In the car this morning I was listening to the BBC Today programme, and heard about the troubles at Johnston Press. Now working in the Flat Fee Recruitment market I see the trends as more employers move from traditional paper based advertising to online recruitment models. All you have to do is look at the jobs page of your local paper – if you’re still lucky enough to have one. The size of the jobs section keep getting smaller, whilst online recruitment is expanding each year – even during the recession.
But today Johnston Press pledged to “put digital at the heart” of the business as it posted a loss of £143.8 million last year. And it’s worth noting how big this loss is - having made a profit of £16.5m the previous year. This change suggests the world of regional newspapers is changing irrevocably. With this change the paper based recruitment market will change too.
Over the past few years many of the newspapers have been busy buying online recruitment sites to make up for the lack of revenue from traditional based recruitment. Those of us in the flat fee recruitment market have already seen and embraced this change, with our own Hunt4Staff.com posting to many of the UK’s major job boards. But a few employers are still resisting this change and keen to use the local newspaper advertising.
My own conclusion. Today’s news from Johnston Press is another nail in the coffin of traditional paper based recruitment advertising. Johnston Press cut its workforce by 11.3% last year, and reduced many of its daily newspapers become weekly. The future of regional news appears to be online. My view is this means the future in local job adverts has now become irreversible.