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The Job Section of HR Magazine - Will the Last HR Team Without Any Ideas Please Turn Off the Lights?

By now, you've heard the rumors - print is dead.  Right?

One of the fascinating areas to watch this is in the Help Wanted ads of your local paper.  If you're a HRHRMagTopgraphic pro or recruiter who has to attract talent for a living and you've been doing it for some time, you probably have grown to rely on help wanted ads less and less - or not at all.  Online is wheres it's at these days.  Post and pray via Monster and CareerBuilder, right?  All the job seekers go to those destinations anyway, so it makes sense to spend $200-$400 with the destination job boards if you're looking for volume over quality.

Here's the dirty little secret.  The newspapers behind the help wanted ads aren't responding to the market shift by slashing prices.  Nope - they're actually keeping prices the same because they know that while revenue is down, they still have core customers (think production, nursing, etc.) that will pay full freight regardless of the other options - those customers still believe print is a cornerstone of their recruiting strategy.

I know because we recently did an immigration related posting, and I was shocked at the cost of a line (not a display ad people!) ad.  It has nothing to do with the market.  The newspapers are simply going to milk what's left of this market all the way to the bottom.  Which means the last customer left will still be paying $1,500 for a standard line ad with a good bit of text in Birmingham. 

I can't be critical of folks who still use print as a part of their recruiting strategy.  Wherever the candidates are, you should be from a recruiting standpoint. If that's newspapers, play on.

But one thing I can't understand is how someone would make the decision to post a HR Job in the "HR Jobs" section of SHRM's HR Magazine.  Understand upfront that I'm not being critical of SHRM with this post.  If they can drive revenue via print ads in HR Magazine, more power to them.

But what does an ad like that cost?  More importantly, what type of hiring organization thinks it's a good idea to find a HR Manager for a local position via ad insertion in a national magazine like that?  Here's how my thought process has usually worked when I've seen a HR Job posted in HR Magazine:

"Hey, that HR Director gig looks and sounds pretty sweet.  Too bad I really don't want to live in Tulsa or work for a lighting contractor..."

Oddly enough, I was thumbing through HR Magazine this month and noticed what I thought might be a first - no "HR Jobs" section in the back.  Could it be that everyone has figured out the obvious?  That Time Magazine or HR Magazine isn't a great place to recruit from for a location-specific, mid-level, HR position?

I suspect not.  I fully expect that next month may find a utility in Walla Walla recruiting for a Safety Manager via HR Magazine with the important, yet ironic information, "relocation not provided".

Will the last HR organization to use the HR Jobs section in the print-based HR Magazine please turn off the lights?  Let's be green when you leave a room, people.


Lance Haun

I lived in Walla Walla and there are definitely very few places that would offer relocation much less recruit outside of the local newspaper. Line ads aren't $1,500 there either though :)

Kelly O

Mom is job hunting in the 'Ham and I don't think she's really utilizing the paper at all. Before we moved, neither John nor I really looked much. I got burned on that last summer when the temp agency I worked for kept telling me they had nothing, but every time I opened the paper they had ads scattered all over the Jobs section. Lots of them. It was definitely something that does not take a rocket scientist to suss out. Networking truly does work better than anything.

Just another HR Lady

I'm an HR pro in Canada, so am not a part of any US- based HR associations, but I was a little surprised to see that there is an HR magazine even in print through your association? (not to mention the job ads as you pointed out) Our HR Associations have online job boards, newsletters, updates, etc, and I'm assuming SHRM does as well? Somebody has lots of money to burn...

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