Instant Jobs and Private Advertisers- Gumtree Ads Challenge to the Market

In what seems to be a determined effort to get around the costs of conventional job advertising. Australia’s Gumtree, which is a sort of Australian craigslist, has produced a very different hiring model.

While the jobs on offer consists of quite literally anything and everything, from the notorious sales jobs, to bona fide call centre and office jobs; the contact process is very different. Advertisers provide phone numbers and quick direct contact options for job seekers. This is important, because many of the jobs advertised are ASAP jobs.

The recruiting industry and online advertisers should be paying very close attention to this new approach. It works. I’ve got a couple of writing jobs myself using Gumtree, and quite a few good leads and contacts.

The critical issue here is that this form of advertising includes a range of direct cost benefits for advertisers. Advertising is free, painless, and not subject to any form of bureaucratic processing. Conventional job ads are the exact opposite.

The direct contact approach, adds a further level of efficiency, now much in demand among private advertisers, like small businesses, which make up a major part of the employment market. Eliminating middlemen also makes good business sense for small business advertisers. Recruitment agencies can be expensive, and even if very highly efficient, might not be as quick.

The “instant jobs” approach is literally true. It is quite possible to start up a dialogue with an advertiser and be working within one hour. I’ve done it myself.

The new model isn’t perfect, but it is quite effective. Gumtree is a, What You See Is What You Get site, much like craigslist. The site takes responsibility to a certain degree regarding ad content, but it’s pretty much a fire and forget website. The site also has other attractions in the forms of real estate ads, buy and sell, and similar content.

Gumtree is getting some recognition in the employment market. It’s affiliated with, which runs Gumtree ads on its regular email alerts. As a purely local Australian site, it’s a bit limited in terms of its ability to provide the sort of services craigslist does, but it has completely overshadowed craigslist in Australia.

The wider job market advertisers should also note that in terms of market share, Gumtree has achieved a highly competitive status, relative to major corporate advertisers. Gumtree started as a low capital business venture certainly not comparable with News Corp and other heavyweight advertisers. Its own promotions are relatively small scale. The fact that it has achieved such easy market penetration so quickly should be a wakeup call to the industry. Turnover for jobs is measured in minutes, not weeks on Gumtree. Job seekers like it because they can sound out employers and get more information about jobs instantly.

One thing is for sure – This new model is not going to go away quickly. It’s a mobile jobsite for a mobile market. Advertisers, ignore Gumtree at your own risk.