Microsoft bucks IT trend with search for 400 staff

Microsoft UK has announced plans to recruit more than 400 new IT
professionals, despite the economic downturn that has caused most other
technology firms to shed thousands of jobs.

The company is holding a recruitment day at its headquarters in Reading tomorrow
to help it fill over 200 vacancies for developers, pre-sales consultants and
technology consultants.

Steve Harvey, Microsoft’s director of people, profit and loyalty, said the
company expects to fill a large proportion of the posts through employee
referral and online recruitment.

He said Microsoft is expanding while many competitors are contracting
because the firm has always had a policy of keeping headcount to a minimum and
employing only the best people.

"Our business model has kept the company lean. We do our best to go out
and find the best people and line them up with challenging jobs," he said.
"We have this concept of not mortgaging the future and ensuring we have
the resources to do today’s jobs and today’s opportunities."

Harvey said another reason for Microsoft’s expansion is that the company,
which has a staff turnover rate of just 7 per cent, is good at retaining top
performers.

It is working with Gallup on a scheme called Strength Finder, which enables
staff to make the most of their skills.

The company is also convinced of the merits of a good working environment
and its Reading headquarters has on-site banking, a well-being centre and a
lifestyle management service.

Harvey said Microsoft pays above average but will not pay exorbitant
salaries to attract staff because it wants people who are motivated by
enthusiasm for software not money.

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