The Guardian elevates Bird to classified chief

The Guardian and Observer has promoted deputy classified manager Helen Bird to head of classified.

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.


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