Heather’s Bio


I am a marketing geek and I hope you don’t mind that I am writing this is in the first person.


I started recruiting finance and accounting professionals in 1994 in Chicago…great city…very cold. After a few years, I realized that things don’t change that much in accounting (GAAP gets reviewed what…evey 5 or 10 years?). So my goal was to get into technical recruiting.


I joined a “large-ish” tech consulting firm that focused on application development, application oursourcing and Y2K remediation. The year was 1997 and let’s be honest….I hired mainframe programmers to ensure that the lights didn’t turn off and your credit card still worked at midnight 12/31/99. Got my bearings in technology and moved along…


To the ever changing world of insurance! I joined a large, multi-line insurance company hiring tech folks for in-house application development positions. The company was just getting into eCommerce (I haven’t heard that term in a while) and I was excited to lead the technical recruiting team. That’s when Microsoft called.


I joined Microsoft in 1999. My first role was focused on hiring software developers, program managers and system engineers for Microsoft.com. Boy was I lucky…this group was great and I had so much fun staffing their teams. Big shout out to microsoft.com if any of you ever see this blog ; )


Then I was asked to focus on marketing positions. Product Manager, Marketing Managers, PR Managers, Advertising, Market Research, Partner Development, Business Development. For some reason, this space really resonated with me and I’ve become a bit of a subject-matter-expert on marketing staffing at Microsoft. I’ve supported our Central Marketing Group (Advertising and Events, Market Research, Branding, PR), Audience and Segment Marketing organizations (IT Pro, Enterprise) and Product Management and Business Development (Windows, Embedded, MSN, Platform Strategy).


My next role was to find excellent marketing talent for positions across Microsoft, regardless of the business group. I can help great marketers find the right role at Microsoft. I’m looking for new ways to reach out to the tech marketing population, evaluate who are the best and get them here. If you have recommendations on where I should be looking for the “best of the best“ in marketing, let me know! 


 Here is my current “bio”:


Heather Hamilton manages Microsoft’s Global Central Sourcing Team responsible for competitive research and programs. In this role, she leads Microsoft’s efforts aimed at enabling global research centers to monitor the competitive talent landscape and leverage opportunities to recruit the best technical talent through deliverables such as lead generation, competitive intelligence, training and opportunisticrecruiting programs. Aside from managing a talented team of staffing professionals, Heather is probably best known as a blogger. She is a requested speaker on topics related to candidate outreach and community building and her blog, One Louder, has resulted in significant press interest including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Fast Company.


 


Heather has worked in the staffing industry since 1994 and has been with Microsoft since 1999 in a variety of staffing roles. Prior to joining Microsoft, she worked in finance and technical recruiting. Heather graduated With a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California as a member of one of the nation’s top-rated entrepreneur programs. Heather is an enthusiastic college football fan (Go Trojans!) and spends her free time reading, gardening or at the gym. Heather lives outside Seattle with her dog.


 


She does know why a manhole cover is round but she cannot help you fix your computer.


PS: for anyone who cares or needs proof that I am a real person, here’s my photo.

Comments (31)

  1. Mark says:

    Hi Heather,

    I really enjoyed reading your bio. This is the first marketing blog I have seen. I found your view on GAAP (never changing) very funny because yesterday my wife and I were talking about this very issue. She was trying to explain to someone why I am pursuing a M.S in Computer Science, when many jobs are moving out of the U.S. She told her boss it’s because my husband is passionate about technology. I said exactly it’s always evolving. I have had accounting classes before and hmmmmm what is cutting edge regarding GAAP these days, very funny.

    I have a B.S. in Information Technology and though I didn’t much care for the accounting classes I did like the marketing and technical classes very much. Marketing always fascinated me because it deals with understanding what makes people attracted to brands, ideas etc. I remember things like why is it that the state of Arkansas consumes the least amount of peanut butter, or why do people prefer milk duds over a snickers in a theater even though snickers is the number one selling candy bar.

    I have a phone interview with a college recruiter soon; she said it would be a good idea to look at http://www.microsoft.com/college/ to see what the culture is like and what jobs are available. I enjoy working with Database Management Systems where my experience is regarding the technical side, but I will bring up my interest in marketing as well. I will check your blog regularly it is neat to hear from someone in marketing that is from Microsoft and get this perspective, very cool.

    Mark

  2. Heather says:

    Glad you like it Mark and thanks for the comments! Our college recruiting team does an excellent job of matching people up for opportunities. I hope your interview goes well.

    The college site has some great bios of folks that we have hired out of school. Should give you a feel for the "real people" doing real jobs at Microsoft. I’ll post soon with more info about our new focus on undergrad hiring for marketing as well.

