• http://www.magicmethod.ning.com Maureen Sharib

    I think that urban legend that you need to have a genius-level IQ to work at Microsoft must be true!

  • http://www.highertalenthire.com Heidi Burkley


    This was a brilliant and thought provoking article. Thanks for sharing. The whole “apply and goodbye” approach has distorted the “gift” of true recruiting which, ultimately boils down to relationships and connecting people with the right opportunities. We talk about respecting the candidates but, if they are not allowed to have a “voice” through the channels we’ve established then our efforts in many cases are in vain.

    It’s true, technology has taken sourcing to another level however, it must be used responsibly and strategically to advance our cause rather than allow it to become a hindrance. Anybody can post jobs and wait to see “what happens” however, with this strategy, I question if we are really experts or simply administrators. The bottom line is, if we are not establishing coherent sourcing infrastructure that support our business partners hire quality minded employees then we fail to add true value to strategic workforce staffing.

  • http://www.TheStage1.com Marilou Myrick

    Marvin, can’t say how impressed I am by your insights and innovation in this area. All I can say to the Talent Evangelist is AMEN!

  • Kristi Hearn

    Great article! Any recruiter who wants to help bring their company’s recruiting process up to date by thinking “out of the box” should pass this on.

  • http://community.ere.net/blogs/quest-for-the-best/ Sue Danbom

    I already did. (Pass it on.) Thanks for a peak into this thoughtful process. It must payoff.

  • http://www.reimaginework.com Mary Schaefer

    Marvin, thank you for this article. No matter how “efficient” we try to get, we keep coming back to relationship and true engagement, don’t we? I really like your vision in that it starts with the presumption that relationship is important, and then you translate this into practical terms. When we start off with this presumption, and proceed with the conviction to not sacrifice relationship, somehow we make it work, don’t we? Way to go.

  • http://www.hughesvaladez.com John Hughes

    Hi Marvin. We couldn’t agree more. PLease check out http://www.bigdoghub.com as we have an innovation that speaks to this issue. We are the first to make resumes and job postings interactive. (patent pending) Candidates can now post questions to postings rather than applying. This empowers then rather than having to submit a resume to the “black hole”. The Q/A can be viewed by others making the job positng “living” or organic rather than static. The same is true of resumes in that recruiters can post questions to resumes rather than hunting them down to get basic questions answered. This approach makes it quicker, more efficient and more engaging for all. We also embrace social media on the site allowing members to post pics, vids, interests, career goals, links, blogs ect all on one page.
    We are offering licenses to use the technology for a nominal fee. We want to change how the candidate and employer interact! I would love for microsoft to be our first user. Please check us out!
    John Hughes

  • http://www.starbucks.com/careers Jeremy Langhans

    yes Maureen –

    A lot of the ‘Talent Engagement’ folks at Microsoft (past & present) are pretty much über IQ, but they also are very curious by nature / not afraid to try something and have it fail miserably. I recall many a “post-mortems” meeting during the 3 contracts over 6 years that was my MS exp. These post-mortems were critical to hash out what went right, wrong, etc after a Strategic Sourcing Initiative.

    After that, you are then able to see if you can duplicate the winning processes and move forward (which is probably where some of the above chart got vetted). This is the key difference between Corporate Sourcing Teams that sit around and just talk about how cool something might be & the folks that legitimately try it; most times on their own without any outside help. Although, I think Marvin might be promoting a couple key Vendors presently to help do the tactical to MS’s strategy.

    The stuff I hear from Marvin, Kay, etc. out of there shows that MS is still a Leader in the space! GOOD JOB TEAM

    …………………. ? sourcer

  • http://GrouperEye.com Ted Williams

    My team will launch a product that does this in 12 days. It’s simple. It’s also hair-raising-exciting. We’re pumped.

    I agree with everything you wrote except that the focus should not be on one way distribution or non-predictive friendly messaging – it needs to be based around doing real stuff. When it’s based around real stuff, it gets scary exciting. Then we flip the switch and talk about this talent community as revenue generating – this is when things get freakishly game-changing.

