Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Passive Doesn't Always Equal Best--A Microsoft Viewpoint

Microsoft's ambitions are anything but small. The world's #1 software company provides a variety of products and services, including its Windows operating systems and Office software suite. The company has expanded into markets such as video game consoles, servers and storage software, and digital music players. Microsoft has reached settlements to end a slew of antitrust investigations and lawsuits, including agreeing to uniformly license its operating systems and allowing manufacturers to include competing software with Windows. In early 2008 the company made an unsolicited bid to acquire Yahoo! for about $44.6 billion; Yahoo!'s board rejected the bid as "inadequate".

I asked Brian Fippinger, Senior Staffing Consultant/Recruiter at Microsoft, if passive candidates really make for better candidates. This is what he had to say:

I believe that there are many myths in recruiting and many times we make the process much harder than it needs to be. In truth, the best candidate for an open role....is the candidate that fits the role best. At times, they are happily working in their current positions and need to be nudged (they are, by definition passive). Other times, they are looking for new challenges (sometime voluntarily...other times not..they are, by definition active).

The good recruiter is the one who can identify the best candidate by looking at all the tangible and intangible factors, sell them on the job and then sell the hiring manager on the candidate. Our job is not to have a bias one way or the other. Passive does not always equal best.

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