  3. Jackie Huba says:

    Heather,

    Saw mention of your blog on John Porcaro’s blog. Nice job!! I love that there are so many Microsoft employees are blogging. And yours is just great.

    Only thing missing from your blog, though, is your picture : )

    Keep up the great work!

    Jackie Huba

    P.S. I saw in your bio that you worked in Chicago. I live in Chicago now, and yes, it is still cold here. It SNOWED again yesterday!! We not sure spring is ever coming back : )

  4. Heather says:

    Thanks Jackie…I am working on it!

  5. Hi Heather, I enjoyed reading your bio as well. I’ve had some posts on my blog about the difference between generalist and specialist recruiters. You seem to have moved around successfully from one discipline to another so I had to wonder how much depth you achieved in your interviews in any one field. You led technical consulting for a technical consulting firm so I have to assume that you really knew what you were talking about. And your comments on your current role as marketing geek suggest that you have a lot of depth here as well. By depth, I mean insight into the specific nuts and bolts of the jobs so that you can really question someone on the details of their experience rather thano merely match their backgrounds to the key elements of the job description. I’ve been asking some people in the blogosphere and in "real" life if they would like to be interviewed on recruiting and hiring issues on my blog. If it’s something you’d like to do, you can let me know. Regards, Michael. (no immediate reply required).

  6. Hi again, Heather. My blogpartner, Anthony, read my comments above and said that they sound negative as if I am saying that you are not competent in your field. Sorry about that because I see what he means. I wrote: "I had to wonder how much depth you achieved". It sounds like a put down. So, let me highlight what I said immediately after that. You led technical consulting. So I know that you achieved a high level of competence recruiting in that field.

    What I want to establish clearly for myself is the level of subject-matter knowledge necessary to excel in recruiting in any specialized area. Because I’ve seen it debated. And, as a generalist, I often consider my lack of on-the-job knowledge to be a disadvantage though, in truth, although I rely on our clients to decide who is technically the most competent candidate, I usually know who the best candidates are even if I have not been asked to shortlist them. Regards again, Michael

  7. Joe says:

    The link to your picture doesn’t work

  8. Heather says:

    Just had to write a "real" bio for my talk at the SVPMA. Here’s the official version:

    Heather Hamilton has been working in the staffing industry for ten years and is currently Senior Recruiter for Marketing Talent Acquisition at Microsoft. She is responsible for creating and driving strategies for identifying and attracting the industry’s best marketing talent to Microsoft. Heather has been with Microsoft for 5 years in different roles, supporting business and technical organizations’ staffing needs. Prior to Microsoft, Heather held roles leading the technical recruiting team at a large multi-line insurance company’s corporate headquarters as well as staffing full-time consultants for Y2K remediation and application development and application outsourcing projects for a national IT consulting firm. Heather started her staffing career at Robert Half International in the AccounTemps division after a brief career excursion in accounting. Heather has a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and currently resides in the Seattle area.

  9. RH says:

    Fix that picture link, we want a face to put with the name.

  10. Heather says:

    The link works for me….I thikn because of the font color you can’t tell that a link is there. Hover over the words ‘here’s my photo" and see if it shows as a link. It’s not a very flattering picture so I don’t want to build up any suspense ; )

  11. Abhijit Gore says:

    I cant view the photo either…The page says "You are not authorized to view this page" 🙁

  12. Heather says:

    Sorry, guys, I don’t have anywhere to host the picutre right now. Once I find something I can link to I’ll post it (somewhere that is not password protected) . I promise that I am a real person…not computer generated ; )

  13. Kevin says:

    It’s refreshing to know there’s a Microsoft paperpusher with an engaging personality.

  14. Heather says:

    Hmmm. Kevin links to his web page, so I’m guessing that wasn’t meant to be an insult? Uh, thanks, I guess.

  15. Kevin says:

    Oh no, Heather. I was sincere. Now I realize it sounded sarcastic. have a good week.

  16. Hi Heather,

    Thanks for the cool blog. Have bookmarked it. Its good to know how a big company like microsoft hires people.

    kind regards,

    Ankesh Kothari

    Your photo is yet not showing. groups.msn.com might be a good idea to upload it to…

  17. sujesh says:

    hi heather

    this blog is well suited for magnificent marketing folks…any blogs out there which helps to find job for techies with 1 to 2 year development experience

    kind regards

    sujesh

  18. sansoo says:

    recruiting newsletter article by Peter Weddle talked about you and enlightened me about bloging in the recruiting word to develop relationships and marketing yourself and your company’s services.

