: Northrop Grumman Corporation
: A $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
: Los Angeles, Calif.
Number of IT Employees
: Northrop Grumman's vision is to be the most trusted provider of systems and technologies that ensure the security and freedom of our nation and its allies. As the technology leader, we will define the future of defense—from undersea to outer space, and in cyberspace. In so doing, Northrop Grumman will become our customers' provider of choice, our industry's employer of choice and our shareholders' investment of choice.
We believe our competencies are aligned with the current and future needs of our customers including evolving security priorities: global reach, improved intelligence, precision strike and missile defense. These competencies also address homeland security and large-scale civil information systems that enhance city, county and state government services.
We are defining future systems and their underlying technologies. We are developing the next generation airborne tanker transport, space radar, long-range strike aircraft bomber and the next generation aircraft carrier, destroyer and cruiser. Tomorrow's first responders will use our advanced wireless broadband systems to get critical data fast. Our spacecraft, operating far from Earth, will help unlock the secrets of the universe. And we're helping to define a nationwide health-information network architecture and other advanced information systems.
: Ken Lehman/Group Director, Shared Services Operations/Northrop Grumman Information Technology. Lehman directs an organization that supports Northrop Grumman's IT infrastructure and service delivery. Responsibilities include enterprisewide IT computing infrastructure and initiatives, and providing all company locations with network and telecommunication design engineering, software and systems engineering, and platform engineering. The organization leads enterprise projects, technology insertion, standards development, video design, network architecture and operations management. In addition, this organization facilitates design, engineering and implementation of all major sector and enterprise platform projects, and sets hardware and software standards.
He also provides overall leadership and IT project management direction across Northrop Grumman. This includes oversight of enterprise solution initiatives, including an enterprise portal, enterprise application integration, and integrated information security management.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Lehman held several executive-level positions responsible for building, organizing and directing large research and development (R&D) organizations to deliver and support high-quality enterprise and consumer products.
His previous positions include senior vice president of Computer Associates, managing an R&D organization, and general manager and senior vice president of Prestige Software International, a $60 million business unit of the company focused on enterprise financial management solutions with responsibilities for sales, professional services and support, and R&D. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
Are you looking to hire on more IT staff this year, and if so, how many and in what skill areas?
Yes. We are actively recruiting software engineers skilled in Web site development, general software development, database administration, digital manufacturing, SAP/ABAP, complex CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing), and PLM (product lifecycle management) activities.
Given all the news about the talent crunch, have you or are you finding it more difficult to find qualified IT professionals? If so, is any particular skillset in big demand or very scarce?
Yes, we find it difficult to recruit experienced or knowledgeable personnel with PDM (product data management) and PLM (product lifecycle management) skills such as Teamcenter experience. Additionally, skills in CATIA V5 and ENOVIA are scarce.
What are your primary recruiting strategies? Do you work with recruiters, post jobs online, etc.
We post jobs online, attend career and job fairs, actively pursue relationships with key educational institutions, and work with alumni associations. We also work with the workforce recruiting office and the community leaders in the hiring locations. They offer insight into the recruiting strategies for their areas. We understand that we must form a partnership between the company, the educational institutes and the community to be successful. We have in-house recruiting staff and use recruiting firms only for situations of critical need where no candidates are identified.
What is the hiring process?
We usually conduct two to three interviews on the same day, which includes the hiring manager and one or more subject matter experts.
What should candidates know before they interview at Northrop Grumman?
We only hire U.S. citizens. We have very competitive benefits and provide excellent opportunities for advancement within the corporation. Although we are known for defense products, our IT sector is growing dramatically by providing services to commercial, state and local government entities. Candidates should do some homework, studying what Northrop Grumman is all about at www.northropgrumman.com. They should know what questions they want the interviewers to answer.
What makes for an outstanding potential hire?
For new graduates, excellent grades, enthusiasm for joining the workforce, interest in the activities and directions of Northrop Grumman, and a keen focus in math, science and engineering.
For experienced candidates, we look to see if they have the background and experience that we need, can express why they want to join the Northrop Grumman team, and if they are not just focused on a salary increase by changing jobs, but are sincerely looking for new challenges or expanded ways to make a personal contribution.
What are red flags you look for when reviewing resumes, doing interviews?
Not accounting for all of their experience, vague answers lacking detail, failure to describe efforts in the first person, and canned answers as well as not connecting to the potential opportunity.
What kind of non-IT skills do your IT team members need, if any?
Analytical/problem solving skills
Research skills " The ability to do research for an issue and/or an opportunity in order to develop a solution
Basic estimating skills
An understanding of business process concepts, translating them into system capabilities/solutions and then expressing them back to the customer in their terms
Good communication skills, verbal and written
Microsoft Office tools, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Project
A business understanding in a particular area such as engineering, finance, manufacturing
How important is the cover letter in job queries " any tips or advice to job seekers on what to do or not to do.
It is not very important because resumes are now entered into our Web site and the cover letter is not submitted in that venue. A candidate should be accurate and succinct when entering skills, education and chronological employment history into the Northrop Grumman Web site. They should account for all time from their entry into the workforce to the present.
Is the IT organization looking for certified skills, is that a must have or is there any other qualification that is a must have?
Yes. Oracle and Microsoft certifications are important along with professional engineering registrations.
Does the organization hire 'newbies' and invest in training and how well does that work, and if not, why not?
Yes we hire the newbies. We are expecting to fill about 60 percent of the requisitions with recent college graduates. New graduates represent an important strategic element in the future Northrop Grumman workforce. Newbies represent an investment in the future.We also hire intern candidates as well, which allows the organization to see if the individual will make a good employee prior to a permanent hiring commitment and allows the individual to see if the organization is a good fit for them.
What characteristics or personality traits do you want in a hire, and don't want?
We look for people that possess a good balance of technical and interpersonal skills. They must be able to work on teams. Ego must be under control to maximize teamwork. Openness to constructive criticism, an inquisitive nature, and adaptability to change are critical elements. Pride and defensiveness are derailers.
What does your company offer IT specialists as an employer?
Northrop Grumman offers challenging, interesting work with opportunities for learning new technologies and employment in a variety of desirable locations. We offer competitive salaries and a superior benefits package. Once hired, the employee will have the opportunity to advance and make career choices within the company.
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