Back in August 2009 Trade Me Jobs announced with much glee and hand-rubbing that they had, for the first time, surpassed Seek on domestic page impressions. The then head of Trade Me Jobs, Jimmy McGee, said that:
“Our next goal is to beat Seek on local unique browsers. We’re well on track to do this by the end of the year,”
Well it took almost a year longer than that for it to happen but it looks like that target has now been achieved. Early Monday saw a Tweet appear from Trademe Jobs declaring that:
“Our team are pretty chuffed to announce that Trade Me Jobs is now New Zealand’s #1 job board!”
This was soon followed by an article in the National Business Review explaining that Trade Me Jobs had edged ahead of Seek according to Nielsen’s October market data, with 860,922 domestic unique browsers ahead of 857,486 for Seek.
But what does this actually mean for us in recruitment? All this talk of page impressions and unique browsers will no doubt soon be countered by Seek with claims of superior “total sessions” and “hours spent on the site”. In fact they did respond with an immediate reposte on Tuesday, claiming that their browsers were more engaged job seekers as they had not stumbled into the Jobs section following a “fun auction” such as Trade Me’s browsers. All of these different metrics will probably be gobbledygook to most recruiters (well they are to me anyway). So what is really important?
I think that the real measureable that recruiters and hiring managers will want to see is which job board most frequently delivers the candidate to fill the role? Things like Unique Browsers are useful stats to show people looking to advertise products and services on your website, but don’t really give us recruiters the full picture.
I love the fact that Trade Me Jobs is providing competition to Seek. I think their image and approach speaks more clearly to the Kiwi way of business. You don’t get so many overseas applications from candidates without visas to work in NZ. They have excellent account management and customer service delivery, in my experience anyway. However, much as I enjoyed being a customer, during the whole of 2008 I only made one placement via a Trade Me Jobs advert, against significantly more via Seek. Since then I have only used Seek (and Jobs.co.nz) to post my ads. Whilst I do get a lot more candidates via other channels such as word of mouth referrals (thanks, everyone) and social media efforts, Seek still do deliver from a purely business perspective.
It has been suggested to me on a number of occasions by other recruiters that I should advertise on Trade Me Jobs now, but I’m still not sure I will get the return on investment, not for my industry anyway.
As far as I’m concerned New Zealand’s number one job board is the one that delivers me more placeable candidates. At the moment that is still Seek by a long shot and I’m not convinced that much will have changed since 2008.
But I have to say this is all fabulous publicity for Trade Me Jobs anyway and it has certainly got me wondering. Perhaps I will put it to the test in 2011…