Having trouble sourcing those hard-to-find candidates? Job boards not working? Telephone sourcing too painful?
Marvin Smith of Microsoft offered this essay on how to identify which candidates to look for, where they might be hanging out and finally getting them to raise their hands.
“The first thing we tried to understand was our target audience and how we could identify the individuals who we needed to attract — where they were employed; the best colleges for hardware engineers; what associations they joined; what they read … you get the picture.”
Good old-fashioned market analysis. I liked it, but I have no idea why Microsoft thinks it’s in their best interest to pursue hardware sales.
Unlike Apple, whose core competency is attractive hardware design, Microsoft hasn’t a clue – a fact that Smith anguishes about at the beginning of his essay:
“As our division is the manufacturing part of Microsoft, we had a billion-dollar problem with respect to the quality of one of our key products. We needed to recruit world-class hardware and ‘reliability engineering’ talent to solve some immediate issues and make certain this did not happen in the future.”
So I posted the following comment to his essay, which has yet to be answered:
“I also liked the how-to aspects of this … what works (taking advantage of existing networks) and what doesn’t (trying to get people to join a new network) – nice. Offers good contrast to the usual gestalt stuff on recruitment.
Question: Why is Microsoft messing with hardware? Seems like something Jim Collins would call a great thing to not do. Poaches on ‘partners’ who do it better. Bored executives in Redmond?”
I feel the same why-compete-with-your-partners way about Microsoft’s attempt to play in the business software market with Great Plains, a division of Microsoft. Great Plains is not a bad product, but it’s at best an also-ran in the enterprise space.
I can’t conceive of how Microsoft sees it as a logical part of their mission. It’s as if Microsoft feels the need to take on Oracle in every market; that is, they are more concerned about the competition than customers.