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Talent Management

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Submitted By zakirulhuq
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Microsoft: Competing on Talent (A) Christopoher A Bartlett

Summary of Case

In summer 1999, a front page article on Wall Street Journal reported that:

“Tired of grueling deadlines, frustrated by the bureaucracy that has accompanied Microsoft’s explosive growth, or lured away by the boom in high tech start ups, dozens of the company’s most capable leaders, all around 40, have opted out – at least temporarily….”

Foundations of Microsoft’s human resources philosophies, policies and practices

Recruitment: attracting the best and the brightest

Bill Gates had long recognized that it took exceptional people to write outstanding software. In the initial stages, they recruited “smart friends” extremely intelligent but not necessarily experienced, new college graduates.

In 1992, Gates acknowledged that “Take our 20 best people away, and I will tell you that Microsoft will become an unimportant company”. He considered helping his managers hire the best of all possible candidates as his greatest accomplishment.

For Gates, acquired knowledge was less important than “smarts” – the ability to think creatively, and experience was less important than ambition – the drive to get things done. And, to raise the bar continually.

One of the prime responsibility of Steve Ballmer, since he was hired in 1980 as assistant to the President was recruiting coordinator. Steve’s mantra was:

“We want people who are smart, who work hard, and who get things done”. Microsoft had a standing policy “If you get a kick-ass guy, get him” Selection: ensuring that the best gets in

Every candidate had to survive an intense interview process that many found harrowing. Ach was interviewed by atleast 3, sometimes upto 10 Microsoft employees. The candidates were tested more on their...

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