Newspaper Recruitment Classified Execs Say Monster Media Deal a Smart Move

The continuing evolution of the recruitment classified advertising business has opened up a number of strategic options for both newspapers and online recruiters, turning competitors that once would have been seen as strange bedfellows into sensible business partners.?

Fresh off the news that Monster has entered into a strategic alliance with the new owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and philly.com to better compete with CareerBuilder, newspaper recruitment advertising executives explain why that move may (or may not) fuel similar deals.

“It’s unclear whether this spells the beginning of a?wider competition for newspaper alliances between CareerBuilder and Monster,” says Pete Casillas, classified advertising manager for The Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald. “Both have had different approaches to building?online audience up to this point.?Monster has a relatively strong audience in the Northeast, so the Philly partnership makes more sense than it?might in?other parts of the country. I think?the pros and cons of online partnerships?will?continue to be weighed on?a market by market, situation-specific basis.”

Casillas adds: “This deal just illustrates the fact that the recruitment advertising business continues to evolve. One-time?competitors?may end up being good partners,?given?new market realities.”

In announcing its recent deal with Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC, Monster indicated “the new alliance exemplifies Monster Worldwide’s corporate strategy to grow Monster via multiple distribution channels and reflects Philadelphia Media Holdings’ commitment to leverage and expand the revenue base of its media properties.”

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The deal gives Monster a market leader alliance in the nation’s fourth-largest metro area and gives recruitment advertising managers at daily newspapers across the country another potential business partner as they look for ways to buffer and bolster revenue and attract more subscribers.

“Newspapers are still the medium of choice for recruiters and job seekers, so this move makes perfect sense for Monster,” says Ray Farris, vice president of classified advertising for The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. “Newspapers still have the resources, client contacts, and reader loyalty needed to drive this business.”

Miami executive Casillas says that online recruiting company claims that they had taken over newspapers’ traditional recruitment advertising turf have only been partially validated, especially because of newspapers’ real staying power.

“Newspapers own the local sales relationship. This is one factor that has not changed in the last five years,” Casillas says. “Similar to telecom, as long as newspapers own the ‘last mile’ to the customer’s door,?newspapers will remain a big part of the mix. To build a local sales staff?large enough to compete effectively with newspapers is cost prohibitive: just ask Yahoo, AOL, or IAC/Citysearch.”

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