    I work as a technical recruiter for a small company and your blogging has given me a new direction to try…thank you, Heather.

  19. Samit says:

    Heather,

    A good dig at the finance community.I am a Finance Professioanl with about 12 years of experience and I fully agree with you. We in finance and accounting community are the last to react to any new ideas like this . If you need proof AICPA is now talking about the benefits of blogging and urging its members to join the blogging community. Says there are hardly 900 finance related blogs.

    http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/jun2005/lang.htm

    I have just started my blogging http://www.samitranjan.com

  20. HeatherLeigh says:

    Samit-it wasn’t intended as a dig. There weren’t any other finance related jobs that I was qualified for that I wanted, so to make a change I had to get out of that space. It was purely a preference to try something new where part of my learning was around industry changes.

  21. sekhar says:

    ma’m heather leigh ,

    i am a graduate with 8 months of expericence in a reputed software company in india.

    i am looking forward to switching job for better career prospects.

    would be thankful to you if you could provide me any information as to how i should go about to prepare for microsoft, and what kind of roles ( technical ) could i possibly fit into.

    i am from a non computer science background , and whatever knowledge of JAVA, ORACLE BASICS, UNIX, JSP, C, C++, HTML, JAVASCRIPT,  i have i have gained during the 8 months in the present company i am working with.

    eagerly awaiting your response.

    you can reply back to me at connectsekhar@yahoo.com or m.sekhar@rediffmail.com

    thanks for going through the mail.

    regards

    sekhar.

  22. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hi Sekhar-unfortunately, my expertise these days is recruiting outside of tech. My recommendation would be to ask one of the bloggers here: http://blogs.msdn.com/jobsblog/

    Good luck!

  23. Erin Penrod says:

    Hi Heather,

    My name is Erin Penrod and I saw you present today at the AME.  Great presentation!!

    I’m a recruiting consultant for a manufacturing company in so cal.  I love the blog idea for corporate America and I’m trying to implement this concept wherever I go.

    My fiancé owns an online webstore and he has a blog. We wanted to do something different than our competitors and thought the blog would be a great way to brand the company and touch our customers live.  I admit, I have not spent a lot of time writing, but you helped encourage me today.  Thank you.  

    If you have the chance to review,  would love your comments or suggestions.

    http://amorefashion.blogs.com/my_weblog/

    Erin

    erin.penrod@newport.com

  24. Vicki says:

    Yep – now I have made it to this part of your blog – the all important bio.

    Pretty impressive! 🙂

    As a marketing, PR, media relations professional I absolutely love your insight and comical missives. Bookmarking this site is a ‘no-brainer’ and a must-read!

    Now I will venture over to my own blog and try to add content… I have not been as faithful to my own site as I have been to surfing the web for good career information…

    I’m looking for my ‘forever-job’ right now and the Digital/Information Age has made it easier to look, but harder to get noticed!

    Any tips?

    Cheers,

    Vicki

  25. Christine says:

    Great site, Heather!  My day job is an internet marketer at a software company in Boston so I love your stuff.  The insights you have into Microsoft are really interesting.  

  26. KW says:

    Good Bio and nice photo. Now, I know more abt you than just reading your blogs. Looks like you have been in HR/Recruiter for….as long as you have been out of college. May I ask why you want to be a recruiter? What motivates you to be a recruiter?

    I think finding talents is getting difficult, besides there are so much competitions out there to hire the same pool of talents. Not to mention, retaining these folks are even tougher. I’m not an HR person nor a recruiter, but as a manager, I faced these challenges all the time.

    One thing that I’ve learned in my job is, when a staff of mine wants to leave and do something else, I will fully support her decision and help her to move into that new role. By doing this, the employee is happy cause she gets what she wants, and she will recommends me a few good replacement candidates. This turns out to be a win win strategy.

  27. HeatherLeigh says:

    I actually started recruiting a few years after I graduated from college. I tried out some accounting stuff first…not for me.

    I kind of fell into recruiting. So I didn’t have a reason why I wanted to get into the field, biut I have reasons why I stay in it. I like helping people make an important life decision. My decisions to move from one company to another were really impactful. I think also that it’s really easy for people, because it is such a personal decision, to overlook a lot of things they could do to help themselves during the process; how they position themselves, how they think about chaging jobs. I also like the thrill of the hunt. I care alot about the candidate experience and I get to impact that. Hopefully that answers the question.

  28. DRFP says:

    Great Bio I think some people are just too up tight ( back in 04 when they said you were unprofessional) I thought it was fun to read. Don’t change……….

  29. HeatherLeigh says:

    DRFP – I must have missed that 04 comment.