We’re pleased to announce this month’s Handshake Honor Roll 2022 winner: Melissa Janke, Talent Acquisition Director at Whirlpool Corporation. 🎉
Since her days as an intern at Whirlpool 16 years ago, Melissa has built an incredible career in talent acquisition. Throughout her time at Whirlpool, she’s been influential in developing the company’s diversity recruiting and talent acquisition functions. Keep reading to learn more about Melissa, why she’s passionate about recruiting, and some of the exciting initiatives at Whirlpool.
What’s something you wish you knew going into your first job?
Don't be afraid to take risks, raise your hand, and ask for more. Without doing that, you may never know what you are capable of and you may miss out on an amazing growth opportunity.
Why are you passionate about recruiting early talent or increasing DEI?
I truly believe I would not be at this place in my career if I had started at a different company and not had so many leaders believe in/take risks on me. I believe it's our responsibility to pass that on and support early talent in the same way. Helping them unlock their potential and to dream bigger than they thought possible.
What keeps you up at night?
The pace and complexity of change since the pandemic started. Challenges and changes are across multiple dimensions and are coming very quickly. How we learn to adapt to this and forecast for the future.
What’s a new program or initiative you’d love to start or enhance at your company?
Whirlpool has a number of different initiatives around connecting with students very early in their academic careers. The impact that these programs can have on helping students identify their career interests and prepare for eventual job searches is so important. It's a space where I believe we can always be doing more.
What’s one of your favorite early talent hire success stories?
I can't pick just one but I love to look across Whirlpool and see multiple Vice Presidents and other senior leaders that have started their careers in Whirlpool's Leadership Development Programs. These stories exist across all areas of our business: Engineering, Sales, HR, Communications, Supply Chain, and more.
What excites you about building a workforce for the future?
How to harness the fresh ideas and diversity of thought from the new generations entering the workforce. As each generation is entering the workforce, it's fun to watch the evolution of how we do things and the skills needed. They will take us to places we never thought possible.
What advice would you offer to today’s job seekers? Particularly new graduates entering the workforce for the first time.
Don't hesitate to leverage your network or apply to a job you don't feel you are 100% qualified for. The worst answer you can get is "No," and to quote Wayne Gretzky, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."