And what did you expect?

As I mentioned, we held our invitational career networking event last night. Since most of my work is technology enabled, I don't get to spend as much time as I would like face-to-face with candidates and hiring managers. Yet the secret to the success of my team is our ability to connect those candidates and hiring managers in a way that is meaningful and adds value to both sides. When we can bring great hiring teams and great candidates together in a room, great stuff happens.

One year ago, almost to the day, we held a finance career invitational the same room (and made 12 hires!). It was like deja vu, all over again. Each time, the logistics of the events are the same: we provide job listings, there are appetizers and beverages, someone presents, we wear name tags and stand around and talk to folks. Each year we get feedback from candidates on the event and each year I'm surprised by the feedback. It's not that I don't expect the positive feedback but that some of the words they use to describe the Microsoft people present surprise me; makes me wonder what they expected. Words that were used to describe the hiring team: helpful, engaging, warm, friendly, interesting, energy, enthusiasm, openness.

This shows me how important it is to get candidates and hiring teams together in a room. It also shows that the human element is incredibly important in communicating the culture and spirit of an organization. I myself was surprised by how nice and helpful everyone was when I first started at Microsoft (why are they being so nice? What do they want? Are they always like this?). If you don't have the chance to actually experience it by interacting with someone from Microsoft, how the heck would you know?

That's really making me think more seriously about how I can make those connections for people, not just via events, but through this blog. I know some Microsoft marketing people are reading my blog because I frequently meet people for the first time and they mention that they have read it. I'd love to profile more MS Marketing Professionals (I'm capitalizing that because I can). I'll go out and look for the marketers but you internal MS marketing folks reading this...don't be shy, now. If you are doing something in your group that you think people might be interested in or just feel like chatting about your group via my blog, please let me know. And other readers out there, let me know what you want to hear about and who you want to hear from. I may be mildly entertaining, but there are a heck of a lot of people here that have interesting stories to tell.

Comments (7)

  1. Pete Altieri says:

    "It also shows that the human element is incredibly important in communicating the culture and spirit of an organization."

    Heather, thats a key statement that on the surface, may seem like stating the obvious, but I’m surprised at how little its gets brought up. It is important.

    The Channel 9 series, and the Ed Helms video were/are  as close as it gets to seeing/hearing/viewing the human element of MSFT employees from the outside looking in. Yes, it could be further extended to marketing. And I believe that yes; it could help all involved.

    Not to oversimplify, but you would be amazed at the effect that a simple video has on helping people understand who "you" are. Not that is displaces face to face or other mechanisms, but I challenge some of the marketing folks at MSFT to create a short 30-60 second webcam video clip, send it out to a few people (unannounced) and share the feedback.

    And yes, I’m a little biased to video:).

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Thanks for your comments Pete. I did ask the Channel 9 folks to let me help them find marketers to interview and by their lack of response, I assume that they weren’t interested ; ) My guess is that their audience is tech people and they don’t care to expand into the marketing space. If I can get the technical support, I will try to do some stuff with video (at least podcast), but I don’t have the resources on my team, here with my scrappy little blog. I know you are biased (and at least you admit  it), but the power of the voice is huge and video is even better. At the same time, the aspect of my job represented by my blog is a relatively small percentage (not to say that it isn’t important but there are other aspects of my job, specifically related to hires, that come first). So I am definitely having to ask for help when it comes to doing anything with audio/video. I’ll definitely let you guys know if I can get something rolling.

  3. With programs such as Windows Movie Maker, you don’t have to be a pro.  The fun thing with audio / video is that some of the best pieces are those that are more ad hoc and natural.

    I’d like to see pieces that show some of the more unique jobs and have people explain how they got there.  For example as an Xbox fan, I often see comments on how Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) has the greatest job in the world – it would be cool to have a piece where he explained how he got to where he is.  

    That’s just one example.  There are lots of very passionate people performing very interesting and exciting roles that us outsiders would probably enjoy reading about.  To increase the interaction level, viewers could even post comments or feedback on jobs that excite them or they feel they are qualified for.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Amanda-thanks for the feedback…that’s a good idea

  5. Bhaskar says:

    Isnt it nice to hear that even after several years Microsoft treats individuals as if they are in the first day of their job.Probably thats what makes the difference for the attitude of employess in companies.

    Does Microsoft place any limit on the kind of B-School MBA grads recruited into their teams viz.,ranks(FT,BW,WSJ) and also on the region where the MBA was completed.



  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Our MBA recruiting team, does work mostly with a specific set of programs, mostly because they only have enough resources to go out to so many schools. I believe that the schools are selected not so much based on any ranking but on our success recruiting from those programs as well as the success of the new hires after they get on board (so in short, thinking about whether we can get the candidates here and the likelihood that they will be successful here).

    Once they are out of their programs, they are considered "industry" candidates (which is the kind of recruiting my team does). MBAs do matter but are rarely a requirement for the position (I always think of them as a "nice to have"). So for that reason, the school would not be something that I would use to rule out someone. However, a degree from a strong program does get my attention.

    Hope that answers your question ; )

  7. Bhaskar says:

    Heather – Thanks for sharing u r thoughts..


    Bhaskar M

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