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Name: Mark Valadez

Your current role/title: Leader, Talent Projects & Programs at CommScope

STRIVE Session: Tips, Tech and Tricks: High-Performance
Campus Recruiting

Favorite book: Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover

Favorite place you’ve traveled (or would like to): San Diego, CA

Fun fact about you people may not know: I’ve been to every Major League Baseball park.


Tell us about your background and what led you to your current role.

I was born and raised in Chicago on the South Side (Go Sox!) and have always been driven by connecting with people and understanding not just their motivation, but their motive for action. My career path has been unconventional to say the least! I started in telecommunications at age 19 working in a warehouse. When I saw manufacturing starting to go offshore, I took an opportunity in IT as a telecom services coordinator. This was a huge role for me as it allowed me to network with our executive leadership team and led to an opportunity in HR as a staffing coordinator. I was asked to start an intern program from scratch; I had no idea what I was doing and learned a tremendous amount along the way by being creative and open to what was possible. Moving ahead in my career, this early career exposure allowed me to understand how to build a university recruiting/early career function. The combination of these experiences led me to my current role today in talent acquisition operations.

If you had to pick one piece of advice to give to recruitment/talent acquisition professionals, what would it be?

Be open and, more importantly, be passionate. It’s no longer a cliché to say being a part of talent acquisition means being a part of a war for talent. If this is something you are interested in pursuing, consider why you are doing it. For me, I love being an advocate and mentor to students working to develop themselves. Be open to the possibilities that talent acquisition holds as it allows you to branch off into a number of areas in HR and the business.

What inspires you about your work?

Hearing from students who appreciate the time, advice and energy we put into creating a unique experience for them, as well as working to help them develop their professional brand. When students share their learning “ah-a” moments with me, it inspires me to keep doing what I love.

What is a professional goal you STRIVE to achieve?

To continue developing our university relations/early career program into a talent destination and incubator for university and early career candidates. It seems broad, but I want the program to be considered a standard for what students look for in their experience.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing talent acquisition/recruitment?

  1. Market fragmentation
  2. Improving efficiency during the recruitment process
  3. The candidate experience and protecting the company brand
  4. Avoid making a bad hire
  5. Improving direct applicant quality