Databank Employment: Job sites pounding the Web

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In the summer of the economic downturn, it's no surprise that the unemployed (and simply nervous) are surfing the Web in droves for their next jobs. To help them make their decisions-at least on where to search-CareerBuilder.com, which draws the fourth most traffic in the category, topped the list of job sites advertising online in July, according to data from Jupiter Media Metrix.

Most of the 129.4 million impressions for CareerBuilder were placed on the newspaper Web sites for partners Knight Ridder and Tribune Co., which bought the site last year. Other sites included Microsoft Corp.'s MSN and Bloomberg. The banners feature the bold heading "Laid Off?" with the tagline "The fastest cure for downsizing. CareerBuilder, find a job now."

Barry Lawrence, a spokesman for CareerBuilder, said the company aimed the campaign at "silent job seekers" who aren't necessarily hard-core searching. The company's research has shown that 70% of people are satisfied with their jobs, but 40% are looking to change in 2001.

Courtnie Willard, advertising manager for CareerBuilder, said the Web drives the most targeted and efficient traffic. The banner campaign also is supported by full- and half-page ads in Knight Ridder and Tribune Co. newspapers. And while competitor Monster.com, which ranked second among July advertisers, is known for its splashy television campaigns and Super Bowl buys (it recently announced its sponsorship of the 2002 U.S. Olympic team), CareerBuilder is gearing up for a major TV, outdoor and radio campaign in the fall.

Traffic to job sites overall has skyrocketed in the past year, Jupiter research shows. HotJobs.com, which is in the midst of merger negotiations to be acquired by TMP Worldwide's Monster.com, had 1.8 million unique visitors in July 2000. That number more than tripled-to 6.3 million-last month. Monster.com jumped from 4.3 million unique visitors to 6.2 million.

The trend was not universal: even when CareerBuilder's traffic is altered to reflect its merger with CareerPath.com, the Jupiter data shows a drop from 2.6 million "uniques" to 2 million. JobsOnline.com also lost traffic, from 5 million in July 2000 to 4.9 million this year, and Headhunter.net, which merged with CareerMosaic.com last August, has seen its traffic go down. The traffic for the site was 1.5 million unique visitors in July and for the pre-merged sites was 1.8 million in July a year ago.

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