  • http://www.hughesvaladez.com John Hughes

    Hi Marvin. We couldn’t agree with you more. We have created a site called http://www.bigdoghub.com that is the first site to have interactive resumes and job postings. (patent pending) We have merged discussion boards into resumes and job postings. This allows members to post questions directly to postings rather than sending their resume into a “black hole”. This empowers the candidate and makes the engagement process efficient and simple. Other members can also view the Q/A on each posting making the posting “living” rather than organic. The same is true of resumes. Employers can post questions to resumes rather than having to track down applicants to get basic questions answered. This makes it quicker and easier to get engaged. Other employers can also view the Q/A. We have also embraced social media. Members and employers can add vids, pics, interests and career goals, blogs, and links all on one page. We are offering the technology for lease at a nominal fee to use on corporate sites as we are trying to change the way employer and job seeker engage! Please give me a call.

  • http://www.hughesvaladez.com John Hughes

    meant to say “living” rather than static above.

  • http://mcgladreycareers.blogspot.com Ben Gotkin


    Wonderful article! You are spot on with this, especially in a time when companies are being more selective than ever and when there are in some cases many more qualified candidates than there are jobs. Companies that ignore our lose out on those who they can’t hire today but may need tomorrow will suffer in the long run for sure.

    This model is really about applying technology to cultivate relationships and expand communications on a scale that just were not possible before. On top of that, it can be relatively easy to set up (although harder to maintain), and rather inexpensive (if not free if you can do it all in house).

    Thanks for sharing, I’m always learning something from you…

    Ben Gotkin
    National Recruiting Director
    RSM McGladrey

  • Ryan Leary

    Marvin – As always great article. I can’t be at ERE but I’m looking forward to catching up wiht you. @Maureen I agree, step 1 at MS is 180+ on the IQ.

    Marvin, since joined the conversation, how do you incorporate phone sourcing into this process?

  • Marvin Smith

    Ryan-we use phone sourcing, as well as, Internet Sourcing as part of our inputs into our TalentStream Strategy. Targeting the right audience requires using name generation activities, as well as, aggregating information from a variety of sources. Since we build pipelines for (10) different functional areas, we use a wide variety of resources to identify and engage the target audience.

  • Marvin Smith

    Maureen-Genius at Microsoft? You must be talking about my boss.

    Heidi-thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your insights about administrators. Our is and will always be a people business.

    Marilou, Kristi, Sue, & Mary—thanks for the encouragement.

    Jeremy- as always, you add to the conversation.

    Ted—I saw the buzz in ERE that Grouper Eye us is game changing. Looking forward to your launch.

    John—I will check out “bigdoghub”

    Ben—I appreciate your feedback—especially from someone that “gets it.”

  • http://www.reimaginework.com Mary Schaefer

    John Hughes: The idea of BigDogHub sounds brilliant. I didn’t see where you used the word “static.” Please clarify.

  • http://www.hughesvaladez.com John Hughes

    Hi Mary. Thanks for the note. The site has been very well received by users thus far. We are adding 100 to 200 members a week. John Zappe gave us a nice mention not too long ago in one of his articles. I have been leading recruiting teams for many years and sought to bring something into play that would be a positive change for all. The examples on the site help clarify better than I can in words.
    Seven lines down I should have said “static” in place of “organic”. Resumes and postings are organic as they grow as people contribute questions and answers to both. Thanks, John

  • Sylvia Dahlby

    This the best article about talent management posted on ERE to date this year. Thank you so much for sharing – I’m keeping a copy on file to send to all my clients. In the age of social networks and the changes it brings to relationship building & branding, the model you presented is surely the way of the future.

  • Michael Hennessy

    Marvin, an excellent article that clearly explains why companies really need to think about sourcing as a “Marketing” activity. It’s not just about the applicant, it’s about those relationships and creating processes which enables that across an entire organziation.

