Meet the Team: Nicole Diez, Head of HR, Americas
How hard is it to hire software developers and engineers? Ask Nicole Diez, the head of HR for Softensity’s LATAM community.
After graduating from Florida State University, Nicole Diez put her hospitality major to use and accepted a position in Atlanta. But when she moved back home to Panama, she found the hospitality industry struggling to stay afloat. Rather than giving up, Nicole did some reflecting and decided to use her other major, HR, to move into the field of technology. She gathered the courage to switch gears and retool her career, soon landing a job in human relations at a software company.
After working in IT recruitment for several years, Nicole was faced with a new growth opportunity. Softensity recognized Nicole’s core skill sets and abilities and believed in her ability to grow and stretch with the right support. In March 2021, Nicole was given the opportunity to lead Softensity’s Latin American recruiting team.
From your perspective, what is the IT industry like in Latin America?
In a word, competitive. Very competitive. There are so many talented people living in Latin America, so now companies are looking our way to fill their tech roles. With the extreme competition to hire tech talent, I’m seeing IT candidates get over 10 messages a week on LinkedIn, and wages going up. Which, of course, makes me happy that the world is recognizing all the amazing and talented people we have here in Latin America.
How is recruiting for IT different compared to other industries?
To recruit in IT, you need to have an understanding of what a candidate’s skills are, and some insight into the tech languages. Once you’ve recruited for IT positions, you have the skills to recruit anywhere. Tech is not an easy industry to pick up, so if you can get an insight into coding languages and programs, then you can surely succeed in any industry.
What has been your experience with recruiting during the current tech labor shortage?
The industry changes so fast, even from one month to the next, so even when it’s tough to fill a position, I keep a positive outlook. We’ve had to get much more creative just to get candidates in the door for a conversation.
What kind of challenges do women face working in the tech industry?
In my experience, even the most highly-skilled women in IT don’t see their own greatness and will sell themselves short, either by not negotiating for higher salaries or applying for more senior positions. In such a male-dominated field, I understand why women are often more cautious about their career moves, but I really want them to know that they are just as talented and just as deserving of the money and roles that men often get in the IT industry.
What is the best part of working with Softensity?
The leadership is great. I feel like my input and feedback are appreciated and even more so, encouraged. We all share experiences and get to be creative in our approach to problems. Softensity is also really aware of my goals for the recruiting team, so they make sure they support those goals every step of the way.
How has Softensity supported your growth professionally?
I took a risk leaving my last role and stepping into this managerial position, and it’s paid off because they supported me all the way. As I said, leadership at Softensity really does care about your personal goals, and learning from Monika Mueller and her decades of experience has been especially helpful for my professional development. Being Softensity’s head of HR is a pivotal moment in my career, and the way that leadership believed in my talent has really motivated me to keep growing.
What advice would you give to women who want to enter the IT or HR industry?
For women interested in IT, don’t get discouraged and don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy and can knock you off the path to your dream job. Instead, find your voice and create your own seat at the table.
If you’re looking into a career in HR, I would seriously suggest doing some research about technologies and different software development programs. If you have the skills to recruit for IT, you should feel confident in any recruiting role. Also, make sure you show your human side when interviewing for a job in HR because building a rapport and forming connections with candidates is half the battle.
And generally, to all women seeking a job in any field, do some introspection and see what sets you apart from others. When you show what makes you special, it makes for a really memorable conversation and you always want the recruiter to remember you!
An avid coffee drinker, traveler, and animal lover, Nicole is a passionate HR professional who firmly believes in leading with love and building long-lasting relationships. Born and raised in Panama City, Panama and with a degree in HR Management from The Florida State University, she has worked for both the hospitality and tech industries. She loves learning, helping others, and having an impact in determining a company’s culture and its employee’s happiness.