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International: Obscure job websites win market share

17-August-2002
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International: Obscure job websites win market share

As job sites go, Monster.com may dominate the Web, but a new survey finds that the big sites and online newspapers don’t have a lock in recruitment. Earlier this year, Houston-based International Demographics Inc.’s The Media Audit began asking people in its 85-market survey of online usage what employment-classified sites they used in job searches.

Some results were familiar. While the study isn’t done yet, the overwhelming leader in every metro market area surveyed so far is Monster.com.

“Without a doubt, Monster is number one in every market,” said International Demographics co-chairman Bob Jordan. Other top sites include hotjobs.com and CareerBuilder.com plus whatever top newspaper site serves the metro area. While newspapers are the unquestioned rulers of employment advertisers on the print side, they face stiff competition from competitors large and small online.

But The Media Audit is finding that the job-hunting market online is more complicated. In 45 of the 49 markets surveyed so far, more than half surveyed use a site that isn’t as well known. Some of the sites included FlipDog.com, HospitalSoup.com, 6FigureJobs.com and thingamajob.com.

So many odd site names, in fact, that The Media Audit researchers weren’t sure if were authentic. They were, although most didn’t register with more than 1% of the survey’s population. Most of the sites served specialized job seekers, such as DICE.com in the information technology field, CFO.com for financial officers and JobsForWriters.

“By far, the majority of those didn’t make the report,” Jordan said. “We put the rest in the back to show that there an awful lot of sites out there.” The sites came from the people who responded to the survey and not from a list, something Jordan said indicates the sites have established a connection with users.

“Newspapers a few years back owned it [the recruitment advertising business] and now it’s being splintered,” said Jordan. He said the results don’t mean that newspapers are losing out in the online employment-advertising market. In most of the markets surveyed so far, newspaper-sponsored sites finish strongly, whether it’s CareerBuilder.com or the online editions of The New York Times, Washington Post or others. And newspapers have another advantage, Jordan said:

Sources from Newspaper Association of America, a trade organization based in Vienna, Va., point out that the electronic recruiting marketplace has been fragmented since the medium became popular in the 1990s. But they said newspapers are in good shape to take advantage of an upturn in employment advertising when the economy improves. Before the most recent downturn, newspapers saw employment advertising increase as the labor market remained tight. But while some of the online job sites are finding it tough to weather the storm, newspaper-backed Web sites are strengthened by the revenues generated by their print operations.

The top sites in selected market areas are: Monster, HotJobs.com, NYTimes.com and CareerBuilder.com in New York; Monster.com, HotJobs.com, CareerBuilder.com and Yahoo.com in Los Angeles; Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and HotJobs.com in Chicago; Monster.com, AJCJobs.com, CareerBuilder.com and HotJobs.com in Atlanta; and Monster.com, WashingtonJobs.com, HotJobs.com and CareerBuilder.com in Washington, D.C.

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