Online government job ads prove a first-up hit

THE launch last weekend of the State Government’s online jobs board appears to have had an immediate impact at The West Australian.

Two-and-a-half pages of stream-lined government recruitment advertising appeared in Saturday’s The West Australian, advertising 129 jobs.

According to a Government source, the traditional government recruitment ad format normally lists between eight and 10 jobs a page. Given those figures, the weekend’s advertising would have amounted to between 12 and 16 pages if the online jobs board, had not become the Government’s primary medium for job hunters.

An industry source told WA Business News the Government saved $80,000 in advertising costs over the weekend.

And while government advertising does fluctuate, an $80,000 hit every week would amount to the loss of about $4 million a year in government recruitment advertising.

The Government will incur costs of purchasing and implementing the jobs board.

A Government spokesman said reducing the advertising spend was only one component in the cost savings, which are expected to save $7 million over five years.

The spokesman said that, from July this year, government agencies would have access to candidate management facilities, including automatic responses, and would allow job seekers to apply for jobs online.

WA online recruitment specialists Empired Limited won the contract more than two years ago. Empired executive director Gavin Burnett said the WA Government’s online platform was at the vanguard of national advertising strategies.

He said his company was in discussions with a number of State governments about implementing similar systems.  Mr Burnett, a WA Business News 2004 40under40 winner, said 2,200 people visited on the weekend.

“About 80 per cent of those left the site within 15 minutes, which is great because it demonstrates the ease of use of this site,” he said.

“More than 2,300 people registered on the site and more than 1,000 have registered to have job information emailed to them on a regular basis.”

The switch to the online system was made easier for the government after a legislative requirement for it to advertise every job in the State’s daily newspaper was changed. There is now no requirement for positions to be advertised in a newspaper, and government jobs will no longer be advertised in public sector magazine, Intersector.

According to West Australian Newspaper Holdings (publisher of The West Australian) 2003 annual report net advertising in the paper increased by 4.9 per cent to $190.2 million last year.



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