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Time To Say Yahoo!

(July 18, 2006) Things have been sleepy over at HotJobs for the past little while. The Yahoo operation shifted into the "central source for employment listings" business following the lead of operations like Simply Hired and Indeed. In the intervening months, things have been quiet as the giant digested its decision.

This past week, the buzz about Yahoo shifted to a higher level. New advertising products and tools coupled with very interesting alliance development has given the industry stalwart a real boost. (Today's Bugler contains the major stories and news releases). Yahoo HotJobs is reenergized and demonstrating leadership.

First there's the launch of new products. The newly named Yahoo Recruitment Network includes (from the press release):

  • Yahoo! Network Advertising which enables recruiters to target people on the Yahoo! network by location, industry, occupation and behavior. They can use contextual, streaming and interactive media to engage candidates and drive them back to their company profile or job listings page.

  • Yahoo! Search Submit Pro ensures that content appears in relevant Yahoo! search results. When companies use Search Submit Pro, they can display respective career opportunities in the natural search results section, guaranteeing inclusion of their opportunities in the index.

  • Yahoo! Sponsored Search provides maximum visibility on the Yahoo! Search Results page.  Companies bid for placement on relevant search results after being editorially reviewed for quality. Advertisers only pay when a job seeker clicks on their listing.

This marks HotJobs full frontal emergence as a search based recruitment advertising cooperation. We're sure that Joel Cheesman is loving every minute of this turn of events. The HotJobs decision to harness search results confirms many (if not all) of Cheesman's theories.

Where SimplyHired, Indeed and other similar offerings have to hustle for traffic and traction, HotJobs hold enormous power in the palm of its hand. There is every reason to believe that the HotJobs crew is starting to understand both the power and the potential of its position.

The news isn't only good on the search front. Business Week reports that big newspaper muckety-mucks are nosing around the corridors of Yahoo-Hot Jobs. With CareerBuilder still hunting for a way to Monster-style profitability, it seems like the "abandon ship" decision is under consideration. HotJobs is starting to look like the next beach-head in newspaper survival experiments.

In a recent article, Cheesman noted the looming partnerships at HotJobs (also covered by BusinessWeek):

Many would argue that CareerBuilder's integration with a print powerhouse has helped catapult it into the same market position as Monster, if not past it.

Others would argue that such partnerships are a reaction by print to try and solve a problem by simply throwing money at it and by trying to steamroll market forces - forces they clearly aren't built to handle anyway - instead of creating truly remarkable products and customer experiences.

I would fall in the latter. Anyone think the $100 million CareerBuilder threw at AOL and MSN has made a huge impact on actually making CareerBuilder better? Anyone think a "loose consortium of newspaper publishers" is going to heal what's ailing HotJobs?

The moves around HotJobs are interesting. Dan Finnigan, the CEO, is an ex-newspaper guy. If anyone can make a go of a newspaper resurgence through relationships with Yahoo!, it's Dan.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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