    We’ve built a recruitment marketing platform that helps companies automate the entire process, check us out at http://www.smashfly.com

  • http://www.enticelabs.com/ Joshua Westover

    Great post Marvin. Looking forward to connecting at ERE!

  • http://www.starbucks.com/careers Jeremy Langhans


  • John Hennessy


    interesting – but from an applicant’s pov the effects are difficult to see. MS stays a teflon mountain (and I do have the 180 IQ), with little obvious engagement into my fields at least (high-tech, moving very dense manufacturing information around, combining data….)

    I believe we need a much richer way to elicit skills, abilities, potential. The standard resume and the resume polishing industry are an impediment to achieving this.

    Well, I’m off to ping the MS Recruiting site and see if I can exploit my new knowledge!


  • Howard Adamsky

    Excellent article. Thought provoking and informative. This is really great stuff!

  • http://aces.arbita.net/blog/glenn Glenn Gutmacher

    Yep, Marvin’s doing great stuff, and I’m happy to say “I knew him when” he was just starting to test the synergies between social recruiting, physical event recruiting and other “traditional” methods when we were both at MSFT. I knew it was great stuff, then, too, and was happy when he accepted my invitation to make one of his first full group presentations internally to Microsoft’s Global Central Sourcing Team a couple of years ago. Fortunately, MS now lets him share those insights externally, too. If you didn’t catch his much larger presentation at ERE last week, don’t worry, I’m sure it won’t be his last!

  • Jim Rose


    Kudos on a well-written article…



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  • Warren Cusick

    Too often, internal recruiters spend too much time looking for reasons to knock candidates out rather than look at them as a possible fit in another role.Doesn’t fit opening exactly, so one and gone. Every candidate should be considered still an active viable candidate. I have found and hired vice presidents and directors from old resumes sent in to our company applicant tracking system,at various companies, where no one even looked at them! This included diverse executive candidates.
    Those candidates that are not engaged, not talked to, not considered, may land at a rival company going after the same business as your firm. They will remember the slight and do everything in their power to kick your company in the teeth every chance they get………..

    Good article. Glad Microsoft is thinking way ahead that these candidates or applicants are not only potential fits down the road, but could end up with potential business partners or with business rivals out for blood…….

  • stuart russell

    Great way of building a talent “community”. However, when your utilizing messaging (both high and low touch) that engages your talent community about your client brand or employer, there’s one thing that I think 99% of recruiters either don’t know how to do or won’t do and it’s the hardest part.You touched on it though Marvin when you mentioned logging candidates attitudes, behaviors and motivations etc.

    What is it ?

    Its “shaping” the messaging RELEVANT on an INDIVIDUAL basis to your talent pool. Here’s a tip, use miller heiman based methodology and business win v personal win. Record this information on every candidate and then shape your brand message to their personal win (more evocative than a business win).

    Your click through/on rate will go up if you create a way like I did of shaping titles and content of low touch nurturing material that appeals on an individual basis your talent engagement level will be much higher. Saw this is an old topic but still very prominent today in APAC where 58% of organisations are saying that lack of talent access is restricting business growth.
    You can follow up conversation with candidates and bring value and insights around the information you send them and have an engaging conversation – as opposed to “Hi or bye” as I call it.

  • http://www.techtrak.com Maureen Sharib

    Marvin’s message certainly seems prescient today being written almost five years ago. ERE has such a wonderful library of this stuff; someone ought to be going through it and dragging it back up for re-discussion! Thanks Stuart, for doing so.

  • stuart russell

    That’s actually a great idea Maureen.

    From a people, process and technology perspective exactly how far has the recruitment industry evolved over the last five years and is it adequately servicing our employer brand or client needs? Are we ahead of the game and mitigating people risk through predictive tools & innovation ? Or are we jogging along side demand ? Or are we scrambling madly behind it ?

    Interested in all of your thoughts, especially as we’re now in a “value driven” age where our clients are now more sophisticated with the ease of access to information and hence more demanding.