Yahoo's HotJobs.com is... up, not down?

Sure, Yahoo's HotJobs.com is falling farther and farther behind rivals CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com in traffic. Yet, the company's revenues are booming. And that might be an indication that the outfit has found the right approach to pleasing employers with its focus on low cost.
Olga Kharif

A few days ago, I talked with Daniel Finnigan, general manager of Yahoo’s HotJobs.com career site. I have to admit that I begun our conversation by asking Finnigan what was wrong with HotJobs.com, which has been steadily falling farther behind competitors CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com in traffic over the past year.

And Finnigan told me that sales growth, not traffic, is a metric I should have looked at, instead. This quarter, Finnigan says the site should post its highest year-over-year revenue growth in history.

How can that be? What's really happening with HotJobs.com?

Simply put, the online jobs marketplace has changed drastically over the past year. Employers no longer flock to job sites that attract the most applicants or the most traffic. They look for sites that can deliver them qualified applicants cost-effectively, instead. Thus the recent entry of dozens of new job sites, claiming that they can get you the right applicant quickly and cheaply by means of personality testing or through referrals or by bringing you job ads from all over the Web.

HotJobs.com may be ahead of online jobs market leaders CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com in adapting to this new reality.

Recently, a couple of analysts I've talked to have said that they approve of HotJobs.com's aggregator approach. Just like Indeed.com, HotJobs.com now brings job seekers ads from all over the Web and allows employers to get exposure to more applicants for less.

It’s also leveraging its parent Yahoo’s other properties to differentiate its services and increase usage. Thus, the site is integrated into Yahoo Search. And it allows employers to target jobs to Yahoo registered users by geography -- and, at the end, to hire people for less.

The company’s internal studies indicate that employers can hire people through HotJobs.com for the lowest cost among the top-three job boards. “We deliver people worth hiring,” explains Finnigan.

Sure, all job sites say that nowadays. And all job sites are doing well as the economy is booming. But seeing how HotJobs.com’s revenues are growing like crazy, I wonder if it has come up with the right formula to please job searchers and employers alike.

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