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SEEK up their rates. Stop moaning about it

By March 18, 2021No Comments

Unless you’ve been really into the America’s Cup, you will have seen the announcement of SEEK’s new dynamic pricing model. Like the first review of almost every classic album, the overwhelming response from the market has been “1 star”, “would not recommend”, and “go fuck yourself SEEK”. In its simplest form, we’ll now be paying a variable amount on each ad based on the scarcity of candidate, the location, and the average salary of the role. Simpler yet, we’ll all probably pay a bit more for ads, because this is the modern world and the modern world is rubbish.

I actually have a long and distinguished history of bagging SEEK. From calling it a shit Monster at a SEEK forum in 2011, to heckling and subsequently being banned from the SARAs the following year, I’m far from a fan boy. And I’m sure they would say the same about me. In fact, they have said the same about me. It takes a lot to receive a (now rescinded) lifetime ban from SEEK events without throwing a punch like that weird IT recruiter did at Richard Bayly.  So it would follow that given the current anti-SEEK sentiment, I’d be duly poised to kick them squarely in the balls. But you know what? I’m not going to that. Here’s 6 reasons as to why:

Growing up in a small English town, you start drinking at the age of 14 in the worst pub in town. It’s always the worst pub as, failing to attract actual adults, rough pubs resort to selling to the underage. This is great between the ages of 14 and 18. And at 18, when the choice opens up to you, you move on to better pubs right? Wrong. Instead of voting with your feet, you continue to drink in the same dive. The only difference now is you now moan about it incessantly. All whilst propping up the bar. SEEK have and have had competitors in this market. TradeMeJobs are very much alive and well, and we’ve had and YUDU plus many others. All but TMJ have died spectacular deaths because none of us used them. Even though we could. Instead, like a 19 year old Sean Walters, we simultaneously moan, hand our cash over, and financially ignore the other options.

In the UK, we also have Schrodinger’s immigrant. This is the practice of simultaneously complaining  about immigrants taking our jobs, whilst also bemoaning them not working and claiming benefits. A few of the people who are up in arms on the SEEK pricing change are also the first to claim that they don’t use job boards to fill roles. Weird huh?

Regular readers will know that I enjoy a nice glass of wine. A nice glass of wine may cost $20 if the wine is nice enough. It might cost $30 if I’m sitting in a breathtaking location. The wine obviously costs the same from the supplier, so why this price difference? In the most part, it’s ground rent. Occupying that premium spot on the Viaduct costs more than Lincoln Road. I am no expert, but I can only imagine what SEEK and TradeMe Jobs pay in online advertising to drive candidates to them (and therefore us). The more they pay, the more effective our ads. I’m sure they could half their spend, half the ad costs, and we’d be twice as fucked off with the level and quality of applicants.

There is a cult following of the McDonald’s “McRib”. A pork burger which has intermittently appeared on the Maccas menu since 1981, it’s even been featured in The Simpsons as Homer tries to track one down. As much as you may want one, and as much as your local “Restaurant” may want to sell you one, it just isn’t possible. Head office in the US has pulled it, without even consulting the good folks at  McDonald’s Lunn Ave. Do we think our friendly SEEK account managers want to tell us about this “innovative pricing model”? Do they fuck. Australia has said “so mote it be”, and New Zealand now has to make it…mote.

Queenstown isn’t very happy currently. After years of skinning international tourist out of $200 bucks for 20 minutes of mild adrenaline, they’ve now had to rely on the meager disposal incomes of the average Kiwi. Instead of taking the rough with the smooth, they’ve maintained prices and as I type, a mechanical shark bobs empty on Lake Wakatipu. Many recruiters, especially in the tech space, have had a pretty good run of it, even during Covid. Yet judging from the feedback , the extra $50 on an ad seems to be an insult to all that is fair and reasonable. Perhaps recruiters paying $2k a year more on advertising is putting too big a dent in the $1m they billed last year…

I just bought a new truck. I looked at a Ford Ranger but they’re so expensive. $70k by the time you get a decent spec. Yet still they were last year’s most sold car in New Zealand. Why is this? Well it seems that Ford have done a great job of selling “value” over features. A Ford Ranger is no better (in fact it’s probably worse) than some of its lesser priced competitors. However, their resale value is fantastic. And if you’re a fancy Dan who changes your car every three years, all that matters is depreciation – and Rangers don’t depreciate. So yes, it costs the consumer more at point of sale, but they recoup this when they sell the car on. If SEEKs price increase raises our recruitment costs, but we grudgingly use it and accept that it’s a great tool for sourcing quality candidates, perhaps we need to stop moaning about the cost, and on-sell the value to our clients? And then we could raise our fees accordingly.

Probably not my most popular blog this week, but have a good weekend everyone.