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Microsoft
Review

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Microsoft is a great place to work. No political agenda like other tech companies. It's up to you if you sink or swim.

4.3
Recommended
Former EmployeeWorked at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA.

What I like

Microsoft offers a lot of autonomy, opportunities for training, focuses on collaboration with others, and has a great work setting and environment plus very good benefits and pay. I was able to work in several different roles across a few disciplines. There are many internal job opportunities and plenty of locations to choose from.

What I dislike

While there are many job opportunities, it is difficult to transfer and networking or knowing someone is almost always the key. That was very frustrating. Also, given the nature of the company, you would think that working remotely on a full-time basis would be more commonplace or allowable, however, that's not the case. The managers seem to need to have all of their people right next to each other and on site for at least a majority of time which is antiquated and unnecessary.

Suggestions for improvement

As an employee in human resources and recruiting, it would be better if the hiring managers actually had to follow the rules, laws, and processes that are employed in HR. There is a lot of "going around the rules" because a hiring manager wants a particular person Or a short-cut process and that limits other people (internal & external) from being considered for jobs. Sometimes, I wondered how I even got hired at the company at all. Microsoft wants new blood and fresh ideas (including putting the best internal hires into the right positions), but the managers are allowed to constantly subvert that goal for their own short-sighted, immediate needs. I believe this is the major factor that has contributed to Microsoft losing its leadership position in the industry.

Company Culture

Microsoft's culture offers a lot of autonomy, employee services and on-campus perks, flexible hours, and they emphasize team-work and morale. It has become a little politically correct in its later years, though, otherwise I would have given the culture 5 stars.

Internal Communication

Communication to employees has always been a struggle for Microsoft. Lots of "leaks" and rumor mills affect the message before the leaders ever get around to it. I've wondered if the company prefers it that way. They are always working on transparency, but still haven't managed to get it right.

Teamwork

Absolutely. Microsoft wants managers to manage and work on the big picture, not babysit their teams. The company encourages, fosters, and rewards team-work and cross-collaboration.

Work-Life Balance

Deadlines are important to meet and you will have to work hard, but employees usually have the flexibility of when and where to work, too.

Support from management

Microsoft's culture offers a lot of autonomy, employee services and on-campus perks, flexible hours, and they emphasize team-work and morale. It has become a little politically correct in its later years, though, otherwise I would have given the culture 5 stars.

Freedom to work independently

One of Microsoft's best qualities: employee autonomy. If you can't work it out alone, your team is there to collaborate with.

Inclusive / Diverse

In the tech areas of the company, this is true. Many times, a single person has been responsible for something major because s/he had a different way or idea. In the administrative/operations groups, not so much. The people attracted to that type of work tend to be stodgy, even at a tech company that is always trying to innovate.

Gender Equality

Having worked in HR and Recruiting, I have seen and conducted the issuance of salaries, performance reviews, and hiring practices. Microsoft is totally open and punishes workplace discrimination of any kind.

Attitude towards older colleagues

Treatment is fair, they work hard to be diverse and get rid of discrimination. They do have a philosophy about college grad hiring and getting new blood into the company, though. You can't rest on your seniority and coast, you must keep up, always improving yourself & skills, and stay competitive.

Office / Work Environment

Employees have everything they need and the locations have so many amenities.

Environmental Friendliness

There are all kinds of bins for recycling in common areas, cafeterias, and for an employee's work space. They know it's good for the environment and it saves money.

Handicapped Accessibility

Microsoft is very up to date with accessibility of all kinds. I encountered several employees who were in wheelchairs, walking devices, as well as the deaf/hearing impaired and blind. Plus they have an Ergonomics team who will send someone to you if you need adjustments or accommodation to your work space.

Workplace Safety

Lots of training and Facilities is always working on something. Fire drills, team captains, requiring everyone to swipe their badges to enter/no tag-alongs, and Security is always on site walking and watching.

Overall compensation for your work

Microsoft's comp plans are very goid in comparison to market and in comparison to peers. They did a lot work in the early 2000s to restructure comp so that employees in the same job were paid the same and got raises according to merit, which meant pay decreases for a small contingency of people. Most took the decrease and stayed.

Job Security

Microsoft worked harder than any other of my 10+ employers to avoid lay-offs. There were always re-orgs, though, and outsourcing, college hire programs, visa hires, etc. It's competitive and you must stay relevant.

Company Image

During my 10 years at Microsoft, I was definitely proud to work there. My parents were very excited about it, too.

Career Development

Lots of jobs available, in-house training in dozens of skill areas, career paths outlined for each position, and tuition reimbursement.

Challenging Work

HR and recruiting is always challenging and although there are plenty of rules and guidelines, there's always something new and different popping up. Even in HR, the autonomy afforded employees allows for individual approach and problem-solving as well as collaboration with others.