Newspapers and Adcorp set to lose job ad revenue as Government revises recruiting rules

AFR-print1Changes to rules meaning many senior federal government department job vacancies no longer have to be advertised in newspapers could cost publishers Fairfax Media and News Corp millions of dollars in long-term revenue.

Among the immediate losers from the decision could be media agency Adcorp, which holds the non-campaign advertising component of the Federal Government master media account, while Fairfax’s The Australian Financial Review and News Corp’s The Australian publish most of the government’s recruitment print ads.

There are also fears the impact could hit publishers’ local titles if state governments follow the national lead and implement the same rules in their own departments.

Under the old rules the Australian Public Service Commissioner required senior executive appointments had to be advertised in external publications, the preferred outlets for the job placements.

A new circular issued this week repeals requirements that public services vacancies be “notified” externally and is expected to accelerate a decline away from print recruitment job ads for government positions.

Fusion Strategy’s Steve Allen told Mumbrella: ” The number of jobs ads has definitely been dwindling.

“Look at The Australian Financial Review on a Friday. Back in the day it was almost half of the book designated for recruitment ads.  The reality is today there are far less recruitment ads then there used to be.”

While in the long term the change will likely accelerate a shift away from print ads towards digital, the changes also remove “interim arrangements” imposed after the budget which had forced agencies to seek approval from the Public Service Commissioner before placing a job ad, meaning in the short term volumes may increase.

However, Allen warns the main impact of the change may be that other levels of government follow their federal counterparts in chasing online job advertising rather than print.

“The impact of this is unlikely to be immediate, but (the States) are sure to follow in next year or two, he said. “Of course they should know where they are getting response from, and the quality of response, and that should be their decision criteria.”

Nic Christensen 


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