By: Karim Mostafa

Newspapers Must Improve To Stay In Game

Career networks – sites that combine job training, assessment, and
placement services – are the wave of the future in online job
development, says Forrester Research Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.
Newspapers have work to do if they want to be part of this future.

Forrester says a career network consists of a profile database, jobs
database, and matching engine. It is these networks that will have 55%
of the $7.1-billion online recruitment market by 2005, these
researchers predict.

For online newspapers, ‘The good news is that online job seekers do
like local sites,’ says Charlene Li, senior analyst for media and
entertainment research. Local newspaper Web sites were cited as a
source for job listings by 37% of the 3,000 respondents in the survey.
‘Local is very important because Yahoo! and will need local
players,’ Li says. was mentioned by 43% and
(which is owned by eight newspaper companies) was used by 23%.

However, current online recruitment sites best poised for this growing
market of career networks are partnerships between AOL/Monster and
Yahoo!/Webhire, the study suggests. Li reports that of the 50 corporate
recruiters surveyed, 48% used national sites, 24% used local sites, and
28% said it depends on what they’re looking for. Sites such as Webhire
and Careerbuilder were particularly popular.

None of these recruiters used ‘CareerPath just doesn’t
cut it,’ Li says.

Stephen Ste. Marie, CEO of Los Angeles-based, responds
that ‘1,500 companies have bought [our] resume database for employment
recruitment.’ Meanwhile, the company is still working to integrate its
newspaper-based and Web-based classifieds, a massive undertaking the
company originally hoped to complete by November. ‘Thirty or more
different formats from newspaper affiliates’ sites are being integrated
with Web-based databases,’ he says. ‘It took a little more time than
expected, but it will be completed in the first quarter of 2000.’ also faced resistance from some newspapers that wanted
to keep their own classifieds in a separate database. ‘[They] didn’t
understand the value to the consumer,’ Ste. Marie says. Some publishers
were especially concerned about how their newspaper brand names would
be marketed in the configuration. ‘We’ve educated them and we’re going
forward with the combined database.’

Getting their classifieds into an easy-to-search database is one part
of the equation, Li says. ‘A lot of local players are being short-

sighted in offering other services,’ she says, recommending that online
newspapers concentrate on building profile-access databases. ‘Start
assembling portfolio products, one-stop career management sites.’

As Pentawave President and CEO David I. Frenkel says, ‘Everybody’s
looking for the proverbial Monster killer.’ The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based
company’s new patented IdealHire product is a stab at that. The complex
recruitment-matching and ranking system allows recruiters to easily
filter candidates by level of education, specific skills, experience,
and a myriad of other factors. Newspapers can even get a portion of the
fee that employers pay for finding successful job candidates. Pentawave
doesn’t compile classifieds; it sells its technology to sites that do.

The software was tested at the Denver Rocky Mountain News and
Boulder’s Daily Camera , and will now be rolled out to five other E.W.
Scripps papers and one TV station. Pentawave has also been chosen for
AdOne’s partner program, which presents wider distribution
opportunities for its products.

Beyond technology, promotion is key, Frenkel says. ‘Newspapers have a
real perception problem. Their online classifieds are perceived as
being not much better than their print ones.’

Forrester’s Li agrees. ‘Newspapers really need to strengthen their
position by seriously branding and marketing their classifieds.’

Branding is indeed big. says it will spend $100 million on
advertising this year. Forrester says the top 3 players in online
employment, including, will be spending a total of $200
million. CareerPath’s Ste. Marie, says his company’s advertising
campaign will be very competitive.

These national players are going to dominate unless newspapers promote
through venues such as their own print products, Li says.’s newspaper affiliates will provide in-house print
promotions worth $40 million this year, Ste. Marie says.


Karim Mostafa ( is
assistant editor of Editor & Publisher Online.






(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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