Ideal Employer: Microsoft’s No Stodgy Company


Dice’s Ideal Employer survey shows Microsoft firmly in the top five most attractive places to work, with about three-quarters of respondents saying they would like to be with the company long-term. Almost as many say they see Microsoft as a good place to develop their skills and career; it’s among the highest-rated companies in that regard.

When we break results down by gender and age, Microsoft ranked highly among women and men (in third place for each) and across all age demographics (second among Millennials; third among Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers). Although some in the tech media have disparaged Microsoft for years as an “old” company without the same buzz as Facebook or Apple, it’s clear that younger tech pros want to work there.

As Omar Khan, a general manager on Microsoft’s Cloud Application Development & Tools team, told Dice:

As Peter Drucker says, culture eats strategy for breakfast. We try to reflect diversity we see in the world, and we don’t just value differences, we seek them out, we invite them in. And as a result, our ideas are better, our products are better and our customers are better served.

We also believe in a growth mindset foundation – as opposed to fixed mindset. For our teams, the growth mindset isn’t just about work, isn’t just about Microsoft – it’s an approach that we believe benefits our employees in all their pursuits, whether inside or outside of Microsoft.

Having a headquarters located away from Silicon Valley doesn’t hurt the company, either. Washington state, which also hosts tech giants such as Amazon and Boeing, offers lots of living options and amenities without subjecting employees to the pressure-cooker of Silicon Valley real estate and commuting. That’s great for developers and other tech pros who want a strong work-life balance. “Developers value great roles, creative work and companies that help them grow first and foremost,” Khan added.

Tech pros who join Microsoft have the opportunity to help guide a massive corporate pivot. The company has dropped Windows Phone, its ultimately ill-fated attempt at challenging Apple’s iOS and Google Android, and now leans deeply into Azure and its cloud services as the platforms that will carry the company forward. Some might think a lack of ‘cool’ consumer products makes the company less enticing to potential employees, but our Ideal Employer data suggests that’s not the case.

“The culture at Microsoft is directly influenced by our mission of creating products and services that empower everyone on the planet,” Khan said. “The wide variety of Microsoft offerings and the audiences we serve, from consumer to business-to-consumer to enterprise customers, is one of the best things about working for Microsoft.”

In overview, it’s easy to see why Microsoft is an Ideal Employer in our survey: well-established, with a strong culture, it’s clearly drawing any number of tech pros into its embrace.