What's it like to work in HR for a cybersecurity consulting firm?
We interviewed Perla Salazar, a member of the HR team at MindPoint Group. Learn how Perla got started at MindPoint Group and how she makes a positive impact on all of MPG’s employees.
Walk us through your background. How did you get started working in HR and technology/security?
I got started in HR by working with non-profits in the DC area. As is the case in many non-profits, my job required that I wear many different hats. Through this, I started taking on more and more HR-related projects, including onboarding and e-verification. I initially landed the role at MindPoint Group as an Office Coordinator, but my boss saw that I had a background in HR projects in my previous role. She asked if I would be interested in focusing more on HR by helping with various projects, and it just took off through there. A big reason why I love MindPoint Group and have stayed with the company for almost five years is because I’ve really been able to grow and enhance my HR skills over the years.
Describe your current role. What is a typical day for you?
It’s difficult to say what a typical day would be like, but my busiest days are when we are onboarding new employees. For example, we recently hired a new team of people based in Georgia. There’s quite of bit of work that needs to be done before you can officially hire someone. After they are cleared for hire, our team helps with orientation, documentation verification, ensuring that they complete their onboarding documents, understand our benefits package and compliance, and that we answer any questions they may have. Working remotely has definitely made this more challenging, but it’s allowed us to be more intentional with our communication as well. On top of new hires, I work on a variety of other HR projects and continue to help with our compliance and audit requirements.
What are the biggest challenges you face in a day?
My biggest challenge in a day is usually getting a hold of folks, especially if they’re on a specific contract that limits their contact. Being in corporate operations, you sometimes need to contact people during off-hours in order to get a hold of them.
I would also say that not being in the office has been a challenge because I miss seeing my co-workers every day! I have always loved the interaction with the rest of my team and folks over at the HQ office with things like getting food with people, celebrating milestones, doing monthly birthdays together, or just sitting down for a chat to see how they’re doing – I miss that aspect.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is helping our employees with inquiries/requests and that I get to interact with our with them every day. I consider myself and my team to be an advocate for our employees, so we always want to make sure that they are taken care of and feel comfortable talking to us. Employee relations and building a good culture is such an important part of what I do, and we want to continue to make MPG a place that people love working at.
Why do you love cybersecurity?
I love cybersecurity because it’s continually evolving and there is always something new to learn. I never thought I would be working for a Cybersecurity firm, much less learn about it. I love that even though I am not directly doing the technical security work, it’s pretty neat to be a part of something so critical that helps so many people by protecting their livelihoods and privacy.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I recently picked up hiking and kayaking — anything outdoors. I also love writing and find it very therapeutic. When we’re not in a pandemic, I love going to concerts. I am a huge concert junkie! I used to go to a handful of concerts a year and am looking forward to being able to do that again. Baking and cooking are also some other hobbies I delve into when I’m not working.
Last book you read and/or podcast you listened to?
The last book I read was Homebody, a book of poems by Rupi Kaur, and 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.
What is your favorite part of MindPoint Group?
There are so many things that I love about MPG, so this is hard to pick just one! I would say my favorite part about MPG is the work culture. I believe I have found a second family at MindPoint Group, and my team and I get along so well. Everyone at MPG is really easy going, always willing to help, and just really great people across the board. That is why I’ve stayed here for almost five years!
Check back next month, where we will highlight another MPG employee. In the meantime, check out our job openings to find the right fit for you.