[SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA] — Online recruitment sites have experienced a surge of traffic over the new year period, despite indications there may not be jobs available to meet the demand, at least in the IT sector.
According to the Nielsen//NetRatings’ January Web measurement figures, the five most popular job Web sties attracted an aggregated unique audience of over 40,000 household users, the highest on record and almost 50 per cent higher than December figures.
All five sites measured recorded their strongest month, lead by Seek, then the Federal Government’s JobSearch site, Monster, MyCareer and CareerOne.
Total page views to employment sites also climbed dramatically during the month according to Nielsen//NetRatings, totalling 16.4 million page views. Surfers spent almost 20 minutes on average at these sites and downloaded an average 39 pages per sesson.
This increase has been attributed to new school leavers and the traditional hunt by users for a change of career at the start of the year.
“Online recruitment sites really came into their own during January, suggesting people’s increased acceptance of the Web as a tool to conduct job searches and canvass career options, said ACNielsen eRatings’com’ director of sales and marketing Mark Henning.
The Nielsen//NetRatings figures did not specify what proportion of users searched for IT jobs during these visits, but chances are visitors may have been disappointed at the number of jobs available.
A survey conducted this month by job placement agency Olivier Recruitment Group found that last November recorded the first decrease in IT job ads placed over the Internet for the whole of last year.
According to the group, the IT industry lost around 4,000 online job ads in the three months from August to November, a nine per cent decrease in jobs from 47,000 IT to 43,000.
Research director Kate van Gelder was reported as saying said the slowdown in job placements in the IT sector was part of a wider downturn in staff hiring, associated with the GST, the Olympics and the plummeting Australian dollar, all of which combined to discourage companies from hiring more staff.
Furthermore, the continuing IT industry shakeout from the tech stock crash of April 2000, meant less cash to fund staff salaries and fewer dollars to fund employment ads.
However, analysts are forecasting spending by recruiters on online recruitment advertising alone in Australia to grow by more than AUD$78 million each year over the next three years.
According to the latest figures from research group IDC Australia, the online recruitment industry will experience a compound annual growth rate of 86.2 per cent in, in dollar terms registering an increased spend from $14.7m in 1999 to $329.3m in 2004.
According to IDC’s latest report titled ‘eRecruiting Industry Growing Fast in Australia’, the tight labour market is gaining prominence as a challenge for businesses in Australia, turning a spotlight on Internet-based recruitment.
“eRecruiting enterprises are cropping up at a rapid pace, with a diverse group of businesses jockeying to carve out a niche and claim a share of the market,” the report said. “The Internet has made a significant impact on the recruiting industry in Australia, pushing traditional recruiting agencies newspaper classifieds online, creating opportunities for new players, and giving recruiters the opportunity to reduce time-to-hire and cost-to-hire. “