The Guardian and Observer has promoted deputy classified manager
Helen Bird to head of classified.
She will manage 70 staff and replaces Suzanne Francis, who is to
concentrate on her other role as general manager of the enterprise
Bird was appointed deputy of the department in 1998 after spending three
years as field sales manager where she oversaw the establishment of new
market in IT, science and graduate jobs. Before that she spent two years
as agency manager.
In a difficult market, The Guardian is the only quality paper to have
grown its classified volume over the last 12 months, increasing it by 16
per cent and running ads for almost 100,000 jobs. The market as a whole
declined by 6 per cent.
It is the clear leader in the quality classified market with a 49 per cent
share based on volume. The next biggest -The Daily Telegraph - has 13 per
cent. Traditionally big in the public sector, The Guardian claims it leads
the commercial sector as well and has overtaken The Times in secretarial
jobs and The Daily Telegraph in marketing jobs.
Bird claims The Guardian’s success is due to matching the strengths of its
readership with recruitment categories and dedicated editorial coverage.
’Others have attempted to replicate our sections but you have to generate
response,’ said Bird. ’Unlike display, classified is directly
Bird’s challenge is to integrate the printed jobs with online, and the
education category is a priority. The Jobs Unlimited website will serve as
an umbrella for a cluster of mini-sites, such as Public Unlimited.
Bird said: ’We have thrived by listening and innovating and we will
continue with that approach as we embrace the opportunities that lie
The Guardian is predicting further growth next year due to a more
buoyant recruitment market.