Measuring market share serves a purpose. It sets a stake and shows where you were, where you are now and where you want to be. There are all kinds of formal and costly ways to measure market share. And then there is the easy, informal, but pretty effective way. The do it yourself way.
Major recruitment internet competitors such as Monster, Hotjobs, Flipdog, Careerbuilder (if you are not one of them) and free government sites such as America's Job Bank (the biggest) need to be tracked. Not minute to minute or even day to day. But definitely on a month to month basis. Why? You can measure overall health of not only your employment product but of your employment market. Tracking share will tell you which of these major competitors have targeted your market. It will also tell you if you are really in an economic slump or if local employment advertisers are just going elsewhere.
What exactly is it that you should measure? Pure and simple, just your Sunday PRINT employment ad count vs. the ad count of internet competitors. Do not use the number of ads on your own internet site. It just is not a true comparison unless you are completely sure that all your ads are really on your internet site and that there are no duplicates. So to make it completely pure, use your Sunday print product employment ad count.
1) Take your biggest Sunday employment ad count of the month and put it on an excel spreadsheet. Pull out the Sunday product and count them up yourself if you must!
2) Go to Monster.Com and click on "Search Jobs". Click on your city and All Categories below it. When the ads come up, go to "Show Jobs Posted" and change it to "Last 30 Days". We choose the last 30 days because we want a months snapshot of ads running. If Monster has not chosen your city as a category, or if you are just one part of a big city and want more precise numbers, Monster will now let you search by Zip Code areas and further by miles around that zip code (please email me if you cannot find this method and I can walk you through it). Enter the number of ads for your area on the spreadsheet.
3) Careerbuilder.com: This sites lets you enter your city and state and then gives the ads in a certain radius. This site will automatically give you ads for the past 30 days. However, it's a little more work than that. Careerbuilder sells a lot of "national" ads that show up with every city thereby elevating the number of ads. Remember, you just want the ads for your city, your circulation area. So on the first search page of Careerbuilder, click on ADVANCED search. Then before entering your city and state, click on "Take out national ads." That should leave you with local jobs or jobs where your city was targeted.
4) Flipdog.com does not give you a choice for how many days an ad is running and reports tell me it may be as long as 90 days. But tracking this aggressive competitor is still very necessary. Flipdog's playful design and flashy colors are meant to target 18-24 year olds, the very age group that may not be subscribing to your newspaper in large numbers. So you need to know if they are strong in your market. Click Search Jobs, then on the lower left hand side, click off "show all national ads". Go to the bright orange map and click on your state. On the right you will see city names appear for your state. Click on your city and the number of ads will show below. This is the number you enter on your spreadsheet. If you do not see your city right away, look over the list. Sometimes it is joined alphabetically with another close by city. If there is no listing of your area, you can use your city name as the SEARCH word.
5) Hotjob.coms, purchased by Yahoo for a reported $400 million cash is hungry to get a return on their investment, so this is one to watch. You can just enter your city and state and choose if you want surrounding cities. Many of their ads are from temp agencies and national advertisers so you may want to go to the Advanced Search (there seem to be two advanced searches) until you can choose to click on DIRECT EMPLOYERS and unclick Staffing Firms. This will give you a nice clean number. You can also choose your city and another city instead of "all surrounding cities" if you need to. From what I can tell, Hotjobs defaults to ads from the last 30 days. Enter the final number of ads on your spreadsheet.
6) America's Job Bank (www.ajb.org) is the premier free site set up by the government. This is not about government jobs! These are jobs sent in for free by HR Managers and unemployment offices. I feel this really tells the story. But it is just a little tricky to navigate. All ads from your local unemployment offices are on this site. Human Resource managers in most cities just automatically send their openings to the unemployment office. There are almost one million ads on this site and they are all legitimate. They also boast over half a million resumes. If you check this daily, you will see that they add at least 25,000 jobs every day. First, under the job categories, click on ALL CATEGORIES. Then below enter your city name or the zip code of your newspaper and click go. Ads will come up within a 50 mile radius of the city or zip code you entered. You may see an outrageous number of jobs especially if you are near a big metropolitan area. If so, scroll way down and look for BY County. Click this and the ads that show up will be from the county of the city or zip code you entered. I find the county method more reliable to get ads from a circulation area. The columns here will also resort by double clicking on them. So you can change the sort from By City, to By Company name etc. Also on the home page check out all the recruitment marketing information on their CAREER INFONET.
Now that you have all your numbers on your spreadsheet, sort the list by biggest number first. Total the number of ads and find the percent of total to see your market share.
CREATING A PIE CHART
Now you are ready to create your pie chart. I like pie charts for this measurement because it really tells the story. If you are not familiar about the procedure on creating a pie chart on Excel, be aware it is a lot easier than it looks. If you have no one around to show you how to use it (and not the type to read the instructions) try this. Highlight with your mouse just the excel columns with the names of the internet sites and your newspaper along with the number of ads for each (do not include the total or titles in your highlighted area. Now with the list still highlighted go up to the tool bar on your excel spreadsheet and with your mouse click on the graph icon. A list of different graphs will pop up. Simply click on the pie chart. Hit the NEXT button and look at the tabs that say Title and enter a title for the Chart with month and Year. Then click on DATA LABLES and choose Show Name and Value. This will finish it off. Click on Finish and a small Pie Chart will show up. By double clicking on each of the areas in the chart you can change font, color and size to give it a more professional look.
So now you have your measurements, your spreadsheet and your pie chart. Do you have at least 50% of market share? If not, time to go look at what companies the competitors are getting that you're not, category by category and develop a strategy to get them back into your classifieds!