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How we helped Microsoft accelerate hiring in the cloud computing market

Published 15/03/2020 - 3 min Read

By Armstrong Craven Team

Talent Research Specialists

Quick Summary A case study on our talent research project for Microsoft.

3 min Read

Overview: What is Cloud Computing? 

Microsoft cloud computing enables the delivery of computing services, including servers, archive storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and business intelligence via “the cloud” (the internet) providing faster innovation, and flexible resources to businesses wishing to scale.

Indeed, most cloud computing services can be categorised into four broad types: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) or serverless, and software as a service (SaaS). These are sometimes referred to as the cloud computing "stack" because they build on top of one another. Many of our clients need a full stack developer or cloud architect to work within public and private cloud models, helping develop tool integrations, cloud security, api management and the overall cloud infrastructure. In this circumstance, microsoft themselves required our help sourcing talent.

The Challenge: Find Talent For Multiple Microsoft Cloud Computing Jobs 

Competing with the world’s largest cloud platforms doesn’t just happen overnight. Still, a global tech giant’s ambition to challenge Amazon Web Service was the driving force for their largest worldwide recruitment drive.

However, AWS had already established themselves as the biggest name in cloud computing and to compete; our client would need nothing short of an army of cloud architects to create their cloud platform.

The company approached Armstrong Craven needing a microsoft cloud computing solution for their rapid growth plans, initially asking us to work as an extension of their internal talent acquisition team and recruit 300 cloud architects as the business set its sights on the cloud computing market.

The AC Approach

Having already worked with Microsoft in the past on global diversity and succession planning projects, we were able to secure the contract to create a talent map of cloud architects throughout the APAC and EMEA regions. From here, we approached and engaged with the best talent in the market, fully qualifying each candidate to confirm their skills and fully understand their career goals before submitting them to the internal recruitment team, taking care of everything but the interview.

We sent 29 of our talent acquisition professionals to Microsoft’s office to attend a three-day workshop which allowed the Armstrong Craven team to be on-boarded onto all the internal systems and communications to ensure we were a fully scalable and integrated resource.

Working across 25 different countries allowed Armstrong Craven’s team to make use of our in-house multilingual capabilities and cultural awareness of recruitment practices and preferred candidate communication channels in each country, making contact across continents seamless.

Initially, we created an in-depth talent map using rigorous research methodology spanning a range of social and professional networking sites and various publications including conference and technical event delegate lists which identified qualified profiles who could be suitable candidates for the open roles.

We then utilised our specialised search and headhunting processes, exploring talent pools all over the world to engage with, qualify and introduce 300 new cloud architects to Microsoft. This method allowed us to create a talent pipeline filled with engaged and fully screened experts ready to help Microsoft create and launch their Azure project.

The Results

To help Microsoft burst onto the cloud computing scene, we identified talent pools in 25 different countries across EMEA and APAC regions, using our proven talent pipelining approach. This allowed us to embed our team remotely as an extension of the in-house Talent Acquisition function.

Armed with an extensive talent map, we began approaching the candidates to engage and screen them, ensuring they were the right people for the job and allowing Microsoft’s recruitment team to focus on the interview stages.

By the end of the process, we delivered:

  • Over 10,000 identified candidates
  • Over 2,000 profiles submitted for the interview stage
  • 309 roles filled within six months across EMEA and APAC regions
  • Cost-effective hiring with a cost of 8.5% salary per hire

Alongside this, our team were asked to support further recruitment projects, and our remit expanded to include solutions architects, sales and customer success roles.


Today, our relationship with the client is still strong as our team of 29 experts continue to support their talent acquisition team in recruiting at scale. To find out more about Armstrong Craven’s range of services which includes insights, talent mapping and talent pipelining, contact Peter Howarth or find our global office details.

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