Tag Archives: Trade Me Jobs

The Trade Me Jobs Double-Wammy

Is Trade Me Jobs, the self-styled “#1 job board in New Zealand”, having its cake…and eating it?  Certainly that’s the opinion of Absolute IT  Director Grant Burley.

I spoke with Grant earlier this week and he expressed grave concerns at Trade Me Jobs’ practice of placing adverts inside the body of their customer’s job adverts.  If you’re not sure what I’m on about, hop onto Trade Me Jobs  and click into a job ad posted by a recruitment company (I looked in IT and checked out ads from Absolute, Beyond and 920).  In the top-right corner is an advertisement tile which currently seems to be solely the domain of either Open Polytechnic or Fisher Funds, depending on when you happen to upload the screen.

To be fair to Trade Me clicking on the ad doesn’t navigate you away from the screen, but it does open a new window right in front of the job ad that the viewer is supposedly going to be interested in reading and perhaps applying for.   But is this really fair to the advertiser who has paid Trade Me to post their job ad?  Isn’t the revenue from the advertiser sufficient for Trade Me?  Do they really need to compromise the quality of the job ad by distracting the attention of the jobseeker away from the job ad itself?

And a distraction this really will be.  As New Zealand’s biggest web site Trade Me would be the first to tell you that people read web pages left to right, top to bottom.  The greatest number of click-throughs will come from links in the top left corner, followed by the top right corner (where these tiles are positioned), and lastly the bottom right corner (where their paying advertiser’s logos are situated).

I’ve had a look through some other major job boards in New Zealand and Australia and Trade Me Jobs seem to alone in doing this.  I also don’t ever remember seeing a billboard advert with another smaller advert covering part of the main one, or a TV advert with a bit in the corner saying “press the red button to see a message from our other sponsor”.

So is this fair?  Apparently Trade Me Jobs’ response to Grant was that no-one else had complained about it so they didn’t regard it as an issue.  So I thought I would put it out there to The Whiteboard readers to comment on this and express their opinion, for the benefit of Trade Me Jobs if nothing else.

Your thoughts?  Come on don’t be shy…

Lastly, apologies for my absence last week, especially to Chris at DG&A who called me in a panic to see if I was OK as he hadn’t seen my Linked In posting!  The Whiteboard was on holiday while I went to Australia to be the MC at my sister’s wedding.  Two observations about this.  Firstly, Australia has become incredibly expensive since I was there in 2005, well it has in Sydney and the Central Coast anyway.  Secondly, recruitment consultants must make pretty good MC’s, as I spoke to 2 other recruiters last week who were also Master of Ceremonies at various weddings.  Certainly my organisational skills came through when setting out place cards, my assessing the market skills when choosing background music, my negotiation skills when ordering more wine, and my persuasion skills when telling the band to get out of the bar upstairs NOW and play the frickin’ bridal waltz!

And could I close the deal?  You know it – well done sis.


Trade Me Jobs claims victory over Seek but who is really #1 for Recruiters?

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…