Online Job Ads continue to rise

It seems online jobs ads are still on the rise in Australia.  The latest online job ad figures were released yesterday and they have increased again for the 8th month in a row. Bob Olivier, Director of Olivier Group is quoted at saying :-

“The rate of increase can’t be sustained forever, so we’ve actually seen it coming off slightly in the last quarter,” he said.

“But all things considered, when you’ve had interest rate rises in the last month and/or price rises, the fact we’ve got any growth at all is still remarkable.”

What I find just as interesting is the numbers only include the top 3 job boards (Seek, CareerOne and MyCareer), for example JobSearch, the Australian government job site has over 84,000 jobs when compared to Seek’s 135,000 jobs could significantly impact the Online Job Index.  Not to mention the vertical search tool with 263,000 jobs in Australia!

What about the “long tail” of online jobs ads in Australia?  Google Base has over 1,300, the NowHiring network of sites (1,100 on, 1,000 on, on 35, or JobsGarage or the very new FindIt (Pre-Beta and just getting going)?  What would all of these sites do to the numbers?

14 thoughts on “Online Job Ads continue to rise

  1. hi michael. how you been

    either way you cut it, it appears tricky to derive a sample representative of the health of the online ads environment.

    on one side, verticals are aggregators that may just be an echo chamber (where did i hear that?) for what’s happening with the boards or recruiter jobsites;

    similarly, to sample the three main players may also present a similar risk as I would speculate that a significant percentage of their ads are the same ones posted by the same advertisers.

    conversely, to select niche sites such as brett’s properties might also indicate the health of such niche as opposed to the ‘general’ market; so how big does the sample need to be for the niches’ representation to be statistically relevant…

    it might just have to come down to what you want to measure. If you just want to take the pulse of a patient, you just need to put your hand around the wrist, not commence invasive surgery

  2. Great Jorge!

    You are right it depends what you want to measure. I suspect because of the length of time the Olivier Group has been doing their survey it would be very difficult to add new properties, upset the index.

    But it is still no good to take the pulse only to realise a day later that the patient had brain cancer and dies.

  3. Hi Michael

    Yes I tend to agree that just using the 3 gorillas is a flawed approach. However like Alexa I guess it does give an overall indication of trends.
    I don’t think there is any doubt at all that more and more jobs are coming online.
    I am not necessarily convinced that it means we have a booming job market (although clearly we do in some sectors), but I am absolutely certain that it shows more companies are now advertising online as well as or instead of traditional forums.

    Pretty hard to see that trend going changing either.


  4. There is no doubt that the newspapers have lost market share to Seek where classifieds are concerned, but Fairfax at least gets a bit back because most recruitment companies (particularly the large ones) also post all their jobs on MyCareer. MyCareer however do not manage to achieve the same prices as Seek for their monthly contracts. Not so sure how CareerOne fares.

    Although the newspapers have lost market share in classifieds, they are enjoying an increase in display ads in the early general news section (Age and SMH) plus Friday’s Fin Review, for which they can and do charge a premium.

    Why is this happening? Because the job boards don’t reach many senior people and certainly don’t reach passive job seekers – those people who are employed and are not desperately seeking another job, but might make a move if something tempting is presented to them. This is why the newspaper’s predicted demise was premature – because newspapers reach people who aren’t necessarily looking for a job.

  5. Kevin that is really interesting, never really thought about the ads in the general news section, they have increased over the years.

    A couple of interesting questions. Should job boards reach these people? Or should they stay focused on the active candidate? I know this is a bit of a polarised view but there are lots of perspectives on this but I just want to see every-one’s thoughts.

  6. Michael, I am sure the job boards (and their customers) would *like* them to reach senior and/or passive candidates. But in reality they will never do so with any reliability, especially the big job boards.

    We have a typical scenario explained on one of our sites see

    The truth is, no single recruitment advertising product will ever reach the whole market. The key to success in recruitment advertising is to use different products, which reach different people!

    Timing is another issue – is the person you are wanting to attract, browsing Seek in the window of time when your ad is displayed in the first 1-2 pages of search results? Because if they’re not, they probably won’t ever know your job exists.

