Presentation on theme: "Microsoft: Competing on Talent HIRING PROCESS"— Presentation transcript:
1 Microsoft: Competing on Talent HIRING PROCESS PROF. VAZANSRAVANTHI GUDAPATISALPY DOMBOURIANCHUN CHIEH YANGMOHAMMED ALBAQMI
2 Recruiting: Attracting the Best & Brightest “The company’s success is attributed on the ability to recruit, motivate, and retain extraordinary talent.”- Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer (president of Microsoft)
3 Recruiting Recruiting well was constantly reinforced by Gates Hiring extremely intelligent, not necessarily experienced, new college graduates.This dated from Microsoft’s startup days when co-founders Gates and Paul Allen hired their “smart friends.”“Microsoft has been led by a man widely recognized as a genius in his own right, who has had the foresight to recognize the genius in others.” - Fortune magazine
4 RecruitingGates believed that acquired knowledge was less important than “smarts”the ability to think creativelyexperience was less important than ambitionused recruiting to constantly raise the barIn Microsoft’s early days recruiting was concentrated from elite educational institutions, particularly Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, etc
5 Interview Process Tested thought process, problem solving abilities, and work habits than on specific knowledge or experience. An intense interview was conducted by candidates up to three, four, or even ten times.Typical interview questionsProgramming problems answered by writing codesOdd ball questions like “How many times does the average person use ‘the’ in a day.-indicates deductive reasoning, problem solving, and composure.“Describe the perfect TV remote control”-breaking down of the problem, simplicity / complexity of the solution.
6 After the InterviewAfter each interview an would be sent to all other interviewers where specific feedback and suggestions provided.A final, end-of-the-day interview with the candidates prospective manager is scheduledInterview conducted with a person outside the hiring group to make sure they fit the Microsoft culture
7 Microsoft’s Work Environment: The Caffeine Culture By 1986 Microsoft had 1,200 employees and moved into new offices in a 29 acre property (called campus) in Redmond (near Seattle)The “campus” included numerous cafeterias, which provided food at prices subsidized by the company.“Anything with caffeine is free”
8 Microsoft’s Work Environment: The Caffeine Culture To allow employees to sit and think each employee had a fully enclosed 9’x12’ office.People encouraged to decorate their offices however they wanted.Given the long hours (fourteen hour workdays and working weekends ) and fanatical pace, a comfortable work environment was essential.
10 DevelopmentCommitment: building Microsoft on the foundation of smart, driven peopleSeveral formalized training programs being organized for managers = Non-MandatoryLimited educational opportunitiesCompany primarily recruited technical expertsLearned very early that it was important to allow people to develop either as individual contributors or on a management track
11 DevelopmentIndividual contributor career paths were designed to retain skilled technical or other specialists- Recognition- Compensation- Promotion opportunitiesIn ‘ladder levels’ were established to assist managers in recruiting developers and offering salary based on skill level
13 LADDER LEVELThere were 12 levels on the non-executive ladder, from clerical positions to senior manager or technical expertEach employees ladder level was determined by the nature of his job as well as the individuals experience, skill and performance in the companyPromotions to the next level required a formal review and were tied directly to the compensationThe employees were encouraged to develop themselves by switching jobs typically every 2-3 years
14 Learning From Failures’ The personal growth resultant of such job changes had become a major source of motivationMicrosoft believed ‘if u fire the person who failed, you are throwing away the learning’They believed in experimental learning and development through personal mentoring
15 LEARNING FROM FAILUREThey regarded failure as a series of ‘learning experiences’
16 STRETCH AND CHALLENGEFrom the first day, the new hires understood it was their responsibility to learnCoaching and mentoring were deeply embedded in Microsoft values‘Bill meetings’ were the place where the current status or progress to date and future plans to CEO’s were involved, where almost every employee was a part of.
