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Not wanting to be "disintermediated" by Oodle, SimplyHired, WorkZoo, Indeed and other existing and potential classifieds aggregators, Yahoo! — as reported on several sites — has developed its own metasearch for jobs.

As the copy on the site suggests, and notwithstanding all the rhetoric about vertical search, consumers fundamentally don't want to search "dozens of sites." Instead they want convenience and efficiency.

Going forward, classifieds/listings providers (newspapers, Yellow Pages, verticals) will have to confront aggregators in one form or another. Are they merely additional distribution or do they dilute the brand? Smart consumers may start to wonder, "Why go to an individual site when I can get everything from Aggregator X?"

By the same token the aggregators will have to differentiate from one another and figure out how they're going to make money. (Read: consolidation coming.) There are essentially two ways to do that: offer the best user experience (Oodle, for example, has lots of refinement options, personalization and alerts) and/or the most comprehensive data set (impossible to do in fact; here perception is reality).

Recruitment ad spending in print newspapers was worth US$4.6 billion in 2004, according to the NAA. The Kelsey Group estimates that 2004 online jobs-related spending was approximately US$800 million — the largest of the main classifieds categories.

Yahoo! brings a trusted consumer brand to the equation. The question now is: Will CareerBuilder (newspaper-owned) and Monster follow Yahoo! and begin scraping or otherwise collecting data from other sites as a defensive strategy?

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. John Zappe of Classified Intelligence responded to this by saying our estimate was too low. He said that online recruitment revenues are closer to "just over 25% of traditional newspaper print revenue."

  2. Yes at a basic level job-seekers want to find one place (that is and efficient and simple to use) and type in “Sales Manager London” and a QUALITY list of appropriate jobs, likewise employers want to bring the target audience to their job adverts. So from the above then this sounds fine and Yahoo is onto a winner and Google won’t be far behind.

    However, if employers have their own career site (and many do) and behind that career site they have their applicant tracking systems et al then ideally they want to drive applications through that site. So the Yahoo model is “close but no cigar” in that what they really want to do is spider the corporates direct and cut-out the large job boards in between, and then the revenue model is simple for Yahoo â€" the same as their traditional â€" “pay for position”. Spidering a job board is easy, the data is in a consistent format and to get a large number of jobs is easy â€" for each country simply pick the top 3-4 job boards and bingo â€" a global database. Again, there is a problem with this â€" not all the jobs are there â€" a lot of well-known major corporates don’t need to advertise on job boards as the correct job-seekers know to come to their website direct.

    Following on from this the market will split into two camps:

    a) those who want to use yahoo, google etc to simply drive the traffic to their careers website and handle everything from there (try searching for jobs on google at the moment and it’s a poor response, so that's why they need to follow the spidering model)

    b) those who want a third party to do everything: drive the traffic, host their branded careers site, do the applicant tracking, etc

    And there’s a reason why Google isn’t already there â€" spidering corporates direct is hard, we should know â€" it took us substantial resources to get to exactly this model in Germany and the UK. As to “job-boards are dead” – taking one of google’s earlier forays into the vertical market Froogle has not been a raging success and killed the other price comparison sites, so maybe even the traditional job boards will be around for some time yet.

    Jens Hagendorff

  3. Thanks for your comments. In the end of course actual quality and scope of listings and the site's functionality will matter most.

    Most users aren't going to be able to tell anything beyond the representations of "X millions of jobs searched/indexed" about scope. I don't believe, for many of the reasons you state, that any site can be comprehensive.

    So then the question is: how do these sites position themselves and compete against one another?

    My only point is that Yahoo is a brand consumers trust. If Yahoo doesn't deliver or if there are more/better jobs elsewhere other competitiors will win.

    According to comScore Media Metrix is the third ranked U.S. jobs site, behind CareerBuilder and Monster.

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