I’m encouraging you to complain about our careers site. This is not a trick.

I'm helping out our HR IT team. They are developing our new careers sites (for US and international) and I meet with them every so often to talk about specs. We sat together this morning to talk about search and I mentioned that I had been contacted in the past by blog readers that had issues with our career site. And we agreed that it would be a good idea to solicit feedback directly. Oh yeah, we are all about the feedback here.

 So here is what I am asking you:

1) What issues, if any, have you had on our career site?

2) What, if any, additional content would you be looking for?

3) Are there things that you have seen on other company career sites that you think we should do as well?

4) Are there new technologies or features that we should add that you have not seen on career sites before (for example, the application of RSS technology)

I am encouraging you to complain and say "I wish..." and to be as specific as possible.

Roy told me he will jump on the thread and talk to you guys himself. He may be able to provide some answers to questions and we are hoping to get some good insight into what could make our next rev of the career site better than ever. It's OK if you comment includes the word "suck" (although I will say that ours is better than most). We want to know about it so we can fix it.

Comments (22)

  1. Garry Trinder says:

    Did you mean this URL?


    Post the comments/wishes here?

     All the best,


  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oh yeah, I screwed up the link. Just fixed it. Thanks for letting me know. And yep, you can post feedback here in comments!

  3. adi says:

    It sure would be handy to be able to put together an RSS feed of a certain search.

  4. Hi, I like to see:

    add RSS feeds for job offerings based on location and/or job category

    does microsoft offer location independent offerings (by this I think about home offices (eg. Europe) away from the actuall location (eg. USA)). if yes, you should add such a location type

    Cheers Harry

  5. egcarter says:

    I’ve been complaining about the buggy Careers site for well over a year (and have the emails to prove it!).   For one thing, when you do a search and get a good-sized resultset of reqs, start clicking on the reqs to see the details…, then go back to that list of job matches; it will eventually (if not immediately) vanish.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    RSS, check!

    egcarter – keep it coming.

  7. Francesco Esposito says:

    I have had the same issue as egcarter, navigating multiple results is extremely difficult. It is really easy to hit back or click off from a result in a way that removes your search. Also, if you go all the way through a job listing and apply, it is difficult if not impossible to get back to your custom search. You could hold this search in the user’s session, or save it in a "recent searches" field that is always visible (maybe in on the side or bottom of the screen).

    Outside of search I have always wished there was more information about the offices themselves. Several of the offices are not listed. I think it would be nice to see a good set of information about the place where i could work. Most Microsoft campuses are beautiful and impressive, I think some pictures and details might encourage some people to consider a location (heck look at that Fargo office, it is cool looking). Some additional information about the surrounding areas could help prospects as well as recent hires.

    I have also noticed that several specific jobs do not have details listed. Many groups are not represented in the group’s information page. More detail about the various groups and Microsoft and more details about the specific jobs available would be great. Some areas of the company and positions are completely absent from the position listings (though show up in searches), Leaving little detail on specific positions until you receive a job description from a recruiter if you are selected for interview. That’s a little late to the game in my opinion.

    In general, I agree that your careers website is one of the best out there. As someone who was recently doing their job search, I was really impressed by its design and ease of use. A little more content and it would be perfect.

  8. Cyndy says:

    Do you really want to know what I think? LOL

  9. dh says:

    I second egcarter’s issue… it was rather annoying having to restart your search when this happened

  10. Wine-Oh says:

    I wish to get a job off the Microsoft careers site when I apply. (Hehehe… Just kidding).

    In all honesty, there are way too many choices to filter by, and I fear jobs people might be looking for will be missed. So pair down the type of jobs. I know thats hard given there are so many functions at Microsoft.

    One idea might be to a featured job or an immediate needs job area. Where a few jobs are highlighted for immediate needs. I like having the testimonial attached to a specific job so you get to learn about people in that job and why they love it.

    Also filter it in such a way that jobs from 2007 dissapear. They might be old and filled and outdated…

  11. Pam says:

    As long as we are on wishful thinking, how about being able to put in your qualifications and skill sets and get a response back on where you can be a good fit.

    I say that just because there seem to be a lot of different departments/product teams within microsoft.

  12. AC says:

    Another suggestion: Age out, or repost, jobs that have been there for a long time (more than say 4 months). I’ve seen jobs on the careers site where the posting date is well over 1 year (even approaching 2 years) old. Job’s that old don’t give you a lot of confidence in getting a response when submitting your resume to a database…

  13. Pat S. says:

    I have not had the blank screen problem since I started keeping the results list on one tab, then opening a specific position in another tab, keeping the results tab always open.


    It’s pretty common now to be able to filter a large set of results.  Filters include location, title, department, skill set, etc.

