This Week’s Women in Technology Thought LeaderKim Hoefer, First Data

With more than 20 years experience in Human Resources, Kim Hoefer is a highly regarded Human Resources professional. She has an innate ability to recruit and match the right person with the right position. Thus, having this type of responsibility is very important to Kim and she doesn’t take it on lightly – as she is helping create the company’s culture. She has been recruiting and finding talent most recently at First Data, joining them in July 2009 as the director of global executive recruiting; now, she is the vice president of talent acquisition and responsible for all talent acquisition for product development, client solutions and technology across the globe.

First Data (NYSE: FDC) is a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, serving approximately six million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in 118 countries around the world. The company’s 24,000 owner-associates are dedicated to helping companies, from start-ups to the world’s largest corporations, conduct commerce every day by securing and processing more than 2,500 transactions per second and $1.9 trillion per year. First Data is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

In handling recruiting for several businesses, she has noticed the gender gap of many of the positions she was looking to fill – especially those positions specific to STEM.

As someone who recruits exclusively in the Technology function, it is clear that we need to be very aggressive about continuing to develop and encourage young girls to go into the STEM subjects and “own” their excellence in those subjects.   There continues to be a shortage of women candidates in the technology world.  Given the explosive growth we anticipate in this field the only way the supply of talent will meet the demand in the future is to quickly direct young girls to explore the possibility of STEM subjects.  If they show an aptitude for math, science or engineering, encourage those students to embrace the subjects in a safe environment where they will flourish.” – Kim Hoefer

Kim earned a BA degree in Economics from Tufts University. She is involved in her community and with several volunteer organizations such as Outward Bound Atlanta – they work with a variety of clients in the Metro Atlanta area. From schools to educators and corporations, Outward Bound Atlanta offers a variety of programs and initiatives that focus on developing leadership, team skills, effective communication and trust. She was also a former board chair for Outward Bound Atlanta.

More About Kim:

  • LinkedIn: Kim Hoefer
  • Currently Reading: Currently I am reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It is about having the courage to follow your creative passions.  Creativity, in this case, is more about our natural gifts and talents and not being afraid to leverage them or finding excuses not to make the most of them.  As I said above, I realized that perhaps it is courage our young girls need to have to embrace the STEM subjects.  It is up to all of us to pass along the notion of courage.
  • Best Advice You’ve Ever Received: Best advice was from my Dad, “prepare for the worst but expect the best”.  That allows me to continue my very optimistic outlook on life but tempers my expectations just in case!

Originally published on Atlanta Daybook