Yahoo Sales “Hiring Aggressively” Amidst Freeze Rumors

As rumors of a Yahoo hiring freeze soar , the company’s SVP North American Sales David Karnstedt told the crowd at today’s William Blair and Company’s annual growth stock conference Yahoo “continue[s] to hire aggressively.” At least, that’s the case for the sales department, as indicated by Karnstedt during a Q&A at the Chicago get together.

The notion of hiring aggressively doesn’t exactly jibe with the gossip that Yahoo is in the midst of a hiring freeze, or at least a very restrictive hiring environment.

“Attrition has been very low on the [sales] team,” he said, adding, “Retaining people and bringing new people in has been the call of the day.”

Asked whether the recent Microsoft hullabaloo or general negative talk about the company’s status has affected the ability to hire salespeople, Karnstedt said, “It has not had any impact.” In fact, he added, Yahoo exceeded its expectations when it comes to filling sales positions in the first half of ’08.

Still, Yahoo seems to be falling prey to yet another exodus of top execs.

If indeed Yahoo is hiring salespeople “aggressively,” even as other departments feel the pinch of a tighter budgetary belt, there’s at least one explanation: You can’t bring in big ad dollars from brands and agencies without salespeople.

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