MSN Search Staffing Up – Inelegantly

Got an e-mail from a headhunter today. Thanks heavens that’s happening again.

Only this e-mail didn’t have my name in the “To” field, much less in the generic “Hello” salutation line.

It read, in part:

“I am contacting you on behalf of Microsoft. Your background is of interest to me in regards to some excellent employment opportunities available with MSN….we are staffing a highly-talented team of search engine marketing professionals to work within the new division of MSN – which is handling online marketing.” Reassuring to know the search engine marketing division plans to be involved in marketing, isn’t it?

Anyhow, I called the guy and gave him my name — I wanted to see if there was any recognition factor at all. He fumbled, but vamped, “You’re calling about Microsoft?” No clue who I am, what I do. He said about 85% of the positions in Redmond have been filled, but MSN is aggressively staffing the NYC office with SEMs.

What kind?

He needs an analyst “working directly with Fortune 500 companies to make sure campaigns are optimized, there’s good ROI.” I pointed out most Fortune 500s aren’t going to work directly with MSN. They’re going to work with Kevin, Shari, Mike and their ilk, or with their agencies.

“There are a lot of good people out there,” the recruiter brightly told me, angling for my address book.

“No,” I told him, “there are not a lot of good people out there. How many search engine marketing majors did you know in college?”

Consider this a warning, Jeeves. It’s tough going out there. It ain’t easy staffing a paid search start-up, not even if you’re MSN.

UPDATE: Think I’m exaggerating about the talent shortage in search? Take a look at this placard a Search Engine Strategies attendee affixed to his luggage!

help wanted.JPG

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