Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Monster reinvents itself to compete in online job market

NEW YORK — Remember Monster.com?

Monster reinvents itself to compete in online job market

Monster executives Joe Budzienski (left) and Mark Conway at the company’s offices in Weston, Massachusetts. Monster wants to recapture some of its past lustre by offering new cutting-edge tools for employers.
Photo: THE NEW YORK TIMES

NEW YORK — Remember Monster.com?

In the late 1990s, it capitalised on the rise of the web to put employment ads and workers’ resumes into vast searchable databases online, effectively killing off print newspapers’ Help Wanted sections. Pumped up by fast growth, witty Super Bowl ads and general dot-com mania, the stock of its parent company hit US$92 (S$118) a share in early 2000.

Then the disrupter was itself disrupted. Competing websites, as well as aggregators that scanned many sites for job listings and put them in one place, began to eat into Monster’s business. LinkedIn was born and became a global behemoth by positioning itself as an upscale matchmaker that helped people build careers, not just find the next job.

Today, the company that owns Monster.com, renamed Monster Worldwide, is a shadow of its former self and its stock trades for less than US$4 a share. It still earns substantial revenue, US$194.4 million in the second quarter of this year, from its job board and various other services. But now it wants to recapture some of its past lustre by offering new cutting-edge tools for employers.

Its latest products, both rooted in start-ups acquired by Monster this year, use big-data snooping and social-ad targeting to improve the process of matching job openings and potential applicants.

The more developed of the two new tools, called TalentBin, works by building profiles of individual workers. But unlike LinkedIn, it does so without their active participation or consent. Instead, TalentBin scans publicly posted information on social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup and Twitter, as well as what people have put on industry-specific sites, such as GitHub for software engineers and Dribbble for visual designers, to craft the dossiers.

It then allows employers to run their job listings against the database to find people who meet certain criteria, such as “knows a lot about Java programming”.

Recruiters can also study the dossiers to craft personalised email pitches to top candidates, citing personal or professional details from their profiles — something like “I loved the shoe designs you posted on Coroflot”.

Creepy? Maybe a bit, acknowledged Mr Pete Kazanjy, a vice-president for product and technology at Monster and a co-founder of TalentBin. After all, most of the people receiving the job pitches do not know that these dossiers on them exist and probably are not even looking for a new job.

But he argued that people know they are being tracked by Facebook, Google, Yahoo and legions of unnamed data brokers. Receiving a thoughtful pitch about a new job that fits your talents and interests is a lot better than getting those generic emails and spam that recruiters so often send out.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa