The news will be a blow to newspapers and magazines that rely on recruitment advertising as a significant revenue stream. Government ads are believed to account for 12 per cent of the UK's £1.2bn recruitment spend.
Pat McFadden, a Cabinet Office minister, said: "We recognise that civil service spending in this area is a small part of total public sector spending, but we are committed to making better use of the internet and reducing expenditure on press advertising. To that end, we expect to reduce the £1.3m estimated spending on senior jobs in the six largest spending departments by up to 80 per cent over the next few months."
He said there would also be a switch to generic press ads which direct people to websites.
McFadden added the Government would have to ensure access to information about job opportunities for the one third of people who do not use the internet.
John Spellar, a former Labour minister, welcomed the "dramatic increase in the use of the internet" and called for the practice to be extended to other public bodies such as local authorities.
The Tories have pledged to switch all public sector recruitment ads to a new official website if they win the next general election, saying this would cost only £5m a year.