Print advertising is a traditional method of recruitment. While it is still a relevant tool in some cases, it is no longer considered a powerful or cost-effective stand-alone recruitment tool to source candidates. Print advertising readership continues to decline and most job seekers prefer online job search options.

Where print advertising is effective

Some hiring situations remain where print advertising may be effective. These include:

  • Recruiting for specific skills where qualified candidates still rely on print media to conduct their job search. These job markets may include:
    o   Heavy industry
    o   Mechanical
    o   Manual labour
    o   Service positions (although most retail establishments and restaurants now recruit online)
  • Complementing online efforts and advertising “with flair” for a particularly high-profile position to target specific audiences (e.g., placing an ad in The Globe and Mail print edition to tell the financial community that you are looking for special talent to join your management team)
  • Advertising mass recruitment campaigns or job fairs with a broad audience. This targets those who may not be actively looking—you can reach them while they peruse a newspaper or magazine. (Monthly magazines may offer a greater opportunity to attract readers than daily newspapers, which have shorter shelf life)

Print advertising: Cost and production considerations

While advertisements in newspapers and magazines can be effective in some recruiting circumstances, they can also be quite expensive. It is important to evaluate the costs and value the ad will bring.

Large and/or flashy print ads do have instant, albeit short-term, visibility and can effectively lead candidates to online information. However, significantly more lead time is required to prepare an ad layout for print publication than for online.

Several weeks may be required to produce the print ad (depending on its size and complexity), often involving the use of an advertising agency. And the ad will be subject to publishing deadlines.

Furthermore, a print ad does not have as wide a reach as an online one. At best it may have national circulation, while an online posting reaches a global audience immediately.

If you choose to invest in print advertising, look for publications that will link your recruitment ad to an online advertising platform. For example, many newspapers are partnered with Workopolis or other online job boards.

Common options for print advertising

Common print advertising channels include:

  • Trade publications: These provide access to niche markets and typically have a loyal readership
  • National newspapers or magazines: These offer a broader reach than regional print media, which is useful if the skills you seek are scarce
  • Local daily newspapers: Dailies in larger cities can be effective in creating interest, driving people to online information and building brand awareness
  • Small weekly community newspapers: These give access to local markets and may be appropriate for service industry or general labour jobs