alicia!

  • theredrecruiter

    Well… the couldn't have picked a more excited person! 😉 I'm really looking forward to it.

  • theredrecruiter

    It feels good to work on a complex project and see it come to fruition. Especially something like this that continues on.

  • theredrecruiter

    Thank you Lisa! Yes, I'm very exciting about becoming a Racker! The culture and people are just amazing! Come to Texas for a visit and I'll bring you on a tour… we took over a mall 😉

  • theredrecruiter

    Thanks so much Bill! You've always been so supportive and I really appreciate it. I'll still be attending conferences… just have to balance everything out 😉

  • theredrecruiter

    Thank you Joan!

  • theredrecruiter

    Yes it is!

  • theredrecruiter

    I appreciate that Lance! It's been a very learning-intensive process to go through. When are you coming to Texas for a visit?

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  • KD

    Michael –

    Congrads – DAXKO is a Rackspace customer and I'm pretty familiar as a result. Sounds like a cool fit from my view. Let us know what we can do to help!


  • dcflamenco

    Congrats Michael! And I saw your new Racker tat…that's committment! 😉

  • dcflamenco

    Congrats Michael! And I saw your new Racker tat…that's committment! 😉

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