An opportunity to do actual marketing in our staffing department

Remember recently how I said I am not a "marketer"? And remember how I talked about collaborating with the team responsible for true "marketing" in staffing at Microsoft (the people who write the marketing plans so I don't have tooooo)?

There's an opportunity available to work on that team. This is an opportunity for an actual "marketer" (I'm going to stop that quotation mark action at some point, I promise) to create actionable plans for staffing; marketing careers/employment at Microsoft. It's a different kind of work than I do, but I suspect that I might end up in a meeting or two with this person. This poor team, I'm their client and their partner ; )

Plus, I have to say that their management team is strong (I don't mean that in an Eddie Haskel way...I don't report in through this team). You know I appreciate people who get marketing and Warren, the manager of this role, definitely gets it (he joined this team from one of our product group marketing teams).  Anyway, we are looking to fill this role with either an internal or external candidate so if you think this sounds like something you could be interested in, feel free to shoot your resume on over to me at

Senior Marketing Manager, Staffing Marketing

The Senior Staffing Marketing Manager position is an opportunity to make a difference at Microsoft.  Seriously, a real difference…where your ideas and work have a direct impact on the company’s future.   

Consider joining the marketing team responsible for defining and driving Microsoft’s global employment brand and marketing programs.  The challenges are significant and real.  Our executives care.  The opportunity for thought leadership and creativity is endless.  The work is fun.  And the team is fired up.

Consider this for a second.  There is one question all Microsoft employees have asked themselves at some point in their lives:  “Why would I want to work for Microsoft?”  The answer to this question is perhaps one of the most complex and interesting marketing challenges we face as a company.  You can help define the answer for future employees.

Employees are Microsoft’s greatest asset.  Microsoft’s future success depends on finding and retaining the best and brightest employees worldwide. While our company’s growth continues, talent supplies in the market are decreasing and competition is fierce.  In response, we must take our marketing strategy to a new level and we’re looking for another seasoned marketing professional to add to our team.

In this highly visible position you will be responsible for leading our candidate value proposition project – which will include candidate research, analysis, segmentation, positioning, messaging and vendor management.  The outcome of this project will drive our strategies in PR, broad reach and targeted communication, including online presence, relationship marketing (including blogs, newsletters/RSS), advertising, collateral, and events.  The scope of this role spans value proposition architecting, relationship building, opportunity identification, and worldwide program execution.

The ideal candidate has 5+ years of marketing and communications experience in a high tech industry, a proven track record as a strong performer and the demonstrated ability to drive agencies and non-reporting groups to perform.  An MBA is preferred.

Comments (9)

  1. Paul K says:

    Speaking of qualifications…  I find qualifications quite humorous.

    What if, Heather, you had a candidate that had not even close to the education in that area, or experience, but could prove to you without any hestitation, that they not only get the job done, but make their department shine.  

    I am not talking about the average joe or jane in the industry.  Someone who is hungry for sucess and willing to more than the extra mile, two extra miles for it?  Its that person, that is the type, that does 90% of the work for one company, and carries people when they need it.

    I always find qualifications humorous, as to when someone like that walks in, says hello, and produces the results better than a person could imagine.

    However, granted, those people are rare and hard to find.  Expectional, motivated, clear thinking, and most important elegant.


    P.S. No, I am not talking about me.  I was recently at a seminar that was just talking about employee qualifications.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    I think that kind of person would have a good shot at being hired. When I look at the "requirements" section of a job description, I consider it all "preferred" (or more specifically, that the person wouldn’t need to have ALL of the qualifications but some in addition to being able to prove that they can get it done).  Trade-offs are made all of the time.

    Unfortunately, if you don’t present some kind of hiring criteria on the job description, people (candidates) have a hard time self-selecting.  I often get resumes sent to me of people whose experience is so far off from what we are looking for that I am surprised that they applied (well, not really surprised anymore, but I think that maybe they need to consider relevant work experience and whether they have it relative to the position). You can mitigate a lot of that by including verbiage in the requirements section of the job description. But I agree that the phrasing could be different. Though it’s a little vague, I’ve always kind of liked the "or relevant industry experience" verbiage. It provides some comfort to people applying that match some, but not all of the criteria.

    Now when we are talking about those special people that just get stuff done, I think those people can network themselves into positions where they might not match all (or most of) the requirements. Any employer takes a risk in hiring someone, especially someone that might not be an ideal match for the role…that’s hiring for talent (versus experience). And sometimes the rewards for doing something like that are amazing (and sometimes it doesn’t work out). People are generally more willing to take that kind of risk when they already know the person (their work ethic, how they adapt to new situations, how they approach business challenges). That’s one of the reasons I think networking is so vitally important to managing your career.

