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Opinion: Microsoft sets bar in online recruiting

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Most businesses are familiar with using the online community to scout for new hires.

Positions may be posted at job posting and résumé database sites, such as careerbuilder.com, monster.com and missouricareersource.com.

Company Web sites frequently list career opportunities, including job descriptions, benefits, application procedures, and online options to complete applications or submit résumés.

Some will send alerts to candidates when desired positions become available. Others will list all jobs within the organization in order to continually solicit résumés for upcoming opportunities.

In 2011, smart companies will use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, mobile apps and advanced options on their corporate Web sites.

Microsoft is a clear front-runner when it comes to using a corporate Web site for recruiting, as the company strives to reach out to, attract and capture the most talented job seekers, whether they are active or passive in their searches.

The company’s career site is called Microsoft JobsBlog, and it takes you inside the Microsoft culture. Within the JobBlogs are blogs about actual staff, or “Softies,” emphasizing passions at work and during free time.

Through postings and videos, applicants get a bird’s eye view of what it is like to be working at Microsoft. Softies are quoted, and corporate-sponsored achievements highlighted, such as the winners of the Windows phone’s employee-only application building contest. Comments are allowed for each post. Twitter trackbacks centralize conversations by integrating tweets mentioning the posts into the blogs.

JobsBlog gives an opportunity for candidates to make direct inquiries about the hiring process to a Microsoft recruiter. Recruiter names and faces lend a personal touch in at a time when most organizations advertise, “no phone calls please.” Recent queries and answers are posted about preparing a résumé, passing phone screenings, knowing if you are a good fit with Microsoft, and effectively answering interview questions.

Geared primarily toward job seekers, Microsoft has a Facebook presence dubbed Microsoft Careers. The content and themes mirror the career segment of the corporate Web site for a consistent marketing image. Wall posts take job seekers behind the scenes for a look at actual employees, fun work-related activities and answers to applicant questions.

The welcome page shows you the same familiar faces of the recruiters that are shown on the Web site. Pages also are included about careers, frequently asked questions and photos.

Microsoft also has a mobile app for careers and a limited, direct career-oriented presence on Twitter, although many Microsoft jobs are listed through tweets from other sources.

Microsoft is both a leader in its field and in the utilization of the Web for recruiting new hires. A careful analysis of the company’s recruiting practices on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, its mobile app, and the corporate Web site will provide guidelines for other companies who want to boost their Web-recruiting presence.

For more .com news, see the March 14-20 edition of the Springfield Business Journal.
 
Lynne Haggerman, M.S., is president/owner of Lynne Haggerman & Associates LLC, a Springfield firm specializing in management training, retained search, outplacement and human resource consulting. She can be reached at lynne@lynnehaggerman.com.
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