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This blog post criticizes Microsoft's hiring policies, but it also offers solutions to fix the problems.
Microsoft has for decades asked the government for more H1B visas to fill their data engineering positions, but recently they've changed their rhetoric: according to their general counsel, they now want companies hiring H1B's to be punished by heavy tax penalties, and use the money to train local US employees to fill these positions, read this Seattle Times article for details.
We believe that Microsoft's argument is bogus. The real causes for not finding analytic talent are:
The issue with low salaries is easy to fix. First tell applicants that there is no income tax in Washington state, and costs of housing are far below California or the East Coast. In addition:
While Microsoft's workforce is much more diversified than many companies that attract top talent - you have more overweight, more older worker, more smokers, more slow speakers and more women than in many analytic departments in great companies such as Google, eBay or Amazon (I see these MSFT employees when they regularly show up in my favorite local restaurant) - it plays against them when recruiting analytic talent, perpetuating the same personality types.
My solution for Microsoft: create 50 small start-ups of 20-100 people, owned by Microsoft, and treat them as if these start-ups' clients were various Microsoft groups. Don't mention that these start-ups are actually Microsoft business units owned by MSFT. And get true successful start-up entrepreneurs to manage these entities and let them hire new employees using any way they see fit. All of a sudden you will be filled with these great analytic talents that you believe don't exist. And in addition, Microsoft will be able to do some fiscal engineering and make a few more bucks by moving profits and losses around these start-ups. And also, avoid regulations that apply only to large businesses (>50 employees).