Log in ....Tribune

Monday, September 23, 2002

Clicking job portals via newspapers
Peeyush Agnihotri

Imaging by Gaurav SoodRIGHT from the ones for whom seeking a job has become a full time vocation to those disgruntled skilled hands that want to hop-skip to some other company, this is a convergence with a difference. The new medium is converging with the traditional one in order to improve the reach and attract more customers. The Internet, it was said, would pip newspapers and magazines in near future. Then that might be a far-fetched talk. Right now, Web-based job sites are turning towards newspapers to help them reach their target group. And the print medium is not complaining. Neither are the portals.

Appointments and career column in the newspapers are carrying advertisements inserted by major job portals asking readers to click for jobs on sites.

Target group

A survey, carried out by the London-based consultancy, Drake Beam Morin, pointed out that more than 16 per cent of executives found their jobs through newspaper ads and 6 per cent through the Internet.

On the other hand, a study for the UK-based Internet service provider, Freeserve, concluded that the key 16-34 age group, regarded by advertisers as the most desirable target, spend 15 times more time on the Net as they do looking at a newspaper. Coincidentally it is this 16-34 age group that comprises the main job-seekers category. Be it the 20-something early bird raring for a break or a mid-30 staid executive trying to have potshot at some other decent job, the click of a keyboard sounds sweeter through the flick of a daily’s page.

Agrees Hitesh Oberoi, director, sales and marketing, naukri.com: "Nearly 15,000 persons are being placed per month through our portal. Accessing the Net is easier both for the recruiters as well as probable employees," he says while emphasising on the fact that their projection is Rs 15 lakh more of profit in Q2 as compared to Q1. "All this is due to ever increasing number of page hits and clinched deals (read jobs)."

Media mix

The consumer acceptance of sites has been overwhelming. Monsterindia, for example, has close to 5 lakh job seeker registrations.

India has emerged as a good market for most of the job portals, as is evident from the growth registered by most of the key players in this space. At a penetration level of 10 million Internet users it is a huge market in absolute terms and a rich potential source for candidates especially amongst target audience of graduates and above.

The portal-wallahs are even getting smarter by the day. They know that the Net penetration stands at mere one per cent in India and that the print edition’s reach is indisputable. The Internet, though important, cannot supplant newspapers, at least in near future, as the single tool for job seekers.

So they are busy mixing the two media vehicles — the Net and the print. A recent phenomenon of advertising jobs available on portals in print media is gaining currency. And why not? It makes a lot of commercial sense.

"Media mix strategy always works for advertisers who do not want to limit themselves to one medium. Since they do not have enough budget to advertise in all mediums so the best strategy is to mix and match the right mediums to increase the penetration," says Sanjay Wadwalkar from Panjab University’s mass communication department. Sceptics say that such type of mix could be due to low number of visitors on sites.

Oberoi says that it is not due to the lack of job-seekers on the portals. It’s just a way of reaching out to the masses just as newspapers sometimes advertise on TV.

Ditto for Puneet Dalmia, CEO, JobsAhead, a job portal that claims to connect 1,00,000 jobs to over 1 million job seekers every month. "No. I don’t think this is for lack of clients’ belief on the Net. Recruiters are increasingly seeing the value of e-recruiting medium. It adds efficiency to their recruiting process in terms of cost, speed and reach. But as e-mail and messenger have been tools to get new users on to the Net so are jobs. Advertising jobs in print have been a very successful factor to get new users on to the Net," Dalmia opines.


Most of the portals these days build resumes and profiles for free. They are not charging the job seekers. However, they charge recruiters.

"To start with, let’s accept that print is a powerful medium in itself and the Internet should try and work closely with this medium. Secondly, today, print has become a daily habit and the Internet is not there yet. We advertise in the print medium primarily because this is a two-way arrangement – we use the newspaper to advertise some of the jobs that our clients have posted on Monsterindia and as a return, Monsterindia publishes some of the jobs that the newspaper’s clients have advertised on the newspaper. By this arrangement, both parties are able to provide extra advantage to their respective clients, in terms of job seeker response. Secondly, we believe that the Internet and newspaper provide a great category fit. We take it further and look for alliances where there’s a great brand fit between Monsterindia and the newspaper, says Dhruv Shenoy, vice-president, Monsterindia.com, a portal that claims to attract 75 new recruiters every month.

A.S. Sandhu, business manager, NetWorld Solutions, a specialised training portal avers that job portals are poised for more growth and evolution if they happen to reach via print. "Portals of the future could get more advanced wherein they might even screen, shortlist and interview for the recruiters."

"Traditional recruitment channels were limited by its reach to local audiences, as well as access to limited jobs database. The Internet provided a low cost medium for recruiters as well as job seekers to increase their reach exponentially beyond their physical presence. Most of the companies today have realised that e-recruitment is a cost effective and faster way to recruit. A lot of clients are also in the transition mode where they use both mediums," Dalmia adds.

However, will it completely replace newspapers? "This is doubtful because newspapers are a daily habit and it would take some time for Internet to acquire that status. Thus, we believe that corporates are more likely to prefer a mix of Net and Print at least from some time to come," Shenoy opines

Symbiotic approach, this! For the moment, this set-up is working fine for both. And for all those in need of a job its a God-sent tie-up.