July 17, 2013 Last Updated 9:06 pm

Hearst Newspapers team up with Monster.com on employment iPhone and Android apps

As a former classified advertising manager one of the great mysteries to me has been the reluctance of newspapers to attempt to resurrect their classified businesses through mobile apps. The opportunity was sitting there staring at them back in 2008 but the few efforts made – such as the NYT’s real estate app – were weak and uninspiring.

SFG-jobs-iPhone5-lgThis month the Hearst Newspapers, teaming up with Monster.com, launched job apps for the iPhone and Android platforms. The mobile apps are attractive – though I’m sure Jony Ive would complain about some of the design work (which Steve Jobs would applaud).

The apps are for the slate of Hearst Newspapers: Houston Chronicle Jobs (iOS and Android), San Francisco Chronicle Jobs (iOS and Android), Albany Times Jobs (iOS and Android), San Antonio Express-News Jobs (iOS and Android), SouthernCT Jobs (iOS and Android).

I’d like to say that Hearst Newspapers is bucking the trend and recommitting themselves to classified advertising, but clearly the fact that they’ve teamed up with Monster.com shows the sorry state of their recruitment category. Worse yet, little effort is shown in the app descriptions which appear to have been written in a rush: “Job listings from the San Francisco Chronicle and Monster.com. Find and apply for jobs and stay up-to-date on the latest hiring news in the Bay Area and around California,” reads the short description for the SFGate app. (Then the link goes to a page for a completely different app for the iPad.)

HearstNews-jobs-smThe Hearst apps are far more attractive than the Monster.com app, which stills shows screenshots for an iPhone 4 and looks like it was developed in the early days of apps (its still on version 1.5.3).

Another big opportunity is being missed by not creating something for tablets. While the Monster mobile app allows for the writing of cover letters and resumes, this is really an activity better suited for tablets (I can’t even imagine writing a resume on my mobile phone). A tablet app would allow for the introduction of editorial material, advertising and other features that, while possible on a smartphone, work much better on a device with a larger display.

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