Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Job Sites Chasing Hourly Workers

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A forgotten job listings category is taking center stage, as the
professional and salaried job listings segment reaches maturity.

During the mid-1990s and the rise of the Web, skilled labor and
hourly-wage jobs did not always rank among the strongest categories for
online job listings. Prompted by research data that showed just a trickling
hourly and skilled workers using the Internet for job searches,
employers were happy to stick with print for help wanted ads.

That’s changing. As Internet access spreads across all segments of the
population and matures as a medium, online recruiters are positioning for an
increase in listings for skilled/hourly jobs.

“If you look at the raw numbers, it’s a huge segment,” said Matt
Ferguson, chief operating officer of recruiting site CareerBuilder. “There are huge
numbers of food service jobs,” for example, he said. “Even manufacturing,
which has lost about two million jobs in the last year, is still a very
large segment.”

Bruce Murray, a veteran of newspaper classifieds publishing and CEO of
recruiting research and consultancy firm Corzen, said in any sample market across the country, more than 50 percent of the total jobs available are unskilled and hourly wage jobs, which
explains why the online services are increasingly focusing on this area.

CareerBuilder, whose owners include three major newspaper publishers (Gannett
Co ,Tribune Company and Knight Ridder
) has just launched a new section aimed at recruiting
skilled/hourly workers. It lets candidates sign up by phone or apply online
by clicking through their work preferences, education and experience. The
new section lists hourly-wage jobs in areas such as customer service, call
centers, office administration, construction, trades, transportation and
quality control.

Ferguson said CareerBuilder has always offered job listings for
skilled/hourly workers, but it wanted to “protect its dominance” in the
sector with its latest, more prominent section.

CareerBuilder’s new attention to the sector may be no coincidence. One of
its biggest competitors, online recruitment category leader Monster.com, is also chasing
skilled/hourly workers and their employers with new vigor.

The Maynard, Mass.-based site’s parent company, TMP Worldwide , recently told analysts at a presentation in New York that it
is moving aggressively to capture market share for hourly/skilled listings.
Indeed, TMP recently decided to expand its job-matching service for the
segment in one national push instead of following its earlier plan to roll
it out by
selected markets around the country.

Online recruiters such as Monster.com, Yahoo’s
HotJobs and CareerBuilder would be happy to pick up new growth anywhere as they prepare to bid farewell to a difficult year marked by sluggish economic conditions and rising unemployment. In addition, competition from non-profit job listing sites such as DirectEmployers (which is expected
to see a 12 percent rise in listings this quarter) and other publishers such
as The New York Times Job Market, which integrates its print and
online sections, is pinching their revenues.

Corzen’s Murray said the squeeze comes as hourly-wage
employers, especially temporary staffing agencies, increasingly move their
job listings online. He also sees newspaper-oriented sites such as CareerBuilder
well-positioned for the transition. “This happens to be an area where the
traditional help wanted media have been strong. So by going after these
workers, the recruiting sites are going after heart and strength of the help
wanted medium.”

Ferguson said the newspapers affiliated with CareerBuilder’s owners are
offering hourly/skilled job packages and rates that include print and online
listings. The move is similar to The New York Times, which promotes
and integrates its Job Market section in its print and online properties.

Andy Wright, group director of recruitment classifieds for The Times, said recruitment revenue is growing overall for the publisher amid an especially strong month
for display advertising in the Job Market section. “Our hourly/skilled listings have seen a slight increase that’s consistent with this overall revenue uptick.”

Given the high rates of turnover in many of these jobs, and the tightened
competition for the listing fees, online recruiters can only hope there are enough listings to go around.

Jupitermedia also operates its own job listings site. Those interested in utilizing the service can find the site at jobs.internet.com.

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