Activating the passive

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Help-wanted advertising hasn't traditionally been a big business for b-to-b magazines because of long print production cycles. Then, as b-to-b media started moving online in the 1990s, they had to go up against sites such as and that had low ad rates and lots of marketing might.

Lately though, some b-to-b media companies are taking a second look at recruitment advertising and finding opportunities, even challenging the belief that that recruitment advertising must be online.

For ALM, which publishes more than a dozen daily and weekly legal newspapers, classified advertising has traditionally been a staple, said George Dillehay, senior VP at ALM. "This economic transfer is tough. A $1,000 program in print will probably become a $200 program online, but we knew we had to get into the digital side," he said. Three years ago, ALM launched

ALM uses two key strategies to retain as many recruitment dollars as possible. "We bundle print and online advertising so that anyone who buys a classified ad in a newspaper can get an online ad for a relatively low price," Dillehay said. "Although 70% of our online recruitment advertising is bundled, the online-only portion is growing."

The other focus is "upsell, upsell, upsell," Dillehay said. "We actively go after the online-only advertisers to get them to add links, logos and additional job posts." Those incremental features can add 10% to 15% to the price of an online program.

At CXO Media, has had online job postings for three or four years. Martha Connors, VP-general manager, online at CXO Media, said it wasn't given a lot of management attention, but the content was popular. The team decided to introduce a new online careers section, scheduled to debut this month. "Our goal is to have job postings as part of a more robust career content site," she said.

IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, launched a job site on in June 2001. Now, like, it is going through a redesign "to make it more of a destination with more career content," said Mike Buryk, business development and recruitment sales manager. IEEE Spectrum, the organization's chief print publication, has always had classified advertising, but "it's down 80% over the past four years."

Unlike ALM, IEEE finds "our print advertisers don't go for online and don't buy bundled packages often," Buryk said. However, because there are more online than print advertisers, "we're making more money online."

With the redesign, IEEE hopes to attract more passive job seekers, people who are not searching for a new position but who might consider one if approached. "For employers and recruiters, that's the holy grail," Buryk said.

Matthew Sitelman, general manager at CMP Technologies Career Network Services, said "there is an incredible and sustained demand for IT and software professionals that spans out to 2012. Because only 16% of the work force, according to one study, is actively looking for a job, the general job sites don't provide a sufficient number of candidates. Employers are getting more and more desperate."

In May 2006, CMP launched TechCareers, a destination career center for the millions of technology professionals subscribing to and visiting CMP's print and online brands.

"We have three separate intertwining efforts," Sitelman said. "First, we're placing recruitment ads on all of our sites adjacent to content that's not about careers. Second, we're creating a rational plan for educating companies that are not in our usual advertiser footprint about the people who consume the multiple technology brands across CMP." Toyota Motor Corp. USA, for example, is running an ongoing recruitment branding ad on sites such as Network Computing and Dr. Dobb's.

Finally, Sitelman explained, there is a dedicated team of account managers selling recruitment advertising not only online but also in print and e-newsletters. "We're also looking at putting career pavilions together for live events," he said.

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