It’s like all my little girl dreams coming true at once


Today I get to live one of my recruiting fantasies. Only it’s totally real. And it’s totally my day off.


One of the huge challenges in recruiting is getting the information you need to build a prospect profile. Back in the day, when I was a line recruiter, I remember the frustration of getting specs from the hiring manager. Oh, the multitude of manners in which my managers would torment me; wanting a “mini-me” (well, a mini-them), wanting me to recruit off of a profile one sentence long, having a “perfect candidate” in mind (one that has rarely been seen in the wild), ignoring my requests for specs.


Fast forward to today and my team recruits for all of marketing in Microsoft US; not specific hiring managers or individual positions, but the entire “pipe” (that’s what we call it). You thought building a hiring profile was hard when you were working with a hiring manager 1:1; try doing it without really working with a hiring manager at all. Yeah, it can be a bit of a challenge and you can’t help but feel that sometimes you are being punked (or “Punk’d” if you actually think that Ashton Kutcher is funny). Why can’t all of you people get together in a room and agree on what you are looking for so I can have my team go out and find it. Seriously, I am asking.


 Well, today, this is what is happening, at least for one of our job families. I’m meeting with the Discipline Leadership Team for product planning to help develop a hiring profile for Product Planners across the company. And the best part is that it was their idea! Whee! Product Planner is one of the more challenging profiles because it sits somewhere between engineering and marketing. Responsibilities vary, titles vary; but we are taking a shot at finding those core common skill sets that work well across organizations at Microsoft.


So while I would never be a big proponent of attending meetings when one has scheduled a vacation day, I’m thrilled to go to this meeting today. Sounds a little sick, right?

Comments (7)

  1. William says:

    Nah, when you love what you do… it is fun.  Putting it on the line, the opportunity to win (again), anticipating what your going to learn, contributing to the team etc.  

    ‘Kinda like why I climb 14ers.  To most who are "clothed in their right mind" I am certifiable (as in crazy).  Only those that enjoy alpine backpacking understand what drives me.

    We "get it" Heather

    8~)

  2. Laura G says:

    LOL…yes – a little sick is right, but I know whatcha mean.  Not exactly raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens…but to each their own!  

    Along the same lines, one of my favorite things about recruiting (–hiring profile meetings with HM’s voluntary & inspired input is AWESOME, btw) is working with HM’s to create/refine job descriptions.  I just love gathering the info, translating it into the appropriate form, collecting feedback from the hiring team, ensuring all the I’s are dotted & T’s are crossed, and when all has been reviewed, approved & posted, then reaping the benefits (candidate pool-wise) of a well crafted job description.  Have been fortunate to work in a smaller market within a large corp, where a lot of collaboration and innovation had been encouraged and took place as far as developing market-wide tools.  I also just enjoy working on projects amidst the day-to-day corp recruiting grind.  Not only are these side projects a nice challenge, but they also serve to improve the overall process…and these are just a few of my favorite things!  

  3. Neal says:

    I’m curious to know how this turned out? Did the DLT come prepared with suggestions? Or were some engaged and others not so much. I ask because I honestly wonder if there is a bit of futility involved – certainly a good basis of information is necessary and a one-liner won’t do it – but it’d seem to me like there’d be diminishing returns to how long you spend defining the characteristics and the resulting candidates that this helps you search for – that’s my bias – and I’ve recently had a lot of people disagree with me – so … I’m curious to know how it turned out –

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    As a first step, we looked at resumes, pulled off experience and education factors and had some conversation around their value. We asked what else we would have liked to have seen on resumes and we talked about what skills need to go together. We spent about an houron it and walked away with some good info that I need to work to get some profiles. What we were not trying to do was drive for consensus. It should be reasonably stright-forward to pull together some hiring profiles and build prospext generation plans around them. They were all engaged in the conversation.

    I don’t understand the question around diminishing returns. We didn’t put them in a room and tell them they couldn’t come out until they all agreed on one hiring profile. It was basically a market research exercise and we got the info we needed; I just need to manipulate it so that it’s actionable for our prospecting team. Hope that makes sense. I feel really good about the meeting. But I still have some work to do on the deliverable.

  5. Neal says:

    Thanks so much – what you wrote got me thinking – consensus is so heavily valued around me that starting something off w/out the assumption that consensus would be reached is a good one.

    I think I meant what you wrote around diminishing returns – I was thinking that spending 2 days delving into the tiny details wouldn’t be worth it but that spending an hour or so to get the general background would. In s/w development I’ve argued that we can spend weeks specifying every small detail but that we shouldn’t – instead doing something general (for a day) working on whatever that is for a few weeks to see where it gets us and then re-evaluating.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, the consensus topic is an interesting one. I have little tolerance for it in some situations. Sometimes I would just rather someone make a decision…any decision. We tend to beat topics to death and I’m more of a do-er.

    What we were trying to do is a lot less exact than software dev. Not matter what we come up with, and what resulting resumes we generate, there’s still uncertaintly in terms of how well the person will do in an interview. So perhaps we have more tolerance for just pulling together something roughly. I’m not sure that being precise is necessary or helpful in this case.