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This article by Barbara Fox was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on
October 13, 1999. All rights reserved.
National Business Employment Weekly Closes
Cyber experts have been saying it would happen, and
now it has. A major national print newspaper has been replaced by
a website. The final edition for National Business Employment Weekly
(NBEW), a 20-year-old Dow Jones publication, will be dated October
28. But another Dow Jones employment website, http://www.careers.wsj.com,
has stayed alive and well, thank you.
Along with the New York Times and Star Ledger classified sections,
the NBEW is so popular at the Princeton Public Library that, to keep
it safe from theft, it is sequestered at the reference desk. Each
48 or 52-page edition of the NBEW includes a half-dozen articles on
job hunting, but what the jobseekers are looking for are the pages
and pages of ads. Yet the circulation of this $3.95 tabloid had dropped
from a high of 30,000 to 19,000. It made money until this year, and
this year it is only breaking even.
With all the costs associated with print publishing, combined with
the efficiency of online databases, print classifieds may be an endangered
species. "We think the better opportunity in this business, going
forward, is on the Web," says Richard Tofel, Dow Jones spokesperson.
"It became clear that the Weekly wouldn’t make money next year.
So we are putting our efforts into careers.wsj.com. That seems to
us where a lot of the advertising is going."
Still, all print newspapers aren’t sinking ships — not yet. It’s
just that the niche for NBEW, employment advertising, is particularly
suited to the Web, and jobseekers are going on the Web in droves.
"Remember that the Weekly was launched as a place to find the
classified ads from all the regional editions of the Journal and with
the Internet you don’t need to do that in print any longer," says
Tony Lee, the paper’s former editor. A graduate of Regency University
in Denver, Class of 1981, Lee has a master’s in journalism from Northwestern.
He was on the team that launched the careers.wsj.com site two years
ago, and he is now in charge. Last month the site had 350,000 unique
visitors and posted more than 30,000 jobs.
The NBEW depended on freelance contributions for its articles and
also had a nine-person staff; at least half of them are expected to
find jobs within Dow Jones. The careers.wsj.com site, with five editorial
staffers plus sales staff, has been using articles from the NBEW but
will now commission its own articles, including some from freelancers,
The site’s most extensive job listings are in finance, insurance,
real estate, banking and securities, followed by consulting and manufacturing.
Lee mentions the areas of healthcare, nonprofits, and publishing as
also having healthy listings. "JP Morgan started with us six weeks
ago and has filled 15 positions, and Hewlett Packard averages 1,000
responses a month," says Lee.
"Cyber-posting is much more efficient for employers. It offers
better quality candidates, faster times to hire, and much lower overall
recruitment costs," says Michael Boyle of Recruiter Toolbox (http://www.recruitertoolbox.com).
His firm, based in LaGrange, Illinois, helps corporations post jobs
to appropriate web sites. But, as he points out, online recruiting
has created so much access for jobseekers that employers are getting
too many resumes from far flung places. "It is probably not going
to be worth the investment to relocate someone from overseas,"
says Boyle. "We find better quality hires at niche sites."
The number of websites for jobseekers has grown dramatically, agrees
Mark Mehler, co-author of a book and a website (http://www.careerXroads.com)
that rank orders job sites. "For the 1996 edition we had trouble
finding 300 sites. Now we look at 3,000 sites to pick the 500 best.
But each jobseeker has to find a niche, because the Web is just too
Compared to such rivals as the http://www.Monster.com, http:/wwww.CareerPath.com, http://www.CareerMosaic.com
and http://www.LeadersOnline.com, the Dow Jones site is indeed a niche site because
it represents a higher demographic; its average searcher is a 40-year-old
middle to senior level executive earning $80,000. Surveys show these
searchers prefer specific articles tied to an industry or function
rather than general jobhunting tips, such as how to write a resume.
"Tony Lee wants to be king of the niche, and he is succeeding,"
Mehler points to two Dow Jones web-based partnerships that make both
recruiting and job hunting exponentially easier. Executives who are
passive job seekers (they aren’t looking for another job but might
take one if it were interesting) can sign on to FutureStep, a partnership
with Korn/Ferry International that automates executive search. If
an executive spends 45 minutes to fill out online forms, and if Korn/Ferry
gets assignments matching those interests, it E-mails the candidate
— all in utmost secrecy.
Dow Jones has also bought 40 percent of http://www.CareerCast.com. Mehler reports
that CareerCast can, for about $1,500 per month, seamlessly transfer
job postings on a corporate homepage to a job seekers’ sites, so that
human resources clerks don’t have to constantly be updating new submissions.
Major employers using this service range from AlliedSignal and Amazon.com
to Visa and PA Consultants.
But any entrepreneur can go to the careers.wsj.com site and, using
a credit card, post a job for 30 days for $250, or 60 days for $350.
Job seekers can search the listings by job title, by state, or by
company. A more popular option for big companies is to post an unlimited
number of jobs on the website for $1,800 a month. A third alternative
is to run an ad in the print Wall Street Journal — which could
be as low as several hundred dollars for six lines in a small local
market — and for a little extra that ad goes online.
Have any similar publications bitten the dust? Only one that Mehler
knows about, and that was a lead generation publication for human
resource departments. It no longer exists in print but is alive and
well at http://www.HRReport.com.
And, at a consortium of major dailies (http://www.careerpath.com),
the business model radically changed from where it was 18 months ago.
Now jobs can be posted only on the Web, without running in any print
newspaper. Says Boyle of Reporter Toolbox: "They were watching
their share of the business decline."
— Barbara Fox
Ridge Road, Dow Jones & Co., Princeton 08540. 609-520-4000; fax, 609-520-7315.
Home page: http://www.careers.wsj.com.
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