Wednesday, January 11, 2006

How Microsoft could recruit the future

This is posted on another blog, but I thought it was appropriate here as well. Afterall, it is a cutting-edge sourcing strategy, yes? (I ask in all modesty.)- Jim


I have a problem, actually all of HR has a problem, no make that the entire United States of America has a problem and its... you. Yes, you the jobseeker. The problem is that there is not enough of you to go around. This may sound like a ridiculous statement to the unemployed, but in time you will come to agree with me. Consider these statistics...

By 2008 the number of young adult workers, from 25 to 40 year olds, will DECLINE by 1.7 million. That's 1.7 million less workers to replace the nearly 77 million baby boomers who will be eligible for retirement. Simply put, there will be fewer people available for the top management slots and high-performance executive jobs. Over the next 15 years, there will be a 15 percent decline in the number of 35 to 44 year-olds. By 2010 we will have 167,754,000 skilled jobs to fill in the United States, but only 157,721,000 people in the workforce to fill those jobs. (Do the math!) Assuming that 5% of the workforce holds two jobs, we still will have approximately 2.2 million jobs unfilled.

Source: The Perfect labor Storm (http://www.perfectlaborstorm.com/facts.html)

So with all this being said, how is a recruiter of the not-so-distant future supposed to cope? Well, fortunately I have an idea that would (quite possibly) resolve this issue for Microsoft now and for generations to come.

I was turning on my computer the other day when I had an epiphany. What is something all workers (well, most workers) have in common? Answer: Computers. (I guess that goes without saying.) If people do not use computers at work, then most likely they will have one at home. Am I right? (I will assume that I am and go forward.) Next question, What do all future workers have in common? Answer: Please refer to previous answer. Now this had me thinking.

While there are certainly exceptions, most of these computers are running a Windows OS. I think Microsoft should place (asap) a permanent desktop icon called "Jobs@MS." (Just like the "My Computer" and "Recycle Bin" icons.) Here is a peek at how it could look. (See the arrow pointing to it?)

What happens when you click the icon? One of two things: Either it directs you to the career section of Microsoft's website, or a much better option. You click the icon and it pops open a video presenting the benefits of working for Microsoft. Here is a peek of how it could look"

What would happen if this shipped with say... Windows Vista later on this year? Hmmm... let me think on the good, the bad and the ugly of this. (Anybody remember that movie?) THE GOOD In a perfect world the "JOBS@MS" icon is placed on all computers that are sold to homes and academic institutions. In this way, Microsoft's (subtle) recruiting message would reach students on multiple levels, teleworkers and those workers dissatisifed with their present career (who surf the web at home). Perhaps when a jobseeker visits Monster.com or some other career portal, a translucent window appears and suggests that they consider Microsoft. So as not to become a nuisance, this window would appear only once per session and can be turned off at the user's discretion. THE BAD Hackers distribute a virus (or malware) of some sort that either erases the "Jobs@MS" icon or hijacks the icon. If the "Jobs@MS" icon is hijancked, clicking the icon would redirect you to a pornography website or play some sort of propoganda video. Someone would make a video "exposing" what happens when you click the "Jobs@MS" icon and it would be broadcast for giggles all across the blogosphere. THE UGLY As this strategy is revolutionary, I suspect that there would be naysayers who would raise a fuss. Why? Some companies would feel threatened and say that Microsoft has a monopoly on recruiting in this manner. Some would label it as an unfair use of our product and demand that we allow recruiting icons from our competitors on our desktop. They would lawyer up and we would lawyer up and in the end, it would be much ado about nothing. Afterall, Microsoft does not have the only operating system in the world and Microsoft does not restrict people from loading programs or desktop icons on their computer. Such is the sole discretion of the user. So I guess with all things considered, would adding the icon bring more good or bad to Microsoft? At this point, I am undecided and curious. Of course, I am not suggesting that this is a feature due out later this year in Windows Vista but, ummm... If I were, what would be your reaction to it?

Very curious as to your comments. Jim

1 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

Given the competition for labor, it would certainly be an innovative way to handle getting the word out.

The problem, of course, is the same with any mass-market advertising: you are blasting to the qualified and unqualfied alike. The resulting burden of mass unqualified resumes on HR would have to be dealt with.

Beyond that, this couldn't be put on the educational systems, either, as the schools would accuse MS of trying to steal their employees.

In the end, it would have to be put only on consumer equipment and I'm not sure whether that would be a net benefit or not.

The general strategy is good, just we would have to figure out a better distribution model. Perhaps a button on the front page of MSN, Monster, and all of the job-related portals out there.

Dan

1/12/2006 02:05:00 PM  

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