Since I am responsible for recruiting talent for the types of roles we hire across Microsoft, I've focused my efforts on candidate profiles. It's easy to see what kinds of roles we hire people INTO by looking at our careers page, but for me to do a good job at finding the talent, it's actually more important for me to know what those people are doing now. What companies do they work for, what are their titles (all things that are searchable)...and then work to map those candidates to open roles.

So I thought I could share a little with you about the types of profiles we look for and then tell you how people with that background tend to fit into marketing at Microsoft. At least that would make it easier for folks that match the profile to identify roles here, right?

So the first profile I am going to cover is the management consultant profile. We are very fortunate that the big management consulting firms, McKinsey, Bain and Boston Consulting allow us to  post jobs to their alumni portal (I think this shows how much support they offer their employees in terms of long-term career planning and I think this is a big selling point for people interviewing with these companies). We know that the large consulting firms do a good job of recruiting exceptional talent out of the top MBA programs. The same kind of high quality talent that we recruit. So knowing that someone once worked for one of these leading firms, we know they passed a high bar to get in. And if they were there for any length of time, they had to compete to stay in.

Aside from the hiring bar at these firms attracting us to former management consultants, we are also attracted to this candidate pool by the type of project they generally work on. Client companies call in the "big guns" when they have a complex problem to solve and the budget to do it. Usually  these projects are of significant scope and highly strategic. That matches well with the type of strategy work we do at Microsoft. It's an added bonus if the consultant was onsite to work through the implementation.

So what kinds of roles are management consultants hired into at Microsoft? That answer is as complicated as the titles themselves. They could come into Microsoft in Product Management, Business Development, even Marketing Management; depending on the project focus they have had in the past. Folks who have worked in a high tech practice generally fall into Product Management and Business Development; where they are responsible for market analysis, product road map, strategic deals. Consultants who have worked in more a pure "marketing" practice would likely join Microsoft in a Marketing Management role, where they are responsible for go-to-market strategy within a segment, audience or vertical, or focused on a specific product.

Having interviewed and hired a number of former management consultants myself, I can share a little bit about what they say they like about working at Microsoft (maybe I'll get one of them to do a guest interview here). First, I hear that the extensive travel that comes with the consulting lifestyle isn't sustainable long-term for everyone (I admire people that could keep up the pace, but I'd miss my dog!). Microsoft offers the type of strategic work that interests them and allows them to work through a project including implementation ("project" could mean developing a new product road map, launching a product, creating feature acquisition strategies). The work is of significant scope and visibility. Plus they are surrounded by other smart people and can develop a career path across roles, business units or level of responsibility.

OK, I realize all of that is a little self serving, but if you are a management consultant out there and don't see exactly the right job listed on your alumni site (if your firm has one) or our career site, feel free to send me your resume anyway and we'll get it on front of the right people. And if you are someone thinking about a career in management consulting, I hope this gives you a little insight into what could be the next step in your career path.