As many as 94% of all French people now see it as essential to be at ease with Internet tools designed for the job market. We provide some insights into the consequences of this trend through the eyes of French small ads website Vivastreet.

Interview with Julien André, head of the job market section at small ads website Vivastreet, following publication on 14 November of the innovation barometer by French market and opinion studies institute BVA in conjunction with Syntec numérique, the largest federation of digital sector professionals in France.

L’Atelier: What type of online search will take you to a small ads site where you can find job vacancies?

Julien André: Out of the 2.5 million visits we register every month on the Vivastreet jobs section, a third come from campaigns to increase traffic and the remaining two thirds from search engines, from direct access to our site and from e-mail alerts created by job-seekers. Among the visitors who land on Vivastreet via search engines – 95% of them via Google – the most frequent search requests are linked to generic ‘job’ key-words – vacancy, open position, etc, searches on our brand – i.e. Vivastreet Jobs, and then combinations of key words such as ‘type of job’ plus ‘geographical situation’ or a ‘generic post’ plus ‘geographical situation’. We’re now seeing a trend among job-seekers towards growing and increasingly professional use of Google, i.e. focusing closely on the specific jobs they’re looking for in a specific geographical area.

How do you source your job vacancies? Are they always vacancies posted by companies?

On Vivastreet Jobs in October we published close to 35,000 small ads carrying job vacancies. Some 95% of these are announcements published by companies, 80% of them in the very small business and small and medium-sized company brackets, with the remaining 20% coming from major firms. Small firms can publish their ads manually directly on Vivastreet using the online form provided. This enables them to receive their first applicants’ CVs free-of-charge in the hours immediately following approval of their ad by the facilitation team. The larger companies, which recruit many more people, and more often, mainly use tools that enable them to gain in speed and efficiency.

Do you see job-seekers actually ‘selling themselves’ on your small ads platform?

Some 5% of the 35,000 small ads published in October were from active job-seekers. These announcements are published in our ‘Job Search’ section and are accessible free-of-charge to recruiters. Over 20,000 CVs are currently posted. In contrast to job vacancies, which have seen a sharp increase in the past few months, we haven’t seen a similar rise in job-seeker ads. Here volumes are stable. Most of these ads are posted by non-management people, who are looking for work in retail, hotels and restaurants, or in the construction industry. However we were agreeably surprised to discover an initiative from a job-seeker who was inspired by the Vivastreet homepage to create his own ‘Vivastreet CV’. It’s a high-quality job.  You can find it on

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to bring on board professional social network Viadeo or online CV provider DoYouBuzz for instance, in order to facilitate CV checking and help target the ads more closely?

We can of course think about forging synergies with other players in the employment world provided that that it make sense for them and creates user value. Viadeo is the number one French social network and as such is an essential tool for establishing a network that can assist the search for employment. At the moment however the site has only 2,000 jobs posted for the attention of its members, which in my opinion isn’t at all representative of the market and simply not dynamic enough to underpin a job-seeker service on a site as powerful as Viadeo.  Be that as it may, given that Vivastreet’s prime mission is to foster contact between companies and job-seekers, yes it might well make sense one day to enable our site visitors to apply for jobs using their Viadeo profile or their DoYouBuzz CV.  If these services are becoming mainstream, let’s not re-invent the wheel, let’s adapt to our users’ requirements.

By Pierre-Marie Mateo