Microsoft’s Unsung Heroes – An Interview with Microsoft Recruiter Paul Duran

I talk to one of many unsung heroes, these people are the first line of offense in the technology war, they can turn the tide with just a few decisions.

A perk of being at GameSkinny? Having the ability to interview people like Microsoft Recruiter Paul Duran. In my opinion he, and recruiters like him, are unsung heroes. Think about it; someone recruited Larry Hryb, Frank O’Connor, Hideo Kojima, and Marty O’Donnell. If the person or persons had not done that… I shudder to think.

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Let’s get to know him a little better.

If you are going to change the world, you need to at least be inspired…

Who is Paul Duran? The man and the recruiter.

I am someone who takes his job very seriously and looks at people’s careers not as just their job but their livelihood which to most people is very important. I learned a long time ago that being honest and genuine was the true path to gaining people’s respect. My job is to fill roles but it’s also to help change people’s lives in a positive way weather its helping someone make more money or helping them get a better title promotion. It’s all about them and once the candidates sees and understands that, that is when the true nature of recruiting begins to unfold and it’s where the trust begins. I am not my job and it’s just what I do for a living but I do take pride in my work and have always been very proud to work for and represent Microsoft. I don’t let my work become my identity because I am aware that it can be taken away at any time.

I try to look at my life and approach it in such a way where I am grateful. Because that is how I feel and it’s where my work ethic comes from. I really do care about helping people and think that’s why I love what I do and why I am so good at it. It’s not just a job for me, it’s more than that. It affects me in a positive way and whoever I interact with can see and feel it too. I am so happy to say that I love what I do and have been doing this for 16 yrs. now. I’d like to think of myself as positive and optimistic and my dad always taught me to look for the good in people because if you look hard enough you will find it.

How you got started in recruiting and how did it lead to MSFT?

When the economy was good in 1998, I got recruited to be a Recruiter by a Tech staffing firm. Since then I have worked for companies like Comcast, FOX, Warner Bros. Studios and now Microsoft/XBOX. You have to be a personable outgoing person to do this job which pays well but it’s also rewarding in other ways like meeting and helping people find work but you also get to make new friends. I am always learning something new which keeps things interesting. For me that’s where I get the most out of my job when I get to meet someone who has something new to teach me or share with me. I have worked both agency and in-house corporate recruiting for various companies. 

We will see, but 2014 is off to a great start…

What is the day-to-day life for you?

A typical day is filled with meetings, conf. calls, screening candidates over the phone or viewing resumes online. It can also mean me doing competitor company research of a competing company or helping other teammates fill their roles by sharing other candidates. There is always some project or tech to learn so it keeps it very interesting and challenging. At Microsoft, things change very fast and there is always something new to learn or deal with which keeps me on my toes but I love it. 

What do you look for in candidates within your division(s)?

I look for various things like exp. where they work, what title they have or the type of work they do. I also pay attention to where they went to school and what they studied. For me it’s not just these things but also the full body of work that makes them unique and valuable to us. What types of projects did they work on, what was their role and how did they do it. When I speak to them I look for things in their personality to see if they would mesh well with our culture or if they truly want to be here and are not looking at this role as just another job. We like to hire and recruit people who are excited to want to work at MSFT and who care about their careers. If you are going to change the world you need to at least be inspired.

Are you a person who lives his work – gamer/tech head/bleeding edge purchaser?

 I am a gamer and love playing RPG, or sports type games like FIFA or Madden but also like games like Gears of War, Halo and Grand Theft Auto. I am really into shooter games like Call of Duty: Ghosts or Battlefield 4. I can’t wait for BattleFront the new Star Wars game coming out from DICE. I am a HUGE Star Wars fan and love it more so than Star Trek but like them too, the new ones anyways.

What does the future hold? 

We will see but 2014 is off to a great start…

 I hope you all enjoyed the interview as much as I did. Please leave any questions you may have for Paul in the comments below. You can also follow him directly on Twitter .


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Author
Proto Foe
A gamer borne of all formats.I am currently borrowing games off my son, the circle is complete..