Report: Newspapers in Good Position for Help-Wanted Ad Growth

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By: Jennifer Saba

Good news on the recruitment front: Online help-wanted advertising nearly tripled in 2005 growing from $1.3 billion to $3.5 billion. Even better news: Newspapers are well positioned to take their share of advertising, according to a report released by Borrell Associates today.

In “2006 Outlook: Online Recruitment Advertising,” outlets that serve both job seekers online and in print have the upper hand. “As formidable as the pure-play job boards seem and after a decade of trying, they still can’t reach the majority of job seekers who don?t use online services at all,” said the report.

The growth in online help wanted advertising wasn’t because employers were putting more money into the overall category. Instead, Borrell explains there was a shift of spending away from temporary-placement firms, corporate brochures, and college job fairs. Recruiters placed their resources in online media, which grew 175%, and in newspapers, which experienced double-digit increases.

“The once-beleaguered newspaper recruitment category saw a strong rebound, registering its first double-digit revenue increase since the onset of the dot-com boom in 1998,” said the report. Recruitment revenues for newspapers had grown 17% in 2005 compared to the previous year.

While the numbers look strong for newspapers, Borrell fires some warning flares. The report predicts that by the end of 2007 online sites will surpass newspapers as the leading medium for recruitment advertising in terms of revenue.

A survey of 400 online and offline advertising buyers, sellers, and managers conducted by Borrell last November found four out five polled believed that online media would become the choice of recruiters within five years.

And going on employment cycles from the past 25 years, it appears that by 2009 newspaper help-wanted advertising will take another “nosedive” but only for large metros. Metros are predicted to lose on average 2.7% of their recruitment revenue annually while suburban newspapers will growth theirs by 4.2% annually through 2010, said the report.

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