    So anyway, Paul, if you know of such a person, feel free to send them my way ; )

  3. Paul K says:


    but what if they can’t spel guud ? 🙂  The more I think about what kind of person would they have to be, in order to make a huge impact through marketing.  The more I think its not the role of someone marketing a product or company.   At least, in microsoft’s case, I present the idea of social engineering.

    Not in the sense of computer security, but in the sense of someone presenting a reality for a new way of doing things in society, that it becomes part of society, not outside it.   Making a product that changes the way we think things or do things in our daily life.

    I have not thought to much on it though 🙂

  4. Paul says:

    No, not that Paul.  The other one.

    I noted that the description includes some responsibility for driving the blogging strategy (relationship marketing).  Given that we know how metrics-oriented all marketers are, aren’t you worried that this person will feel obliged to attach some numbers to your blog?  Is it the beginning of the end for Heather as we know her?

    . . . . theme from Jaws plays in the background.

  5. bleh says:

    "Now when we are talking about those special people that just get stuff done, I think those people can network themselves into positions where they might not match all (or most of) the requirements."

    On the other hand, we’re talking of people who’re so talented that you *want* to hire them – and that is your challenge. If you aren’t really pushing for that breed of hire, then you’re effectively pursuing average (more elegant than saying "mediocre") candidates alone. By average here I refer to those candidates who pretty much fit into a pattern, as opposed to those who are capable of great creativity/change. I would say disruption, but that word has negative connotations too 😉

    If I were a recruiter (I am not one) I’d always have a very keen eye out for the above breed of candidate while not going thumbs down on the average / above average well qualified candidate.

    As a recruiter, it would be mine to go beyond my limits in trying to hire the best people – just as I would do my darndest to get hired (especially at the best place, for the best position) as a candidate.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Paul K (you guys are confusing me)-I don’t see the tie-in to social engineering. Someone from a product marketing background would be god in this role, I think. The skills are transferrable.

    Paul-no, I’m not worried. I’ve actually discussed this with them.  They have a blogger on their team as well (though she feels similarly to me about the topic of metrics as does the Director of the team, I understand). I believe that they will be looking at how to blog better. For example, I want to do podcasts but I need someone to support that (did I tell you I’m not technical) from a production standpoint. So we may be partnering on some stuff, but they aren’t trying to seize control of my blog ; ) We are super supportive here of innovative stuff without necessarily slapping metrics on it (that’s not just from me, our SVP supports this though her phrasing was different). If this is the beginning of the end of Heather as you know her, it’s not anybody’s fault except my own…maybe it is the result of my new workout routing (haha!)

    bleh-I agree. Participating in blogging (and networking) actually helps me to find people that have that extra whatever-it-is (usually what I notice is a combo of intellect and passion).

  7. Two thoughts (and I am not looking for a job):

    >The ideal candidate has 5+ years of marketing and >communications experience in a high tech industry.

    Why? I would think the ideal candidate is someone who has successfully convinced people that their company is a great place to work. Who cares if they come from the high tech industry.

    >An MBA is preferred.

    Why? I see this all the time. Other than weeding out people, how will an MBA do a better job for you?

  8. Paul says:

    Famous last words.  Or, is it last bites??

    On a more serious note, I am curious about why you need your own marketing manager.  Microsoft already has a strong brand position, and it won’t be any different for staffing.  If the role is simply to get the word out that you need more of the best people, and that you are willing to look in every odd-shaped crevice that they are hiding in, isn’t that just a recruiting function?  Or, are you saying that you want a recruiter who thinks more like a marketer in the way they attack the problem?

    In the grand scheme of things, why would a strong marketer prefer doing candidate research, analysis, segmentation, positioning, messaging and vendor management, when they could be doing the same thing for OneNote or Vista.   I’m not trying to be critical, but the description says this is a high visibility position — will success in getting the top notch candidates to apply and accept positions be rewarded the same way that being a marketing manager for a $100M product will be?  Will it get you the same level of respect in the company and the same opportunities to advance your career?  If not, what is meant by high visibility, and why should a top notch marketer be interested?

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Larry-I think we covered a lot of that in the comments above.There’s some flexibility. Understanding our competitive space and the types of roles we hire for is definitely a plus.

    Paul- some people would disagree with you about our employment brand. This isn’t a recruiter position so they aren’t charged with a specific number of hires. They need to move the needle on brand perception. The work of this person wil be used by a 600 (I think?) person organization and will have visibility up to the Senior VP Level (beyond if we do it well). The individual candidate would have to decide why they might want to do this versus a product role. There are people (lie myself) that are passionate about staffing. Selecting career opportunities is obviously a highly personal exercise.

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