Microsoft nails it with recruiter profiles on careers site

I've always been a fan of Microsoft's online recruitment efforts, and their latest addition is actually something I've suggested before: recruiter profiles on your jobs site. Michael Marlatt, are you reading this?

Take a look:
Microsoft Recruiter ProfileA nice mug shot, division within Microsoft he recruits for, video related to the technology he recruits people to work on, and then a nice list of jobs he recruits for provided by Jobs2Web.

Most importantly, though, is the link off to his LinkedIn profile. Microsoft has about a dozen recruiters and all of them have this same set up (a bit hard to find unfortunately as it was thrown at the bottom of their entertainment recruitment site).

My only complaint is that Marvin here is the only one who set up his LinkedIn profile to make it easy to connect with him (i.e. putting his e-mail address within his profile). The rest of them are essentially still unapproachable unless you know your way around LinkedIn and how to connect in "other" ways.

Regardless, this is exactly what I've preached before: if you want to recruit today (especially if you're from a company as large as Microsoft), you have to approach people in a human fashion, just like you would at a job fair. Candidates feel so disconnected to corporations and large companies when they come to dull, non-interactive careers sites that base the relationship with the user entirely on current openings.

The Web allows you to send a different message: we are approachable, we'd love to meet you. This has become so incredibly simple thanks to social networking, the only problem is that Microsoft is the only company I know of that actually lets potential candidates know that they approachable and visible via their careers sites. They shouldn't be alone when services like LinkedIn or Facebook are completely free (for now).

So lesson of the day: go get your Web designers to put your recruiters up on your careers site. And follow these guidelines:

1. Make sure it's easy to find how to connect with your recruiters

2. Be like Marvin here and subscribe to a service like and allow your recruiters to do one-on-one chats every now and then via their profile on your careers site

3. Make sure to link off to each recruiter's LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profile. The more the merrier. And make sure each recruiter has made it simple to connect with them on each network. Include your e-mail address in your profile on LinkedIn. If you're worried about spam, replace the "@" symbol with "(at)" People understand the replacement.

The more that HR departments start to show some transparency and approachability, the more successful they will be in 2009 when trying to recruit the best talent available. Best of luck.

Well, folks, Marvin responded to my question about whether he can't sleep at night now that his LinkedIn account has been thrown up on Microsoft's Jobs2Web site. Here's a summary of his response:

"I have not been overwhelmed with traffic. In fact, it has been quite manageable."

And for those of you who are already writing a rebuttal that goes like this: "Well, no one cares about working at Microsoft then!" Well it's probably not that. From the sounds of the rest of his note to me, only really interested parties send him connection requests. Which suggests to me that people don't waste their time writing a message and connecting with recruiters when they know they aren't qualified in the first place. Or if they're not even really interested in the job (aka desperate).

Point is, give it a try. Put yourself out there, and if you get overwhelmed, take it down. I think you'll find, however, that you're only going to meet truly interested people; and qualified or not, that's a good thing to have.

And if you don't believe me, ask Marvin: "Overall, I would say transparency has been very valuable and I believe we will be continuing that trend in the other communities in which we participate."

Views: 407

Comment by ryanchartrand on February 13, 2009 at 2:14pm
Yes, Climber and StandOutJobs are both doing a good job with this. The problem is that for companies with a page built by StandOutJobs, Microsoft is the only one I've seen where they actually let candidates know of these profiles via their careers sites. Everything is so fragmented and spread across the Web, no one uses their careers site as a central location for everything, including the all-too-rare recruiter profiles.
Comment by Jim Durbin on February 13, 2009 at 2:32pm
Nice catch Ryan.

It's a good sign, but I have to wonder if more companies are prepared for this. I look at the rising unemployment, and as a recruiter, shudder at my online profile. I love it as a marketer, but I'd much prefer my profile show up only where I'm recruiting.

The question is how do you politely funnel people to the right place? What responsibility to candidates have? I had one call the other day, right as a television crew was pulling up. He was really excited to get ahold of me, but I just couldn't talk to him, and even if I had time, I had nothing for him.

He didn't return calls or my email - my guess is he thought I was rude for telling him I had to get off the phone right that moment to greet my guests.

That's been my experience nine times out of ten. Candidates want to be treated with respect, but they rarely think about respecting the time of the recruiter.

That said, I love the profiles - and they would make me want to work there, but I wonder about the workload when doing so.
Comment by Gerry Crispin on February 13, 2009 at 2:33pm
Agreed. Intel, Phillips, Microsoft and especially CHRobinson are excellent examples of firms promoting transparency of their corporate recruiters. The only issue is around navigation and crosslinkages to the jobs they are responsible for. The fear is they will be overwhelmed by crazies or unqualified folks in too large numbers to manage. Simple solutions available to handle and the benefit is easier access and a ramped up experience for truly top notch candidates.
Comment by ryanchartrand on February 13, 2009 at 2:40pm
You both bring up good points about getting overwhelmed by candidates who don't care about the recruiter's time, but when you really think about it, is it all that bad being connected to hundreds of new potential candidates, even if not all of them are qualified? One day they may be qualified, so ultimately you're setting yourself up for a strong network today and tomorrow. Managing them all will be time-consuming, but if you have interested candidates at your fingertips, I can't see how that isn't beneficial. I feel like I'm getting into a "Defend LinkedIn" comment now, so I'll just shut up :)
Comment by Steve Levy on February 13, 2009 at 2:45pm
The fear is they will be overwhelmed by crazies or unqualified folks in too large numbers to manage.

What would Heather say about this???

I remember the days of college recruiting when there were 15 slots on the schedule. When other people wanted to interview they were told that the schedule was filled and there were no more available spots...I ended up doing 23 interviews and 7 more later that night after dinner.

It was my job...

Transparency and ease of access is one thing; I believe online and offline consistency are more important. Principles are important and actions need to follow words not the other way around.
Comment by Jim Durbin on February 13, 2009 at 2:47pm
Ryan- ultimately it all depends on how many hires you get and how busy you are. If someone is breathing down your neck to fill job orders and you're getting calls from unqualified people with high expectations, life really sucks and you hate it.

If the stream is enough to handle, it's not so bad, and you can create the network.

If you don't have many jobs, the constant phonecalls can make you look busy and save your neck.

2 out of 3 isn't bad.

We should chat sometime. I'd like to know more of what you're doing skype:smheadhunter
Comment by ryanchartrand on February 13, 2009 at 2:50pm
Let me ask our friend Marvin from Microsoft if he can't sleep at night thinking about all of the people connecting with him on LinkedIn. We might as well find out from the people actually utilizing this strategy if it's unbearable or helpful. I'll get back to you, Jim, and will look for you on Skype.
Comment by Gerry Crispin on February 13, 2009 at 3:02pm
@Steve. Heather would show them how its done with class, style and results.
@Ryan I'm sure you won't be surprised when you hear from Marvin.
It's time recruiters in corporations came out from behind "do not reply to this email"....and the best of them are. We need to acknowledge them and they need to share the success they get by doing it.
Comment by Ben Gotkin on February 13, 2009 at 3:18pm
I've been in favor of an idea like this for a long time. For too long I have seen recruiters who have been terrified by the prospect fo being found and contacted. It's as if all contacts had to be on their own terms, not the candidates.

We started to take a somewhat similar approach on our blog during the fall, where we spotlighted a few recruiters and listed jobs they were working on. The profiles put a 'person behind the job', with the aim of creating a more personal touch in the process. We'll likely do more of this after busy season, and having links to their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles are great ideas too!
Comment by Steve Levy on February 13, 2009 at 3:28pm
Ben's direct phone number is 301...


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