As I mentioned, we held our invitational career networking event last night. Since most of my work is technology enabled, I don't get to spend as much time as I would like face-to-face with candidates and hiring managers. Yet the secret to the success of my team is our ability to connect those candidates and hiring managers in a way that is meaningful and adds value to both sides. When we can bring great hiring teams and great candidates together in a room, great stuff happens.

One year ago, almost to the day, we held a finance career invitational the same room (and made 12 hires!). It was like deja vu, all over again. Each time, the logistics of the events are the same: we provide job listings, there are appetizers and beverages, someone presents, we wear name tags and stand around and talk to folks. Each year we get feedback from candidates on the event and each year I'm surprised by the feedback. It's not that I don't expect the positive feedback but that some of the words they use to describe the Microsoft people present surprise me; makes me wonder what they expected. Words that were used to describe the hiring team: helpful, engaging, warm, friendly, interesting, energy, enthusiasm, openness.

This shows me how important it is to get candidates and hiring teams together in a room. It also shows that the human element is incredibly important in communicating the culture and spirit of an organization. I myself was surprised by how nice and helpful everyone was when I first started at Microsoft (why are they being so nice? What do they want? Are they always like this?). If you don't have the chance to actually experience it by interacting with someone from Microsoft, how the heck would you know?

That's really making me think more seriously about how I can make those connections for people, not just via events, but through this blog. I know some Microsoft marketing people are reading my blog because I frequently meet people for the first time and they mention that they have read it. I'd love to profile more MS Marketing Professionals (I'm capitalizing that because I can). I'll go out and look for the marketers but you internal MS marketing folks reading this...don't be shy, now. If you are doing something in your group that you think people might be interested in or just feel like chatting about your group via my blog, please let me know. And other readers out there, let me know what you want to hear about and who you want to hear from. I may be mildly entertaining, but there are a heck of a lot of people here that have interesting stories to tell.