Thursday, October 26, 2006

A classified idea

I take no credit for this -- it comes from one of my senior semester students. But for those of you seeking younger readers ...

In class today, we got to talking about improvements newspapers could make, and most were along the things already being considered in a lot of places (more local news, free tabs, quick news summary for time-starved commuters, less shovelware on the Web site, etc.).

But one student had an idea that intrigued me and might be something to consider. At this time of year, and especially as we head into spring, she said, lots of young people are looking for jobs. But while newspaper want ads have lots of jobs, they're hard to navigate for someone looking for that entry-level position.

Why not, she said, have a section for entry-level jobs? Maybe it could be its own classification or a broader header in which you have sub classifications. Certainly should be easy on the Web. In print, it's a case of judging the tradeoffs in extra newsprint, which should be fairly minimal if you are extracting the listings from other colums, vs. any additional ads.

I think it's a brilliant idea, especially if you want to attract younger users. Your thoughts?

5 Comments:

At 10/26/06, 11:54 PM, Anonymous Mary H. said...

Wow. That IS a really good idea. In fact, I'm going to suggest it first thing next week.

 
At 10/27/06, 1:37 AM, Anonymous John Z. said...

Can't say if print pubs have tried it, but it was a feature this summer on MySpace. And it's continuing into the fall. See http://jobs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=careers

 
At 10/27/06, 12:33 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

John:

Yes. That's a good idea, and I've seen the internship and back-to-school jobs in a couple of places (though it seems to me a lot more papers and classified sites should consider it -- like anyone who has a college within 15 miles). But the MySpace setup doesn't quite get to the entry-level stuff. It's internships, back-to-school and part-time jobs. But our folks are talking about ease of navigating first-time, full-time jobs to start a career.
Doug

 
At 10/27/06, 6:25 PM, Anonymous Howard Owens said...

Not to throw water on the idea ... but it's not all that simple.

It's been tried.

Too many entry level employers think they need not advertise at all -- too easy to get new hires with a sign in the window.

And since so few young people are part of the newspaper environment (online/print) right now, it's hard to get the critical mass to make the ads as effective as advertisers expect.

There needs to be a way to get this done. I'm just saying, it's not easy.

howardowens.com

 
At 10/28/06, 10:43 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Howard:
I see your point, but we already have the classifieds, so why not program in a question to the process -- Is this an entry-level job? -- and group what we can for starters? Sometimes you have to show the value before people realize the value.

On the other hand, I was thinking about this, too, and I can see employer resistance, perhaps partly for fear of being swamped with unqualified job-seekers if something is listed as "entry level."

 

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