Change Means Opportunity at Adobe

Last year's acquisition of Macromedia has brought new executives who are keen on MBA hiring, says company recruiting director Jeff Vijungco

Even those who aren't familiar with the San Jose (Calif.)-based software company Adobe Systems (ADBE) are probably familiar with its products, which are so widely used they've entered the popular lexicon as verbs like "Photoshopped" or "PDF'd," as well as nouns. Almost 24 years after the company's founding, Adobe is hardly a Silicon Valley startup—especially since the acquisition of former competitor Macromedia last December (See, 2/13/06, "A Flashy New Adobe"). But Jeff Vijungco, the company's director of worldwide talent acquisition, says "there's something about Adobe that still has that small-town feel." reporter Kerry Miller spoke to Vijungco about Adobe's opportunities for MBAs. An edited portion of their conversation follows.

How many MBAs do you typically hire a year?

Typically our formula is that it's roughly 10% of anticipated hiring per year. So, if we were to hire 500 people, it would be 50 of those folks typically come from new grad hiring, with a big chunk of that percentage coming from MBA hiring. Compared to previous years, this will probably be the most robust year we've spent in MBA recruiting and new grad recruiting as a core strategy. The executive team here strongly advocates new grad hiring and is heavily involved in the new grad hiring process, and they're making themselves very visible to those new grads.

Has the management structure at Adobe changed significantly since the acquisition of Macromedia last year, and has that changed your recruiting strategy at all?

There are definitely new executives with the acquisition that took place, and the executives definitely have a lot of passion and excitement around MBA recruiting. So there has definitely been renewed interest in new grad hiring in general. We are a larger organization than we have been historically, not only by people, but by revenue. And we also recognize the value of this injection of new talent coming from the top-pedigree schools. We primarily target 12 key business schools, including Stanford, Berkeley, Wharton, Kellogg, and Harvard.

West Coast tech companies have a reputation for being casual, fun work environments. Does that hold true at Adobe?

I would say that is absolutely true. Our environment is definitely casual and very fun—which doesn't mean it's not highly productive as well. Outside of just being a great place to work, we offer state-of-the-art exercise facilities, great cafeterias, and a recreation room which has Ping-Pong and a pool and a basketball court. So we have a lot of fun here. We are a company with a great brand, by perception a very large company, but there's something about Adobe that still has that small-town feel.

What do you say to somebody who's being recruited by a dozen other tech companies to get across what makes Adobe really different?

We can never negate the fact that there are very exciting companies out there around the world, let alone Silicon Valley. I think that the key differentiator is that our hiring managers get in front of the potential hires in person and get to know them on a much more intimate level beyond just a résumé. Although we may not do the same volume of hiring as other companies, we...

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