Recruitment Sites Gain on Paper Classifieds

Online job sites are shifting from classifieds that generate too many unqualified applicants in the eyes of recruiters and human resource professionals to a more effective way to fill openings. A national study of recruitment advertising effectiveness conducted by ERE Media and Classified Intelligence finds most recruiters moving budgets from print to online.

Forty-five percent of survey participants said they plan to increase recruitment site spending this year. Niche and national job boards are viewed as more effective than diversity, regional, and executive boards.

“To be a successful recruitment site, you need critical mass,” said Peter Zollman, founding principal of Classified Intelligence. “That can vary widely. For a general job site like Monster or CareerBuilder, you have to have a tremendous number of job seekers and jobs.”

More specialized sites must be known within niche communities. “For a Web site that focuses on a field like animal trainers, for example, you don’t need very many jobs because there aren’t very many.

Employee referral programs lead online by a small margin, though only a third of hires stem from this method. The increase in online and referrals comes at the expense of print advertising; 58 percent of respondents say the medium is “ineffective,” and 43 percent plan to reduce spending on print this year. New generations don’t read classifieds, said a respondent to the survey of print’s dwindling effectiveness.

Social networking sites are emerging as a new way to recruit. Forty-three percent use social networks and 44 percent expect to increase spending, though commitments at this time are a small piece of the pie. Recruiters admit they haven’t measured the effectiveness of these types of programs.

The channel remains relatively untapped. “The short story on the social and professional networking sites is that there are some people who are really working hard with them and making effective use of them, but most people are still barely getting started figuring out how they work and figuring out how best to use them for recruiting,” Zollman told ClickZ Stats.

Recruiters are scratching the surface of professional sites by conducting searches by company, talent, and skills, Zollman said.

The report is based on a survey of 353 recruiters from industries including banking and finance, IT, and related consulting, healthcare, retail, biotech, and engineering. While the budgets of some respondents exceeded $1M, the majority of respondents control budgets over $50,000.

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