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Meet Rose (Dougherty) Cava-Blanco, Silicon Valley Director of Staffing

Posted on March 2, 2009
Filed Under Interviews | Comments Off on Meet Rose (Dougherty) Cava-Blanco, Silicon Valley Director of Staffing


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Phone: 415-246-8997


Notable Employment History:
• Director of Staffing at LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
• Numerous HR Positions at Hewlett-Packard
• Customer Support Organization positions at IBM
*** Rose is currently reviewing new opportunities in Corporate Staffing Management

Rose (Dougherty) Cava-Blanco is a Subject matter expert in the areas of recruiting processes, ATS implementation, hiring manager and recruiter training, and people management skills. Moreover, she has expertise in the development and implementation of new recruiting models, metrics, tools, and policy documentation to support organizational goals.

Rose has over eight years of people management experience including hiring, performance planning, coaching, evaluations, salary, education, recognition programs, setting goals and delivering results. In addition, she has over fifteen years of HR experience with industry-leading organizations, including compensation, selection, sourcing and recruiting, interviewing, diversity, employee immigration/relocation, policy development/documentation, and program management.

Q&A with Rose (Dougherty) Cava-Blanco

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world, Rose

Rose: I’m married to a wonderful man, Jim, who is a documents examiner. I have two children: my son is 24 and working and living in Carlsbad and my daughter will be 21 soon and working and living in San Francisco.


I’m a strong believer in life-long learning and self-care. I’ve recently completed the crash course for the SPHR exam which I don’t have scheduled until May (I’ll probably need a refresher by then!!). Currently, I’m re-reading The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins for preparation in my next role. I’ve just finished Recognizing Richard Rabbit by Peter Weddle. On a fun note, I also read fitness and training books for motivation and continually changing my workout routines that I do at home. I also enjoy Cooking Light and Fortune magazines.

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

Rose: I became a recruiter in 1996 when I joined Hewlett Packard. A great position following my 15 years of customer service at IBM. Recruiting is customer service!! My responsibilities include workforce planning and management for the department/organization I supported. This was understanding their business plan: growth, outsourcing, downsizing, etc. and then reviewing how the current talent fit in to that plan: did we need to recruit, retrain, reward or release.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Rose: At Hewlett Packard, I had an organization that needed a RF Engineer. My greatest sourcing moment was finding the hire in our current resume database. The significance here is that HP received a large amount of resumes per day. As recruiters, we were so encouraged to expand our horizons on sourcing websites and channels that we sometimes overlooked our own database. This success changed the process I used with my recruiting coordinator when looking for new candidates: she mined our internal database and I mined the external to ensure we reviewed those applicants already having a desire to work at HP.

It is now easier with applicant tracking systems having the feature for all applicants to come directly in to your company email box.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Rose: Yes, my first recruiting manager at Hewlett Packard has been my foundation. I’ve had many managers since then and have met lots of people at different events: you learn something from everyone you meet as long as you are willing to listen.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your most recent accomplishments and duties as a Staffing Director


Rose: My most recent position was at LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. headquartered in Emeryville CA. My responsibilities included creating recruiting strategies, documenting department expectations and guidelines; documenting and publishing the hiring process with clear ownership and leading the applicable training sessions for hiring managers and recruiting department. In addition, I automated the requisition process; implemented a new applicant tracking system; implemented new hire and employee background checks; standardized the interview process; cut recruiting agency spending; revamped employee referral program; implemented consistent recruitment branding to job postings.

Six Degrees: (A) What other companies’ recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?

Rose: I reviewed lots of websites for ideas in updating LeapFrog’s. Hewlett-Packard, Juniper Networks and Electronic Arts are cool and easy to follow. I’m also very impressed with the recruiting process at Microsoft.

Six Degrees: (A) In what aspects are they superior?

Rose: The above websites are easy to use: the careers page link is readily available. Microsoft follows an excellent communication process.

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
The huge amounts of corporate downsizing.

Rose: The market is flooded with unemployed individuals with excellent skills. People are applying to all jobs they are qualified for. On the employer side, the volume of resumes per opening has substantially increased. Companies are having a tougher time closing with each applicant so ‘the resume in the black hole’ cannot be helped right now.

Six Degrees: What has been your industry involvement in terms of contributing subject matter expertise?:

Rose: I was the Keynote Speaker at the Kennedy Information’s Recruiting 2008 Conference and Expo where I presented the work my team and I completed at leapfrog.

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Rose: Expand my generalist knowledge while maintaining my recruiting expertise to prepare myself for an HR VP role.

Industry Recommendations

“Rose is a pleasure to work with. She is a strong manager and has built a high performing team at LeapFrog as well as implementing many new processes which we were sorely lacking before she joined us. She implemented Taleo and ensured we were using it more effectively than our previous ATS, she drove down our recruiting costs significantly and greatly improved the quality of the staffing services provided to the organization. In addition, she created clear roles and responsibilities for those involved in the hiring process and implemented our background check process. I truly enjoy working with Rose, she’s a gem.” October 29, 2008
Hilda West, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, LeapFrog (managed Rose at LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.)

“Rose is awesome in her role of Staffing Policy Manager at HP. She is extremely responsive. Her contributions to HP are appreciated.” March 2, 2006
Susan Graye, Global Staffing Strategic Initiative Manager t Hewlett Packard

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