We invited the duo into the studio to talk about handling geospatial data. However, the interview expanded into how federal information technology professionals can recruit from the private sector, how to keep talent, and the actual topic . . .handling geospatial data.
When Di Leonardo was working for the federal government he decided to try to recruit from Google. Normally, this would be considered a noble but futile endeavor. However, he managed to bring in Abe Usher into his project. The key is easy – appeal to the patriotic nature of many ex-military information technology people.
When Di Leonardo left the federal government to start The HumanGeo Group, he wanted to help agencies understand the challenges of handling large amounts of geospatial data. He has found tremendous success, with over 125 employees after only five years.
Another unexpected topic – once you recruit top talent, how do you keep it? Di Leonardo’s answer is to handle employees in a respectful, but somewhat whimsical manner. For example, the company website uses caricatures to show what professionals look like.
The lesson is simple – no matter how sensitive the data you handle, you should have a confident and relaxed approach to your colleagues. Understand they need to be serious and delve deeply into analytics to provide actionable information, but they are humans as well.
Listen to the interview for the technical aspects on geospatial data, but don’t forget the recruiting lessons.