Carnegie Mellon University

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April 12, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Sam Boyer

By Kelly Saavedra

Sam Boyer

Sam Boyer is a matchmaker.
As senior director of organizational development in the College of Engineering, Boyer is responsible for all talent acquisition in the college, from recruiting and staffing through career development and executive coaching.
Boyer places an equal amount of importance on finding the right person for the job and the right job for the person. The stack of handwritten thank you notes on his desk from new hires is tall testimony to his success.
“People tell me, ‘you made me feel so comfortable during the interview process.’ Well, that is by design,” Boyer said.  “In my corporate years, before coming to CMU, I found the structured interview just didn’t do a lot for people. And quite frankly, if you don’t get people comfortable, you really don’t get to know who they are.”
Boyer noted a lot of employers look at “what’s in it for me” when they consider a candidate, but he looks at it as what is in it mutually for both the candidate and for CMU.
“If we get the right fit, the right job with the right person, there are no other issues,” he said. “There are no employer relations issues; there are no issues on retaining an individual; and the individual comes to work every day wanting to give a thousand percent of themselves.”
At that point, Boyer puts on his coaching hat.  
“People eventually outgrow what they want to do, and that’s one of the things I get the most enjoyment out of, working one-on-one with someone and helping them on a path to where they ultimately want to be,” he said.  “It’s Organizational Development vs. Human Resources. It’s transformational vs. transactional, and I love the transformational part because that is what keeps people engaged.”
Boyer is married and has two sons who play ice hockey. While he enjoys spending time with his family, he admits much of his free time is spent “studying up” and creating programs for his staff.
“We spend more time with each other here than with our own families. Why wouldn’t I want those relationships to be the best they can possibly be? Effective, efficient and the best product or service I can provide,” he said.
“Ultimately, it’s your legacy.”

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