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Internet beckons for job hunters

That new job might be just a click away swissinfo.ch

Job seekers and employers are relying increasingly on the internet to find a perfect match, while the number of positions advertised in the press stagnates.

This content was published on May 17, 2005 - 13:27

But specialists say that the internet cannot entirely replace print media for advertising and that websites will have to consolidate to ensure their survival.

"The market is booming for us," said Wouter van der Lelij, who heads the JobUP website.

"Our sales increased by 68 per cent last year, and they have already risen by half over the first few months of 2005."

The jobpilot index, which measures the evolution of online recruiting, confirms this trend. It saw its biggest growth in four years at the end of 2004.

At the same time, the Manpower index compiled by the famous recruiting agency shows that job offers in the press have not increased over the past two years.

As the Swiss job market begins to pick up, the internet’s distinctive features have special appeal for some employers.

"Compared with traditional media, companies pay less and get more exposure with less complicated procedures," added Daniel Held of human resources specialist Qualintra.

The press has been feeling the internet bite into one of its prime sources of advertising revenue.

Back in 2000, nearly a third of a Swiss newspaper’s income came from job ads; today, it is less than half that figure.

Place for newspapers

But the web isn’t about to kill off jobs ads in the press.

"There’s room for everybody," said Georges von Csernatony of Publicitas, Switzerland’s biggest media advertising agency.

The internet, which can cast a wide net, is not considered appropriate for all professions.

"It might be efficient when you want to hire a computer specialist but it might not be so useful if you are looking for a cook," reckons Harald Kammer of online recruiting specialist Jobsline.

Newspapers also have an edge over internet.

"Ads in the print media can reach people who aren’t necessarily looking for a job," said Held.

Print advertising also has some allure for the company looking for an employee.

"It shows that a firm is doing well," adds van der Lelij.

Consolidation

Switzerland’s media groups have begun to react to the changes brought about by the arrival on internet.

Some, such as Edipresse, western Switzerland’s biggest press conglomerate, have become shareholders of job websites.

Edipresse recently acquired a minority shareholding in JobUP, whose database can now be consulted from the group’s newspaper websites.

Tamedia, which owns the Zurich-based Tages-Anzeiger, has tried another tack, developing its own recruitment site, jobwinner.ch.

Specialists expect such alliances to become the norm.

"Newspapers are looking for solutions to offset the loss of advertising," added Kammer. "They will probably rely on internet specialists rather than try to develop their own products."

Competition among the different job websites has also grown recently. Many of them will probably have to merge to ensure their survival.

"There are too many websites proposing the same thing on the Swiss market," warns van der Lelij. "There will have to be some consolidation."

Change is already on the way. The jobs.ch website has taken over from seven different sites, while jobpilot.ch, one of the better known recruitment sites, was sold by Adecco last year to American group Monster.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Jobs ads represented 30 per cent of newspaper revenue in 2000.
Today, that figure is less than 15 per cent.
Online recruiting sites say sales are rising steadily, but jobs ads in the print media are stagnating.
The jobpilot index for online job ads has virtually climbed back to its 2001 level, before the internet bubble burst.

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