How the New York Times Is Keeping Print Job Ads Relevant in 2015

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ReaderHonestly, that’s not a headline I ever expected to write. Amid the clamor of the champions of today’s most tech-savvy recruiting tactics — from programmatic ad-buying  to growth hacker marketing  and inbound recruiting  — I and plenty of others have long assumed that newspaper “help wanted” ads were pretty much dead.

I wasn’t surprised when the New York Times  announced T Jobs. A job-matching solution driven by the RealMatch platform, T Jobs fits in nicely with the other tech-driven recruiting tools we’ve seen proliferate in the employment market over the last few years.

What I was surprised to see, however, was this little sentence at the end of NYT’s press release announcing T Jobs : “T Jobs may work in conjunction with The Times’s print classified job postings.”

Which — what? Really? Surely, T Jobs is a replacement for traditional newspaper job ads, right? Who’s going to buy — much less read through — print classifieds when T Jobs is using data to drive more accurate matches between employers and candidates, a la Jobandtalent ?

To learn more about T Jobs — and why newspaper classifieds may actually have a place in the 2015 recruiting arsenal — I spoke with Kerrie Gillis, vice president of advertising at the New York Times. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, with minimal editing for style and clarity. What makes the New York Times audience a unique talent source? What does this group offer that other talent sources don’t?

Kerrie Gillis: I’ll focus on our online users, because we’re talking about T Jobs. Let me start by saying that, across platforms, we have 33 million unique visitors in an age range of 25-54, and 8.5 million in the 18-24 age range. We’re talking about a huge audience of people who are in the workforce and looking for jobs. We’re talking about 41 million people who are going to be job seekers at some point in the next year or two.

The reason I say they are ‘going to be job seekers’ is because … and 1 in 10 of our Web users say they plan to change jobs in the next 12 months, and 1 in 8 say they are planning to changes jobs in the next 12 months and already have a household income of $75,000. Another 1 in 8 are going to be looking for jobs, and they’re at the professional-managerial level.

That’s why I think we’re unique talent source. We have people who are highly skilled, who are paid well, who are in professional-managerial roles, and who are looking for new jobs and new opportunities.

RC: From an employer’s perspective, are there any industries or roles that are best served by T jobs, or is it pretty open across the board, in terms of what sorts of employers would benefit from sourcing talent through the New York Times audience?

KG: I think we really service people across all industries. Times Talent Reach, which is what our basic product is called, extends to over 1300 sites and reaches passive and active job seekers. Through this, you have access to national job sites, like ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor,  and Simply Hired. Then, we also reach through this network to 600+ local and newspaper sites, and 200+ industry sites.

So, we’re talking to the financial sectors, health care, engineering, sales, technology, HR, and many more. We’re also reaching all levels of jobs within those industries, from C-suite all the way down to entry-level positions.

RC: There’s this line in the press release that I was hoping you could talk about a little more: ‘T Jobs may work in conjunction with The Times’s print classified job postings.’ I guess I’m looking for some clarification here: what, exactly, does that mean?

KG: We consider this our sweet spot. I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve been selling recruitment advertising since we were only print, and this has always been out sweet spot: the help-wanted ads. On Sundays, we’re reaching over 3.6 million readers, and there’s actually very low duplication between our newspaper readers and our digital readers — but it’s an equally highly qualified audience.

Imagine that most of these print ads run in the New York Times on Sundays, and then the ads are uploaded online. Recruiters are reaching this engaged audience in both print and online.

And on Sundays, I should mention, readers also have the time to think about their job situations and plan for transitions. So, it’s a good time to reach out to them.

We use that term ‘may work’ because a recruiter can purchase an ad only through our online site, but we think it’s a combination of the print and the digital that is the most compelling offer.

By Matthew Kosinski