Niche Recruitment Sites Move In on Pure-Plays

Online recruitment advertising increased threefold in 2005 and is set to overtake newspapers in 2007, according to the “2006 Outlook: Recruitment Advertising” report from Borrell Associates. Last year’s rise came partly from new players in the highly-competitive space.

Spending for online recruitment sites increased 175 percent in the past year. That’s a jump from $1.3 billion in 2004 to $3.5 billion in 2005. All media combined averaged just a 1.6 percent increase in spending in that time period.

The report also concluded that online’s growth will lead to its overtaking recruitment spending in newspapers by the end of 2007.

Several trends were responsible for 2005’s huge jump. Pure-play sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com met with competition. Corporations realized the importance of providing recruitment channels on their own Web sites. Niche sites serving particular industries and employment segments also emerged in the past year. Each new player edged print and other recruitment channels out further.

“The whole recruitment pie is going to be nibbled by an assortment of targeted job boards,” said Pete Conti, VP and partner at Borrell Associates, who authored the report.

Corporations spent more money on recruitment pages on their Web sites moving dollars from ads placed elsewhere, according to Conti. “Companies are investing more into their recruitment boards. They’re spending more on that and less on advertising,” he said.

New job sites are becoming more sophisticated. The report discusses new sites like SimplyHired.com, Oodle.com, Indeed and Mkt10.com, a site founded by the former head of CareerBuilder.com last July. Mkt10 seeks to distinguish itself by better matching employers to applicants.

“The recruiter is getting better-scrubbed leads,” said Conti. “On other sites employers are inundated with resumes.”

The new generation of sites is also more targeted. The Borrell report mentioned sites like ProShip.com, which is tailored to cruise ship careers, and JobsForMoms.com, which is aimed at stay-at-home mothers.

Money continues to shift to online sites, though these newcomer sites will present challenges to existing pure-plays. “The money is increasing but we don’t see the large boards like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com tripling their revenues,” said Conti.

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