Now serving: International recruits

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/07/28 21:01 -04:00, original URI:

A few years back before I came to work for Microsoft full-time, I was at a VBITS in the Speaker's Lounge. I was talking to Jim Fawcette, asking him about how the international subscription base worked compared to the US one, both in methods and percentages.

What he told me about how small the percentage of international subcribers was (way out of line with Microsoft's sales of the software that the magazines were writing about!), and how the whole model of other magazines essentially buying the content with no real attempt to go after the markets directly, I was a little disturbed.

I pointed out that if Fawcette's percentages did not match Microsoft's in the various markets that he ought to make sure people thought of that as a failure to find all of the people who were willing to give them money. But he really wasn't buying the argument; it was clear that it was not a central part of the model -- what was international was not always being treated as a core part of where everything is --the developers, the customers, the producs, the passion.

(This all might be different now, like I said it was a few years ago. But I remember my frustrastion at the viewpoint!)

I was thinking about this again the other day for a not entirely analagous situation. You see, there is a question I get from time to time about jobs at Microsoft from people who re not in the United States of America. I always am sure to redirect them appropriately to someone who is more qualified to help them out....

But it was great to stumble across the other day where Heather has pointed out in this post that the Microsoft Careers site now starts off with a dropdown giving a large list of locations:

It does feel better to know that international recruiting for positions throughout the world is something that is no longer a "local" concern but a global interest. :-)

Very cool!

Paul Clapham on 28 Jul 2006 11:45 PM:

The magazine world still hasn't changed that much. I still get offers of free subscriptions, but when I look more closely they are free for US addresses only, and since I live in Canada I'm out of luck. I used to pay for JavaWorld but I gave up on that because they couldn't even get the magazine to me reliably after they started giving out free US subscriptions.

No doubt it's more expensive to mail magazines out of the country, but it's still no real attempt to go after international markets.

Bob on 31 Jul 2006 12:36 PM:

Can't say I find that kind of change appealing there, Michael.

I'd guess that where geolocation is feasible, it makes sense to go DIRECTLY to the site for the guessed country. Seriously, when I'm coming from an IP block allocated to, say, (Central Florida cable internet), it seems pretty likely that I care only about the US site. I don't want to go through four extra clicks (dropdown -> scrollllllllll -> USA -> Enter) just so I can, e.g., start tracking a package.

By all means, use a cookie or put a header in the page template that makes it easy to switch national sites, but I'm tired of memorizing versus versus -- it's just a PITA.

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2006/10/01 I know about some o' dem *bilities!

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