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: 406

Comment by Ben Gotkin on February 13, 2009 at 3:31pm
Hey Levy, doesn't a comment like that belong over in some other group :-)
Comment by Gerry Crispin on February 13, 2009 at 3:38pm
@Ben- your new approach to a common blog for your interns is a good template for recruiters as well and the fact that you ae visible and can be found a reached is still way beyond most firms.
Comment by Steve Levy on February 13, 2009 at 3:50pm
The real challenge here is supplanting the mystic of recruiting with its command and control history and coming up with a better model that is open to evolution. Transparency is a wonderful start. Personally I believe every recruiter should play "secret shopper" and apply to a job on their site. Talk about eye opening...
Comment by Ben Gotkin on February 13, 2009 at 3:52pm
This is not the time to be impersonal, cold and distant. Job seekers will remember who treated them well and who didn't. This is the time to make connections that may pay-off some time in the future. Finding the time to balance responding to a potential increase of inquiries is a challenge, but one that recruiters ignore at their own peril.
Comment by Steve Levy on February 13, 2009 at 4:04pm
I'll meet people anywhere and anytime as long as it's Wo Hops.
Comment by Ben Gotkin on February 13, 2009 at 4:14pm
Mmmmm, Wo Hops...
Comment by Jim Durbin on February 13, 2009 at 4:18pm
I like the "secret shopper" bit. Sounds like a really good way to sell an executive on a training program. Get him in the office and call one of his recruiters.
Comment by Allen Stephens on February 13, 2009 at 4:26pm
At Intel, we have had recruiter profiles on our Students web site for about 2 years. I agree about taking it a step further and adding links to Facebbok and LinkedIn profiles; it is something we are exploring. We have a recruitment blog on tap to launch later in the year.
Comment by Steve Levy on February 13, 2009 at 4:26pm
Get him in the office and call one of his recruiters.

Or outplacement...
Comment by ryanchartrand on February 13, 2009 at 4:37pm
Allen, why only for students? I don't understand why so many companies are only targeting college students when it comes to the Web and/or social networking. This should be part of companies' overall recruitment strategy, not just for college students.


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