    To some extent the job boards are a victim of their own success, or the advertisers are untill they realise what’s going on. There comes a point where a job board gets so big it’s value for the advertiser starts to diminish.

    This is why there will always be a place for recruitment companies, because for them recruitment is a full time job and the good ones explore every avenue possible to find the people their clients need. This includes re-advertising jobs again and again!

  7. Kevin

    Couldn’t agree with you more about recruiters needing to have a range of different recruitment advertising strategies. It’s naive for anyone to think that any one solution will be a panacea.
    I used to run an agency and it was that very thing that got us into job boards in the first place. We quickly realised that if we were going to compete effectively we needed to find ways to source different candidates to our competitors rather than just dredging up the same people each week on Seek.

    Job boards proved to be a very effective competitive edge for us. So much so that we closed the recruitment business down to focus exclusively on job boards.

    I also totally agree that there will always be a need for recruiters. In the same way that there will always be a need for high quality, value adding niche employment sites. I don’t think we have even started to scratch the surface yet.

  8. In regards to Michaels question:

    “Should job boards reach these people (passive job seekers)? Or should they stay focused on the active candidate? I know this is a bit of a polarised view but there are lots of perspectives on this but I just want to see every-one’s thoughts.”

    I’m of the view that everyone is open to hearing about interesting job opportunities, the issue is how much effort people are prepared to put into it. The active job seeker will search job boards, newspapers and solicit agencies. The passive job seeker generally will not. Job boards should absolutely go after the passive candidate; the hard part is how to do it. At we encourage users to sign up for job alerts the process just takes seconds, and allows passive job seekers to track potential areas of interest for example a PR Manager in Brisbane may want to track PR Director openings in Brisbane looking for that move up the corporate ladder.

    I think the job ads in the general news section of newspapers is very interesting, editors just need to get the right mix so as not to put off their readers and remain targeted. Even if you run Finance ads in the finance section the field is so broad, (hedge funds, fixed income, commercial banking, derivatives, loan processing etc. etc.)

    In the future the best way to reach passive job seekers is to serve contextually relevant jobs on niche sites and blogs. Job Aggregators and large job boards can distribute highly targeted job feeds on highly relevant web sites. There is a lot of room for innovation ahead…

  9. Maneck, that is an interesting point you bring up. Contextually relevant jobs. I like the idea, Google Ad Words for jobs! I have seen some companies start to do this from a corporate point of view but it would be very interesting to see a job board offer this as an extra service.

    Very interesting.

  10. I agree with your comments Maneck, but the problem with aggregators and large job boards is automation.

    Some recruiters try to ‘spam’ job seekers with their adverts for exactly the same reason that spammers send us email about whatever, because they’re playing a numbers game. They purposely place their ads in incorrect categories effectively misrepresenting the position, and/or repeatedly post the same ad.

    Job boards, in Australia at least are relatively cheap and the agencies pay far less than the job boards published ‘job pack’ rates. This makes ad spamming affordable.

    Job mail subscribers soon get fed up with non relevant and repeat job ads and either unsubscribe or just don’t bother reading the job mails anymore.

    Job board pricing could be the solution in an automated world. An example is Monster UK, they have less than half the number of job ads carried by Seek in Australia, yet the UK’s population is three times Australia’s and they too have low unemployment. Why is this ? I suspect because Monster is 3-4 times the price of Seek – pricing the ad spammers out of the market.

    It’s just possible that everybody wins with the Monster model. Job seekers have to search through less rubbish, advertisers get a better response and Monster makes more money!

  11. has just entered the job space as well. And it is an interesting place to be in.

    Kevin’s comment is interesting I think, it would be good if there was a policy of no duplicates job ads on a site, if that was possible. is looking into how to best handle this ourselves, we are quitely looking at how to provide a good job posting and reading solution for the job hunters out there.

  12. Maneck, I think with the advent of reverseHR there is going to be a greater focus on the passive job seeker a lot of the bigger sites will look to remodel their product offering slightly.

    One of the big players in the US that seems to have identified the way the employment market is trending is jobfox. They are focusing more on the passive jobseeker as a long term strategy.

    Established sites like and new sites like, and emerging sites like I feel will gain inspiration from sites like this and focus more attention on the passive jobseeker.

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