This is kind of uncharted territory here and I am really excited to see how this goes. We are doing some work to understand our key target candidates in marketing. Not just titles and the names of companies that they might work at. We are trying to develop a full profile including behaviors and attitudes toward Microsoft (specifically Microsoft as a marketing career destination). A big piece of my job is marketing, really. Building community (something that marketers at Microsoft do), building outreach programs, direct mail programs, marketing segmentation, competitive analysis...(all things that marketers at Microsoft do).

Anyway, as we work toward understanding our key profiles (I mentioned our work on this before...still analyzing), we want to measure our employment brand (how squishy sounding is that? If it was easy it wouldn't be as much fun). This is something that a market research function would typically do. Then, we want to create effective brand marketing messages and the programs to deliver them to our key targets (what a brand team would do). So today, we met with leaders from our market research and brand teams to get feedback on our methodology and commitments to assist with developing a framework. It was incredibly cool to see business leaders so engaged around OUR work! Definitely a highlight and I'll have more updates as we progress through our methodology.

For people out there wanting to understand more about developing an understanding of your employment brand and strategies for enhancing it, you may want to check out Dr. John Sullivan's book Rethinking Strategic HR (there's a chapter on branding). We've been laughing here about how everyone in the HR industry wants to be "strategically aligned with the business". Dr. John lays out some specific criteria to use to assess whether you are strategic or not. So, check us out Dr. John....how are we doing ; ) (Sorry, I keep saying Dr. John like it's Chaka Khan and it's kinda fun...Dr. John, Dr. John)