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Executive Spotlight: Christina Correira of Avaya Government Solutions

Christina Correira

Christina Correira, executive VP of human resources for Avaya Government Solutions, recently spoke with GovCon Executive about the future of social media in HR and how she plans to innovate in her organization.

GovCon Executive:  Can you tell us a little about your background?

Christina Correira:  I’ve been with Avaya Government Solutions and its preceding company for about five and a half years.  I’ve spent over 10 years in government contracting, leading not only HR organizations but also serving as corporate counsel and leading contracts and proposal organizations.  I am an attorney by training, but I would say I am a businessperson first and a lawyer second.

GovCon Executive:  How would you say Avaya Government makes use of social media for HR?

Christina Correira:  The most prominent way that we use social media is to recruit.  Social recruiting has become the best way to get access to the largest pools of candidates and it is a very cost-effective method of sourcing passive job seekers.  We also use social media tools to stay connected to our diverse employee population and our customers.

GovCon Executive:  Are there any emerging trends you are excited about in the human resources field?

Christina Correira:  For me, the thing that’s always been the most interesting part of working in HR is how you use technology to benefit the entire organization.  Aside from social media, advances like unified communications allow employees to work seamlessly from anywhere and increase productivity.  Utilizing these tools is becoming a differentiator for recruiting and retaining top talent.  Additionally, I am surprised to see companies still using paper files and forms.  Not only is this inefficient and expensive, it is a relatively simple process to upgrade to a paperless environment.  HR should push the boundaries on using technology to benefit our employees, and thereby our customers.  It will pay dividends on retention, efficiency and the bottom line.

GovCon Executive:  What are some challenges you face in your role and how have you have overcome them?

Christina Correira:  Organizationally, my biggest challenge is retaining the best people without increasing overall cost to the organization. Balancing the need to be cost competitive and the demands for highly skilled talent requires that we continually improve our total rewards programs and find creative ways to retain key people. It can be a tightrope walk, but we have been very successful at providing a strong fringe package, which allows us to compete on salaries for top-notch people. Additionally, managing the changes in our organization over the past two years has given me a much greater appreciation for the need to communicate and to maintain an open and honest relationship with employees.

GovCon Executive:  Are there any hobbies that you enjoy doing in your free time?

Christina Correira:  I tend to be a workaholic, but my free time is spent with my husband and four dogs and supporting several charitable organizations. Most people would be surprised to know that I spent time in Kenya tracking black rhinos for the Kenya Wildlife Service. While it was a defining time in my life, I was not cut out to live there long term and had to find a new profession!

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