Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Nicole Goldman on Connecting with the Mission
SeekOut's Talent Visionaries series features innovative leaders and their extraordinary work in creating and scaling high-performing teams. The personal philosophies and invaluable insights of these workplace champions offer new perspectives in an ever-evolving talent landscape.
Nicole Goldman’s impressive 30-year career spans intelligence, defense, aerospace, federal, cyber and wireless industries with progressive experience in HR, Talent Acquisition (TA) and change management. She is Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Mission Technologies, a Huntington Ingalls Industry company.
On connecting with the mission
One of the most profound moments in my career happened in 2004 at the height of the Iraq War.
I was a recruiter in the intelligence space and found two highly qualified candidates for an open role. I knew they were the right fit, but the hiring manager was unsure. I pushed back with evidence to make my case.
A year later, that same hiring manager told me those two hires were instrumental in creating a solution that saved lives in Iraq.
“Recruiters are integral to the success of an organization.”
Recruiters are integral to the success of an organization. This was the moment that I understood how my work impacts the mission. My advice to other recruiters is this: Take the time to understand the organizational mission you are supporting.
On leadership and authenticity
As a TA leader, my success is defined by my team’s success, and I set the tone for how we work together. Regardless of the size of an organization, it’s important to remember that people are observing how you show up. So be approachable, communicate often, listen to your team and advocate for them. Great managers are deliberate about making the work matter, and help their teams understand and celebrate their impact.
On what’s ahead for A&D in 2023
I’m concerned with the defense industry as a whole right now. 2022 was the most challenging of my 30-year career—that includes 9/11 and the dot-com bubble. It was a roller coaster ride for recruiting.
“What we are working on is not only super high tech, but incredibly meaningful to the security of our country and the world.”
During the pandemic, the A&D industry lost cleared talent to tech. This year we have the opportunity to attract that talent back.
What we are working on is not only super high tech, but incredibly meaningful to the security of our country and the world.
On how to stay sharp as a TA professional
I surround myself with people who are better than I am and who challenge me. I have a spectacular TA management team, and I keep abreast of industry trends by networking. My favorite book for TA leadership is The Talent War and a close second is The Culture Code.
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