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New SPH jobs portal unlikely to hit print ads - Mar 28, 2006 (ST)

BackMar 28, 2006

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

New SPH jobs portal unlikely to hit print ads

Readers still find newspapers most convenient, says Classified head.

By Gabriel Chen
Mar 28, 2006
The Straits Times

NEWSPAPER advertising will not be cannibalised by a newly launched Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) jobs website, according to SPH's head of Classified Advertising, Ms Elsie Chua.

She said readers will continue to find newspapers useful to hunt for jobs. 'Newspapers are convenient, easy to pick up and easy to carry around. Also, job seekers want to have a sense of the particular organisation they're working for by seeing the size of the ads they put up.'

She said as long as newspapers stay relevant to job seekers, there is no reason to believe that online classified ads will cannibalise SPH's print business.

The new job-matching site went live last Friday. It comes under the new SPH online banner ST701, whose name reflects the way that job hunters can check for positions seven days a week at one portal.

Ms Chua said ST701 would be a 'win-win' outcome for employers currently using print to advertise jobs. First, they will continue to enjoy a wide audience through print.

At the same time, they will benefit from the bonus services offered online such as giving job seekers the option of completing application forms and posting their resumes online.

'What we offer in ST701 is a suite of tools to enhance the job application process,' said Ms Chua, noting that the online job market in Singapore is currently valued at about $8 million.

But SPH is not targeting only employers who advertise jobs through print to use ST701, she said. It also aims to attract firms that already advertise jobs online, such as those in the information technology and telecoms fields.

Some employers have said that while they appreciate the considerable advantages the Internet brings, newspapers have consistently proved to be a a good platform for their own hiring purposes.

OCBC Bank head of group human resources Cynthia Tan said: 'While we will certainly consider using the Internet to assist our human resources objectives more effectively, there are no immediate plans to reduce our emphasis on using the newspapers to advertise jobs.'

Others such as ISS Facility Services, which provides services in cleaning and office support, have said it depends on the kind of jobs they want to advertise. 'If you're looking to advertise jobs seeking cleaners, for example, it might be harder for them, as they might not know how to use the computer,' said Madam Lee, 40, ISS' human capital manager who declined to give her full name.

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Best of both worlds

EMPLOYERS can continue to enjoy a wide audience through print advertising while using the newly launched ST701 job-matching website, says Ms Chua. The portal provides additional tools, such as allowing job seekers to fill in application forms and post resumes online.