    It is well known that one of the best ways to be employed by MS is to not go in as a blue badge right away, but go in through an agency.  What if agency listings and MS company listings were all in the same place, and all searchable?  Even if MS did something like Indeed and scraped the relevant jobs off the agencies’ sites.  Seems like this might be something the agencies might pay for.

    I think there are, from a candidate’s viewpoint, two principles to adhere to: let the candidate feel like they are able to put their best foot forward for a specific job, and provide a level of transparency via feedback and/or status.

    Best foot forward:

    The ability to store multiple resumes and submit different for different jobs.  A Project Manager within IT might be very similar to a PM in a product group, but the resumes could be different to highlight different aspects of the candidate’s background.

    I understand why the text resume is needed, but when I have been sourced by a recruiter for a MS position or a friend wants to submit my resume, I have been specifically asked to send a Word doc.  Why not let candidates attach a Word doc or at least provide a link to Sky Drive or MSN Spaces?  Why even go the route of a traditional resume?  Just have every candidate create a web page, much like a blog (with word count limitations of course), store it on internal servers behind the firewall, and leverage the increasing capabilities of Live Search to allow recruiters to search candidates’ profiles.


    Why not show how many times a resume has come up in a search?  For example, if a resume gets 1 hit in 4 weeks, the resume may suck (needed to put that in since you gave permission to say it) and may need to change.  Right now, the candidate has no idea.

    Taking that idea a step futher, what if a resume had something like a tracking cookie attached to it so the candidate could see where it is in the workflow process?  I’m sure the system will have metrics for this for recruitment management to see – why not let the candidates see a portion of the workflow status?

    Show how many candidates have applied for a specific position through the site.  If a job has had millions of submissions but has been open for 8 months, my guess is the job description probably needs to change.

  14. RB says:

    Once you get past the first few pages the visual design is unfriendly. It looks exactly what it is-an interior website for a mega corporation. There’s no way around the amount of information.

    I’d hire these guys to rework it. http://www.37signals.com/

  15. PP says:

    1. Once a Job Req gets filled, its best to keep the URL active saying the POSITION was filled. Most of the sites usually delete the OLD entries

    2. Standardizing the template would be great

    3. If Main Page displays CATEGORY (.NET, SQL Server, Developer, Tester,…) that may be a great value add

    4. If you are looking for FTE (and American Citizens or some National Citizen due to criticality of the project), then I would recomnend that information to be BOLD

    5. If an REQ has been OPEN for past <n> number of days, either delete it or Archive it or Move it to different TAB

    6. If you can define one of the category as "Team" which is looking for people (SQL Team, VSTS Team,…) that might encourage some people

    7. One thing I see always missing is, before people can send the resume, as them to answer some questions (Non-Technical), which will/may let the candidate know in advance if they should even apply for the Job

    Hope this helps.  If not, please contact me @ prabhupr@hotmail.com

  16. HeatherLeigh says:

    This is valuable feedback, you guys. Thanks so much and keep it coming!

  17. Wine-Oh says:

    Do we get Microsoft T-shirts for helping out? 🙂

  18. egcarter says:

    Concerning the job req "aging" issue, if you have applied to a specific req and it’s filled, you can easily find out by clicking on your "Job Cart", then "View Resume Submissions".   The jobs that are either filled or gone for whatever reason will show a status of "Not Available" in red.

    As for really old reqs that are still there; I’m sure that a more proactive effort is needed to remove the ones that have vanished (lost headcount, budget issues, etc.), but there are definitely old ones that are really still "available."  I’ve been contacted for some that have been posted for longer than 6-7 months before.

    The possibility of storing multiple resumes in the system and choosing the appropriate one to submit with an application is of prime importance.   I have what seems to be "eleventy-five" (sic) different resumes for different roles.   No One-Trick Pony here!

  19. Ken Simon says:

    There are two many ways to filter the JDs.  Standardize on a set amount so a user doesn’t have to guess what a specific job title or job category to pick.  

    Add an advanced search to the main screen so a user can modify the search based on their own criteria.

    I agree it is very frustrating that you can be looking at multiple jobs and all of a sudden when you hit the back button the whole search session disappears.


  20. 1- problems: many times when viewing a large set of results, the site seems to loose the search criteria and you would have to start al over. Very frustrating at times.

    2- requests: I would like to get customize search experience. It will be nice to see a list of already viewed postings, applied to with categories, and some sort of favourits so we can save jobs for later vieweing/applying

  21. marco.chila says:

    I would store all the resumes in a single database, so, this way we don’t need to build it again for any international opportunity.

  22. Jen says:

    This is a great idea what you are doing – I am currently working for a web 2.0 company and we are trying to get feedback on our site as well.

    It’s so helpful when people complain!

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