17 PREPERATIONGates challenged and probed, he also respected pushback- as long as it was backed by data and not opinion.Team gained from the preparation
18 Free Market ProcessGates also added oversight to what was essentially a free-market process of allocating talent by moving key people from one project to another, not only to influence the project outcome but also to accelerate the training and development process
19 Review and RewardGate’s belief: Employee ownership raised motivation and retentionReviews formed a norm of directness and honesty establishedGate’s-‘disease model of management’Microsoft’s best employee development forums – review sessionsPaul Maritz – senior manager, introduced a forced evaluation curve tied to 1 – 5 performance scaleBeauty of the rigorous review system is that it has become a part of fabric of Microsoft
21 Recruiting in the 1990’sIn 1990s, Microsoft’s sales exceeded $1 billion and the number of employees moved over 5,000 mark.Gates constantly reminded his managers that Microsoft’s past success was inseparable from its success in hiring and retaining the best brains.In mid-1990s, Microsoft recruiters were scanning CVs of the entire population of about 25,000 computer science graduates in the U.S. to create a shortlist of 8,000.Gates and ballmer wanted to preserve the general recruiting principles and recruiting was still a prime responsibility of everyone in the organization.
22 RecruitingIdentify approximately 2,600 targeted for campus interviews.800 candidates were invited to visit Microsoft’s Redmond campus near Seattle.The final round of interviews resulted in approximately 500 receiving offers of whom almost 400 accepted.More than 300 recruiting experts whose job was to identify the industry’s most talented people, build a relationship with them, and attract them to Microsoft.Microsoft maintained a full-time team of more than
23 Recruiting - Regular telephone calls at discreet intervals - Conversations at industry conventions- Invitations to informal dinnersAttracting the best talent to the company was a preoccupation of all Microsoft managers, starting with the CEOIn 1999, Microsoft earned a place on Fortune’s elite list of World’s Most Admired CompaniesRecruiting is Microsoft’s No. 1 core competency
24 Managing Culture in the 1990s As the company passed the 10,000- then 20,000-employee level, Gates became concerned that it was losing some of the values and spirit that had made it successfulIn the early 1990s, Mike Maples, and executive VP had begun using employee surveys in his product group to quantify employee attitudesInternal experts developed an “Organizational Health Index” (OHI), which could be administered as part of the annual employee surveyOrganizational climate and employee satisfaction. In 1997 there is a terminator study which had ac nielson organizaiton interview
25 Managing CultureBallmer concluded that Microsoft needed two things: a greater sense of clarity and excitement about the company’s direction and more freedom to act without red tape1. Change “ a computer on every desk and in every home running on Microsoft software” to “to empower people to do anything they want, any place they want, and on any device”2. Top management would have to push authority down and replace it’s traditional hands-on control with coaching.Ballmer set up series of one on one interviews with a crosssection of 100 employees.
26 Managing CultureFirst OHI survey was implemented in the fall of 1998.Scoring 4 or 5 statements.“I work towards clear goals”“I am appropriately involved in decisions”“I have resources I need”“I feel respected and valued at Microsoft”
27 Managing CultureMicrosoft’s 39 first-level VPs were stack-ranked form the highest to the lowest scoring.The new OHI measure was given teeth by feeding back to each VP his detailed score by item as well as his ranking and by giving the full ranking details to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
29 Development in the 1990sLack of sufficient capable managers and leaders.“Bench Program” created in 1994 to identify future leaders , help them to grow.“ Key people review” combination career planning, early identification and job slotting program.Right people in the right places making the right decision for the company.In 1998, the high potential list was segmented into three waves
30 Development in the 1990swave 1 : 100 employees was selected and comprised with near-term VP potentialWave 2 : 200 employees had exhibited strong leadershipWave 3: 300 to 400 employee had been identified as early career , high potentials for bigger jobs than they currently held
31 Hiring Process“ competency model” HR specialists asked long-time senior executives to describe what make Microsoft successful110 value idea were identified and arrayed on deck of cardsBill gates take the cards and group and rank them in terms of their importance to MicrosoftThis process emerged six “ success factors”
32 Six Success Factors A long term approach to people and technology Getting resultsA passion for products and technologyIndividual excellenceCustomer feedbackTeamworkHR developed 29 individual competencies29 cards with each desired competency printed in one side and questions help defining the competency on the opposite side
33 Success Factor: Long-term approach Competency required:Developing people (provides job- relevant learning, development experiences, and feedback to enhance individual performance)
34 Sample interview questions to identify competency: Long-term approach 1- Tell me about one of the most high-potential people you have had an opportunity to work with. What did you do to support that person’s development.2- Tell me how you have identified and developed high potential people within your organization.3- Tell me about a time you had to discipline an employee. What was your approach to the conversation? What was your strategy? What was the outcome?
35 ReferencesMicrosoft :Competing On Talent- Harvard Business School, July 2000GooglePre-Employment Testing and Assessment: The State of the Art
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