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 ProvideSupport.com 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.

Update:
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 Steve Levy on February 14, 2009 at 8:04am
@Ryan - why do companies solely target SM at college students? One, they're in need of a new person to run recruiting and (or) two, there is a very large communication gap between look at their marketing organization and the recruiting group.
Comment by Allen Stephens on February 17, 2009 at 5:20pm
@Ryan. 60% of our hiring is college students; and a large portion of our web traffic is on our 'Just for Students' pages on our career site. We are targeting passive experienced candidates with SM on other external channels.
Comment by ryanchartrand on February 17, 2009 at 5:56pm
Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification, Allen!
Comment by ryanchartrand on February 19, 2009 at 12:02pm
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."
Comment by Gerry Crispin on February 19, 2009 at 12:47pm
Marvin's experience is overwhelmingly replicated by nearly all who do it. By not making our selves available as a "standard" of staffing behavior, (caused primarily by our personal risk-averse culture)we have negatively impacted the success and credibility of corporate staffing models. It is changing...just too slowly. Kudos to Marvin and the dozens of staffing colleagues there who make themselves available to prospects and candidates.

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