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It's David Vs Goliath Via The Internet

Friday 29 September 2006

It's David Vs Goliath Via The Internet

The founders of a new online job site, MYJOBSPACE.CO.NZ, are fuming at what they see as Fairfax Publishing and The Christchurch Press bullying tactics, after their advertising was pulled today.

Founders of the website, Gary Collins and Peter Glen, frustrated with the escalating costs of online job ads, say MYJOBSPACE.CO.NZ is their answer to what they describe as the unjustified fees being charged by other sites.

"We were appalled when The Press pulled our advertising, citing the fact that we are in direct competition with their own job advertising and jobstuff. What we find even worse is that they hide behind Section 36 of the Commerce Act to do it."

"We have really put everything on the line for this website and believe in it so much we have been offering free job advertising for the first three months. This has bitten into a huge part of our marketing budget. We cannot afford to advertise on TV at the moment, which leaves us with radio and print media. We are a Canterbury business and to be denied the opportunity to reach our target audiences through our local paper is just unfair," says Mr Collins.

"At the end of the day this is a David versus Goliath situation. Compared to Fairfax and its other entities we are a small business in its infancy. Are they really that scared of us and a little competition?"

MYJOBSPACE.CO.NZ, which launched two months ago, already has 7500 jobs registered, making it the fastest growing online job site in New Zealand. However, they need to be able to market their site to job hunters to ensure its ongoing viability.

Mr Collins, who owns local publishing house A-Mark, and Mr Glen, an ex-advertising executive, say they were driven to develop the site out of sheer frustration.

Compared to the other five top New Zealand websites, MYJOBSPACE.CO.NZ advertisers will pay a flat fee of $89 per six months to advertise as many jobs as they want to or $149 for 12 months full access to most site benefits.

"Our mission has been to develop the most affordable and effective job marketing platform in the world for the benefit of all employers and job hunters in New Zealand," he says.

Mr Collins says his experience in publishing prompted him to start exploring the online job site model about two years ago.

"The greatest costs associated in publishing are editorial content and printing. Once you have the content, replication is actually not that expensive - and it gets cheaper as the numbers stack up. We started thinking about how that might apply to an online model, and quickly realised that there was room in the market for a realistically priced, quality online job service."

Mr Collins and Mr Glen invested a great deal of time in researching the wants and needs of the market - starting with those of recruitment agencies.

"What we heard was, that with the market being so tight for candidates, many businesses are currently competing for the same candidates and as result are having to advertise these jobs over a period of months, costing them thousands of dollars. The real gap in the market was for an online service that catered to the repeat nature of the process, but from a client-centric perspective - not just to line the pockets of the provider."

Many of Christchurch's leading agencies have signed up with MYJOBSPACE.CO.NZ, attracted by the low rates, the entrepreneurial spirit of the site, and the added features set to attract a high proportion of job hunters.

"When we looked at what candidates were looking for, it became readily apparent that traditional sites weren't adequately catering to them either. So we've included features that give job hunters the sorts of things they really want - for example, with MYJOBSPACE.CO.NZ, job hunters can create their own 'work wanted' ad - allowing them to profile themselves and pitch themselves to potential employers - all the while remaining anonymous. It's the sort of consumer empowerment and customisation that the web does so well - and it's one of the things that will really set us apart."

Mr Collins says he hopes that MYJOBSPACE.CO.NZ will, in addition to providing a dynamic space for employers and job hunters alike, give online job site prices a real shake up.

"Given what has happened with Fairfax and The Press today, I can only assume we are starting to make some noise because why else would they refuse our advertising?" he asks.


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