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January 17, 2008 / Toby Dayton

CareerBuilder Launches Personified; Print Classifieds Are Not Dead (Just Those in the Dailies)

John Sumser has written an interesting post about Personified, apparently a new recruitment ad agency started by CareerBuilder. I had not heard of it and am thankful to have heard about it through John’s blog (another good reason everyone should be reading blogs about their industry). The following are my comments to John that I posted on his blog (I have no idea if posting comments and then also posting the comments on your own blog is frowned upon or not but…)

John – I agree with you that the potential conflict for an agency that owns some of the media channels it sells ads on is a serious one. But I also think that if the relationship is made clear and is totally transparent, then it shouldn’t be an issue and clients or prospects can decide for themselves how much of a problem it poses.

The only issue that I have with your post is the statement that ‘classified advertising is all but dead in print form.’ While it is true that daily newspapers are deteriorating badly and losing market share at an incredible pace to the web, print classifieds still represent a huge percentage of the classified market. It’s declining, but it is still enormous and far from ‘dead.’ And while the web certainly offers a range of services, functionality, and convenience that print cannot, it is important to keep in mind that print offers a great deal that the web cannot. Not every jobseeker across the entire spectrum of the economy is cruising around the web looking for their next job. Change is occurring rapidly and online adoption is growing, but there is still tremendous value for employers to leverage print as a component of their overall recruitment advertising budget.

What I would agree with you on is that print classifieds in the daily newspaper are declining very, very rapidly and their death is imminent. The model of charging by the line for an abbreviated, garbled, illegible liner/text ad and trying to get it front of a declining readership are certainly over. At JobDig (and I will admit that I am biased), we are demonstrating conclusively that employers are, should be, and benefit from advertising across a variety of media channels including print, web, radio, and TV.

Companies like CareerBuilder and JobDig that can provide a strong value proposition involving a multi-channel offering that includes print are growing at a phenomenal clip and are grabbing market share from the dailies, other free weekly jobs newspapers like the Employment Guide, and online boards that fail to deliver decent candidate flow.

So print classifieds in the dailies are dying. Classifieds in print, when done right and combined with a multimedia package, are thriving.

By the way, in looking a little more at Personified, they certainly do not hide the fact that they are a subsidiary of CareerBuilder. I think the decision to launch a recruitment agency makes a lot of sense for a successful recruitment advertising company. It’s a logical extension of their expertise, and as long as it’s fully disclosed, clients can determine for themselves how much of a conflict the extension represents.

[tags]John Sumser, Personified, CareerBuilder, Employment Guide, Classified Advertising, Daily Newspapers, JobDig, Recruitment Advertising Agencies[/tags]