Recruiters: want to be part of your clients business? Involve them in yours.

This is kind of uncharted territory here and I am really excited to see how this goes. We are doing some work to understand our key target candidates in marketing. Not just titles and the names of companies that they might work at. We are trying to develop a full profile including behaviors and attitudes toward Microsoft (specifically Microsoft as a marketing career destination). A big piece of my job is marketing, really. Building community (something that marketers at Microsoft do), building outreach programs, direct mail programs, marketing segmentation, competitive analysis...(all things that marketers at Microsoft do).

Anyway, as we work toward understanding our key profiles (I mentioned our work on this before...still analyzing), we want to measure our employment brand (how squishy sounding is that? If it was easy it wouldn't be as much fun). This is something that a market research function would typically do. Then, we want to create effective brand marketing messages and the programs to deliver them to our key targets (what a brand team would do). So today, we met with leaders from our market research and brand teams to get feedback on our methodology and commitments to assist with developing a framework. It was incredibly cool to see business leaders so engaged around OUR work! Definitely a highlight and I'll have more updates as we progress through our methodology.

For people out there wanting to understand more about developing an understanding of your employment brand and strategies for enhancing it, you may want to check out Dr. John Sullivan's book Rethinking Strategic HR (there's a chapter on branding). We've been laughing here about how everyone in the HR industry wants to be "strategically aligned with the business". Dr. John lays out some specific criteria to use to assess whether you are strategic or not. So, check us out Dr. are we doing ; ) (Sorry, I keep saying Dr. John like it's Chaka Khan and it's kinda fun...Dr. John, Dr. John)

Comments (8)

  1. John says:

    Off topic question for you Heather.

    I am currently considering an SDET/lead position and plan to get my MBA within the next few years at UW. With the MBA I would like to move into Product Management and utilize my business and tech skills.

    So the question: do SDETs ever move into Product Management internally at MS, or is that frowned at? And could I get in on the college track, even though I will have 9 years of experience in both development and dev/test already?

    Any advice you give me will be very appreciated.



  2. paul says:


    Why can’t you acknowledge that you are a Headhunter with a Hit List?

  3. Heather says:

    John, not frowned at. If you were to be an SDET and then get your MBA, I’m pretty sure you would be looking at the same kinds of jobs other new MBA grads would be looking at. Our product groups love to see someone who has tech experience (MS or somewhere else) that gets their MBA. They tend to be able to take on more technical product manager roles. With a big career change like that, I think MBA is a good route.

    Paul-because that’s not my job. I’m responsible for programs that market to prospects. I don’t have a typical recruiter job where I call into companies. That’s more like sales and my role is more marketing. What’s the deal..why so grouchy? And what is up with folks that only comment when they have something negative to say or want to accuse you of something. Sheesh…chill.

  4. George says:

    Where’s Ringo?

  5. John says:

    Thank you Heather!

  6. Heather says:

    geo-you’re funny (even though I know that’s not your name).

    John-you are very welcome!

  7. Hafeez Khan says:

    Glad you got the Beatles joke Heather. I was hoping to deflect some of Paul’s negativity. I’ve wanted to reply to your posts for a while but always had too many thoughts and too little time to actually write something that would make sense. The Ringo idea, however, was perfect for the amount of time I had.

  8. Heather says:

    Ah Hafeez…good to see you here. Yeah, I’m not sure why Paul does that but he keeps coming back! Some day he’s going to say something nice <that’s my inner optimist talking>.

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