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What Killed Print Classifieds & Why Should Job Boards Care?


By Peter Weddle of TAtech – The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions

Newspapers used to rake in billions of dollars a year with their Help Wanted classifieds. Now they don’t. Why? Why were some of the most powerful media on the planet unable to hang onto their recruitment advertising customers? Hint – it wasn’t the speed or the cost-effectiveness of job board technology.

That’s the conventional wisdom. Job boards began to populate the Web in the mid-1990s, introducing a technology that made online recruitment advertising cheaper, faster and more effective than the print classifieds. The role of technology, however, was secondary to the real reason for newspapers’ loss: lousy customer relations.

Newspapers had been the only game in town for so long, they got out of the habit of building customer relationships, except with their largest and most important advertisers. In effect, they became order takers. They had legions of in-bound telephone sales people who didn’t know the person on the other end of the call at all; they just took down the insertion orders of customers who had no other option for reaching talent.

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