Microsoft now hiring for its retail stores

It's posted a list online of the six different positions available

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday began hiring employees for its coming retail stores in California and Arizona by posting a list on the Web of the six different positions available.

They include assistant store managers for its planned stores in Mission Viejo, Calif. and Scottsdale, Az., customer service, sales and inventory associates, as well as two techie positions: retail technical advisor and retail trainer.

Reporting to the store manager, both positions require "an elite level of product knowledge in all Microsoft retail product and service offerings" and the ability to be an "example of the Microsoft vision of the customer relationship."

Microsoft technical advisors sound similar to the Mac Gurus in Apple Stores, though perhaps with more of a sales component. Besides helping "troubleshoot customer issues," technical advisors are to "provide customized solutions to 'new' purchasers that meet their needs and exceed their expectations," according to the listing.

Based on leaked slides of concept stores, the advisors would work behind either the "Answer Bar," "Guru Bar" or "Windows Bar."

Requirements include two years experience teaching, training or selling in a retail or service environment, the ability to multi-task and lift 75 pounds. Microsoft or other certifications and a college degree are all preferred.

Trainers, meanwhile, will also conduct training sessions for employees and customers, and help develop training and presentation materials.

For trainers, minimum job requirements include: three to five years of teaching or training experience, especially technical training in a sales environment, knowledge of Microsoft software, and the ability to lift up to 50 pounds. College degree and Microsoft certifications are considered plusses.

No salaries were posted for any of the jobs, and shifts and hours were listed as "varies."

When Microsoft hired 155 'Windows Gurus' in the U.S. to work as technical experts/evangelists in stores such as Best Buy, it said it would pay $US20 per hour or more, plus benefits.

Microsoft hasn't talked about its Windows Guru program much since then, though according to this Web site, it appears to still be up and running. It also expanded the program internationally to countries including the UK, Norway, France and Canada.

Microsoft said it will update its hiring page as more Microsoft Store locations are announced publicly.

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Eric Lai

Computerworld (US)
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