By Dan Lindley
Fish4.co.uk, the big U.K. classified site that spans cars, real estate and recruitment, and which runs one of the U.K.’s biggest employment sites, will switch to a pay-for-performance revenue model and relaunch its employment site within two months.
The London-based company will go to a pay-for-performance revenue model on its big job site, Fish4Jobs, “by the end of August, hopefully,” according to Katie Siegel, Fish4’s spokeswoman. Instead of charging customers a set rate upfront (in 2006, for instance, one recruitment ad had a list price of $562 for four weeks), the company will only charge recruitment advertisers if they land the right candidate from their ad.
Some observers have speculated that the slowing British economy, victim of a housing crash that seems to be spreading out in a tidal wave from the U.S., may have sparked the change. And, of course, there’s fierce competition from other big job sites in the U.K, including Monster.co.uk and TotalJobs.com. (Fish4’s CEO, Joe Slavin, formerly was CEO at Monster.co.uk.) But when CIR asked Siegel why Fish4 had decided to go to pay-for-performance, she said, “We have already rolled this out successfully across Fish4Cars and Fish4Homes, so it was a logical step to introduce this to Fish4Jobs.”
How will it work, exactly? “As per the homes and cars models,” Siegel replied, “the method is quite simply that if the ad gets no response, the client doesn’t pay.” Beyond the changes in revenue, the whole Fish4jobs site is scheduled for a relaunch in late September or early October, Siegel said. “The new look and functionality has been designed and trialed to be more user friendly,” she told CIR. “The site has been structured around three concepts – the traditional ‘search,’ ‘browse,’ which will flash up a number of different categories; and ‘inspire,’ which will group certain categories together – for example – all jobs that involve working in nursing. The relaunch is to update the site and ensure that the overall user experience is better and integrated. The entire journey around the site will be easier.”
Siegel conceded that there is “healthy competition” among job sites in the U.K. but said that Fish.4.co.uk’s employment site has an advantage because its postings are available on 220 shareholder Web sites and 500 newspapers. Created in 1999 by three large regional press groups in the U.K. – Newsquest Media Group, Trinity Mirror and Guardian Media Group Regional Newspapers – Fish4 has access to more than 60 percent of the U.K.’s regional press, according to the company.