Firms await return of talent lost to capsizing dot-coms

LOS ANGELES: With last week’s news that WorldSpy and FasTV have joined the ranks of floundering dot-com start-ups, agencies and corporate PR departments are chomping at the bit over the talent that seems likely to gravitate in their direction.

LOS ANGELES: With last week’s news that WorldSpy and FasTV have joined the ranks of floundering dot-com start-ups, agencies and corporate PR departments are chomping at the bit over the talent that seems likely to gravitate in their direction.

LOS ANGELES: With last week’s news that WorldSpy and FasTV have

joined the ranks of floundering dot-com start-ups, agencies and

corporate PR departments are chomping at the bit over the talent that

seems likely to gravitate in their direction.



Just a year ago, Internet upstarts began raiding large corporations and

PR firms for communications pros, luring away even senior execs at

blue-chip companies and top-10 agencies with the promise of instant

wealth via stock options. But Nasdaq’s April tumble, a host of delayed

IPOs and a recent wave of high-profile failures have taken the bloom off

the dot-com rose.



According to Silicon Valley executive recruiter Susan Flesher, who

specializes in hi-tech PR and marketing positions, e-commerce and

Internet start-ups have definitely fallen out of favor.



’The delay in IPOs has caused more candidates to be gun-shy of the

dot-coms and has led candidates to do more due diligence,’ she

explained.



’One search I am doing is for a Kleiner Perkins company that has no

marketing director, and we are having a very hard time filling it.’



Marin County-based PR recruiter Barry Shulman also believes the

profession is on the crest of a giant wave.



’Within the past six weeks, I’ve gotten calls from four companies that

had recently made high-level PR hires but are now closing the doors and

looking to outplace these executives,’ he said. ’So many of these

companies are now dressing themselves up for acquisition, and our

challenge is to figure out which ones are legitimate places to work.

With all that in mind and stock options looking more and more worthless,

we’re now proselytizing that agencies make perfect sense for many

candidates.’



So far, most PR firms have yet to experience the predicted windfall of

returning staff. While BSMG’s San Francisco office has recently hired

two former dot-commers, others said they had only received resumes and

heard rumblings.



’Because I was the PRSA president in Los Angeles last year, I tend to

get a lot of inquiries from people looking for jobs. And lately, I’ve

seen a number of people who had gone to a dot-com at one time looking to

get out,’ said Durazo Communications president Dan Durazo. ’It seems

logical that they would be applying to agencies, since that’s where they

came from.’



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