Minority sites expand job ads

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Community Connect, operator of dedicated online communities for Asians, Hispanics and African-Americans, is cultivating a sales niche for recruitment advertising as demand for online diversity advertising increases.

"We saw this as a strong opportunity prompted by companies approaching us," said Benjamin Sun, president-CEO. "It evolved because of the increased demand of companies looking for talent. We've seen it over the last year with advertisers ranging from Universal Studios, MTV Networks, State Farm [Insurance Co.] and U.S. Army ROTC. It is a testimony to online recruiting and to using the Web for diversity recruiting."


Community Connect operates AsianAvenue.com, MiGente.com and Blackplanet.com. Mr. Sun said the group of sites totals 2.5 million registered members.

"We are just in the beginning stages, but we feel very confident because of how Community Connect brings the community [of sites] together," said Marissa Schriefer, VP-HR services for MTV Networks. MTV is running banners on the three sites. Banners allow viewers to click through to a sponsorship page that describes opportunities at its various channels including MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1. From that page, individuals can e-mail their resumes.

"People have responded to the banners, and there are several hundred resumes that will be forwarded to us," said Ms. Schriefer.

Community Connect offers advertisers a variety of vehicles for recruitment advertising. Banner ads, special Web pages, newsletters and e-mails directly to members who fit profiles for job openings. MTV uses the newsletters and the e-mail prompts to remind Community Connect members to log in and check out the newsletters.

IMDiversity.com, formerly Minorities Job Bank, has been offering diversity recruiting ads for nearly three years. IMDiversity offers original content covering career development and general topics to its African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, women's and global villages. Advertisers include American Express Co., AT&T Corp., IBM, ROTC and others.

On Dec. 15, IMDiversity will launch a co-branded Diversity Channel with Jobs.com. Diversity Channel is accessed via the Jobs.com site with content provided by IMDiversity. Ad sales will be handled via Jobs.com sales staff and IMDiversity will get a percentage of the sales.


Niraj Kataria, president of IMDiversity, said the partnership will bring in more traffic to his site and provide advertising exposure as Jobs.com touts the partnership in its TV, radio and outdoor advertising efforts. In return, Jobs.com advertisers expand their access to minority job seekers.

Mr. Sun said he plans to step up sales efforts for Community Connect.

"We think the industry is going away from job boards and into more niche value-added service," he said.

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