Last night I was searching for a used car on Craigslist. When I was done, I decided to see what type of SEO jobs were being advertised. As usual it was a depressing collection, but one help wanted ad in particular caught my attention.
…a web professional to handle our new website and other tasks. The individual we hire will be in charge of all things web related including, managing the CMS, inventory, data entry into shopping cart, social media campaigns, web marketing, SEO, and more. Experience is necessary but we do not want an over qualified candidate. Starting salary will be somewhere in the $30,000 range with opportunity for frequent raises and bonus potential. Again, candidate must be proficient and experienced in shopping carts, SEO, CMS systems and social media and have the ambition and desire to be a part of a fast growing company
So what depressed me most about the ad was the idea that they wanted to hire a single, very inexpensive person to handle 3 very important jobs. Here’s my take…
First off they ask for a web professional, yet make no effort to offer a salary that a true web professional would consider working for.
They then explain that the person will be in charge of all things web related, yet I doubt they’ll be “in charge” of anything. I would imagine if they wanted to start changing copy and colors they would have to get it ok’d from someone else.
I’m not sure what data entry into shopping cart means, but I would guess that means they’ll be hand entering products into the CMS. Who hand enters data anymore? Certainly not web professionals. Have they checked into the Mechanical Turk?
They are also looking for someone to handle their social media campaigns. People right out of college taking a position as ONLY a social media strategist make over $30,ooo/year. Yet this would be just one of their jobs.
They would also be expected to run down web marketing and SEO as well. Again, just hiring a full-time search marketing person would run you much more than $30,000/year.
Then comes the part where I cried a little, “Experience is necessary but we do not want an over qualified candidate.” My first thought was, “who could possible be over qualified for a position where it normally takes 3 or 4 people?”, my second thought was, “why wouldn’t you want that over qualified person?”
My advice for this company would be to focus. I wouldn’t hire an accountant and also expect them to fix the leaky roof. Do they want a web developer, a marketer or a search engineer? If they want one person to do all three, they need to increase the salary offer by about 300%.
If all you can afford is $30,000. Don’t try to hire just one person, because you’ll be disappointed that they’re unable to do 3 jobs.
Spread out the money and buy expertise in the short run so that next year you can hire the right team.
Spend 1/3 of it on a kick-ass SEO audit from a respected search engine genius like SixTurnSeven. The reason I suggest this one first is that the finding can influence the next two.
Spend another 1/3 of it hiring a social media/pr ninja like Gwynne Murphy before she gets snapped up as a full-timer by Bandwidth. Gwynne is a workhorse, and gets passionately involved in her projects. That’s the kind of passion you don’t get when you stretch someone too thin.
Use the last 1/3 to hire a web development contractor to work with you to add value to your current CMS. Try reaching out to Ara Yapejian, one of the smartest developers in the Triangle. One of the best parts of working with Ara is he’s happy to point out the problem roads you’ve already started down so that you can turn back and get to profitablity faster.
That’s my advice for this company. They really don’t need a full-time person, what they need is some problems solved.
Photo by: Darwin Bell