A Fresh Look at a Proven Method of Recruitment: Newspaper Advertising

Before the internet, companies that wanted to reach job seekers posted ads in newspapers. Today, many companies continue to rely on newspaper advertising for employee recruitment, although the focus has changed.

To find out more about how companies are using newspaper advertising, and how this method of recruitment has evolved, Recruiting Daily Advisor asked Anna Brekka, director of recruitment advertising services for Morris Publishing Group, which publishes 12 daily newspapers, including The Florida Times-Union, for insight.
RDA: When employers post job ads in print newspapers, do they still have a choice between display ads and classified ads? For our readers who may not know the difference, display ads are larger ads, typically surrounded by a border, where classified ads are limited by word count and appear in a list.
AB: Yes, employers still have the two options. Our recommendation to the employer considering print is based on the employer’s goal, as in, is this part of a branding campaign or a traditional “want ad.”
RDA: Many people subscribe to a daily newspaper. But among those subscribers, many now have a digital only subscription. How has the move to digital affected newspaper recruitment advertising?
AB: Our print jobs ads are not automatically converted to digital. Therefore our job ad recommendations always start with a digital approach, digital first then print if applicable.
Each of our local job sites are linked to the communities news sites. In most markets, 50 percent of the job site traffic comes from the digital news sites. We are firm believer of the local value the digital news sites creates for job seekers as well as the local employers.
RDA: What are the advantages of newspaper advertising over other job posting options?
AB: The beauty of digital is we can measure everything: views, view source, applies, and number of resumes every single job creates. With print it’s more elusive but in some communities more than others there is still value in print. We know this because we still have “print only” customers who make the hires.
The newspaper audience is a very loyal audience, and is usually well informed about the local industry, businesses, and culture. The readers are often the ones recommending jobs to family and friends based not only on the ad but also their knowledge of their community.
RDA: Is newspaper advertising better suited to specific industries or certain types of jobs?
AB: We often debate this, and although I do not have great data to support this, if we are talking about a branding effort, the national and local ad agencies agree with us and are still using and recommending print as in display ads. Those campaigns are usually for large companies or local job fairs. The smaller line ads are primarily used for trades jobs.
But again, we always recommend that there is a digital component to this and many of the print ads have a message that sends you to a corporate website or our job site.
RDA: You’ve recently entered into partnerships that expand the reach of online job ads and give companies a lot more exposure for their advertising dollars. Can you tell us about the job posting packages that are now available?
AB: Programmatic marketing and “local social” are two of our most effective solutions we now offer our clients.
During training I usually describe our local job board as the place we “park the job.” Then the job is sent to leading job and association sites, as well as placed in front of the right candidates where they hang out online when they are searching for a new job opportunity.
Most people can relate to this once we explain to them that the shoes they found online but didn’t buy, and that are now following them wherever they go online, is just that, programmatic marketing.
The “local social” is really a great tool, too. We post the job on our local JOBS Facebook page and boost the job using geo targeting. It generates a lot of local buzz and it feeds the local need. Job search is a very personal and local experience and most people will search and consider an opportunity within 25 miles of their home.
In addition to that we run geo targeted banner ad campaigns as well for hard to fill jobs like nursing and educators.
There is no one-fits-all package. You have to consider the job requirements, the location, and the very low unemployment rate. It is just as hard to hire a qualified road or construction crew as it is to hire enough dedicated teachers for the next school year.