Questions about Staffing Blogs


At the Kennedy Conference on Tuesday, there were some questions about out community building efforts, most specifically about blogging. I’ll recap a few of them here (not nearly as funny as the Apprentice, sorry), and then open it up for anyone who has additional questions. If you are new to blogging, just hit the button at the bottom of this post to add a comment and ask your question.


Some of the questions that were asked at the event:


How long do you spend on blogging?


***about a half hour a day. A good part of that is reading blogs. You need to read others’ blogs and link to create your blogging network. Also, a lot of the posts are just links to things other people posted on. You don’t need original prose every time ; )


How do you know what’s OK to blog about?


***you have to use common sense. We don’t have blogging regulations but we do have guidelines, which are basically “don’t say anything stupid”. We hire smart people here and are trusted to use your judgment. I’ve never had anyone from PR question what I have here. Bill Gates told us to do it, so that definitely makes it comfortable.


Other questions? About anything related to community building or blogging or staffing at Microsoft?


   

Comments (10)

  1. Tod says:

    How long do you spend on blogging?

    ***about 30 mins to an hour a day. I agree with you, most of that time is spent reading blogs, posting comments and developing a ‘network.’

    How do you know what’s OK to blog about?

    ***definitely use common sense and remember any NDAs (non-disclosure agreement) that you might have signed. When in doubt, don’t blog about it. I like the way you state the company policy though. 🙂

  2. ScottMagoon says:

    I wonder about the context of this conference and the make-up of the audience. Since you are very focused on blogging, the recruiting and blogging communities, and educating others on corporate blogging, it might seem odd to you that people sense so much danger in speaking so publicly. But I know you understand that most companies are not as enlightened about such employee activities as Microsoft. I can relate to those who view it as somehow dangerous. "Don’t say anything stupid" is probably insufficient control for the majority of companies or protection for employees of those companies. Where did the audience members come from, and how did they react to you saying that your best judgment was all your employer required to allow you to blog as a representative of Microsoft?

    I am a member of a leadership council at my company and we had a similar dialog recently. The issue of office dress codes was bubbling to the surface and we were bringing comments back to upper management as they decided the best way to address it. My response was to approach it from a perspective of trust rather than an implementation of rules from on high. A corporation necessarily puts enormous trust in its employees by virtue of allowing them access to sensitive information, to carry a company computer home, to speak to customers/vendors/suppliers/etc. In the case of my organization, sales people have multi-million dollar customer relationships at stake and are trusted to use proper judgement and to act ethically and in the best interest of the company. Yet someone feels the need to tell them how to dress appropriately in the office vs. on a customer appointment? If someone just plain doesn’t know if they are wearing something inappropriate then there is a deeper issue that a dress code isn’t going to solve.

    To bring that back on track, I am a little surprised if the question about knowing what’s appropriate to blog about was directed at you personally as opposed to a general question. My opinion of Microsoft is that they hire the right people for the company, and not just the right skill for the job. That’s the kind of environment where the trust to allow employee blogs is built into the DNA of the workforce. Any company uneasy about such employee activity might do well to back up and take a look and how they hire in the first place.

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Scott-I was paraphrasing. It was a longer discussion than what I put here and the net is that it has a lot to do with corporate culture. I don’t think that companies will change their culture so people will blog. So I explained that blogging isn’t appropriate for all companies. I definnitely didn’t go into the discussion feeling like all of the recruiters there would be allowed to blog. Regardless, the recruiters want to know about it.

  4. Chris says:

    Quick question. You mentioned it takes you about :30 minutes reading blogs every day. What RSS reader do you use and what are your top 5 blogs within marketing. Blogrolls don’t specify priority, and as a marketer, I’m wondering which blogs you gain the most from…

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Chris-I use bloglines because I like to read blogs outside of outlook. It dumps an icon in your systems tray or you can just log onto the site with a password and manage your blogs.

    If you would prefer to read blogs inside Outlook, Newsgator is the probably the most popular. It adds a folder to Outlook and pulls new blog posts in there.

    I guess I prefer bloglines because sometimes it feels like I’m living in my inbox and it’s fun to get out a little ; )

    You may also want to check out technorati to search for blogs. I think you can create blog lists in there as well, though I have just been using it as a search engine and to track people that are linking to me.

  6. Chris says:

    Thanks for the advice…

  7. Ariel says:

    How does a staffing/recruiting blog help you to find candidates?

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ariel-I’m not using it to find candidates, I’m using it so they can find me ; )

  9. Ariel says:

    Thanks for getting back to me. Maybe a better question is how do you think a staffing/recruiting blog helps quality candidates to find you? And,what do you think specifically about your blog piques the candidates interest in obtaining employment with Microsoft? Thanks so much!

  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ariel-they can basically find me using the keywords they are already using in a search engine. For example, key words related to marketing. I’m not specifically only targeting people that are looking right now. I’m making my presence known to those that may be looking in the future so they know exactly who to contact when they initiate a new job search. Also, I think that giving people an opportunity to get to know Microsoft employees can soften our image (they see the people versus the corporate entity) and providing info to people that are currenlty looking helps our candidates do a better job of self selcting and helps them better prepare for interviews. Lots of benefits there!