HR Strange But True!
February 28, 2008

Microsoft rolled its latest invention into the Michigan State College of Engineering's recent job fair--the "job-cuzzi."

The contraption is a comedian (and former employee) in a business suit sitting in an inflatable pool full of water and using a megaphone to "shout out" to prospective employees and interns about the company's latest recruiting program, "Hey Genius."

According to a press release, the appearance of the job-cuzzi was to help celebrate National Engineers Week and to show that Microsoft can demonstrate a "lighter side" and some comedic flair, even in the intense hiring process.

"It's just a fun way for people to learn about opportunities at Microsoft," said Kara Baskett, a Midwest recruiter for the company, in an interview with the Lansing State Journal. "We like to have fun, so it's just a way to show what we like to do."

Baskett reported that Microsoft hires about 20 MSU students each year. But not all are engineers; some even have HR degrees!

The "Hey Genius" program, which is aimed directly at students with "high bandwidth" intellects, has its own cartoonish website,, with tabs such as "Genius 2 Genius," "Tech Talks," and even a forum so applicants can blog with each other.

Job-cuzzi host Fred Northrup parried with passersby while collecting résumés, telling them "Einstein would love you" after skimming the papers. The job-cuzzi seemed to be having the desired effect; "Microsoft is laid back," said a student who hadn't expected such a display from this company.

So far, the job-cuzzi has been scheduled to appear at five college campuses. We think the proof of the genius of this program is the use of the megaphone--someone's Mom told them not to use electric appliances like microphones in the water!

Source: Lansing State Journal

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