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Monster’s New Strategy: Aggregate All the Jobs; Pay for Performance; Broaden Candidate Base

by May 14, 2014, 12:41 pm ET

Monster strategy 1Careers publisher Monster Worldwide this morning outlined a sweeping new strategy that vastly expands its job offerings and the universe of candidates  — by aggregating them from social sites and the Internet generally — and introduces new pricing models that will allow it to attract the smallest employer.

Monster’s Strategy Briefing conducted for investors, analysts, and others at company headquarters in Weston, Massachusetts, is bold and, in the words of Chairman, President and CEO Sal Iannuzzi, “This is disruptive to everyone of our competitors.”

It puts the company in head-to-head competition with Indeed and other job aggregators, changes the game for job boards with the traditional pay to post pricing model, challenges LinkedIn, and even takes on low-priced, entry-level oriented Craigslist.

In the first 90 minutes of the briefing, company executives broadly described a three pillar strategy.

Pillar one it called Monster Reach, describes the company’s expansion of the number of jobs it offers to job seekers, and the increase in social media distribution and targeting of paid jobs.

Pillar two is Monster Connections, which is a significant broadening of the individuals “discoverable for sourcing.” These will come from collecting profiles and other candidate information from social networks and elsewhere on the Internet. Connections also includes new methods for directly communicating with those people.

Pillar three is Monster Solutions, the name given to its analytical tools, CRM, and other cloud-based   services.

Details on how all of these integrate and what each of the moving parts look like and how they will function wasn’t part of today’s presentation. It will take time to digest the plan and learn the specifics.

Iannuzzi said Monster teams will do roadshows in the coming weeks, with most of the new features and pricing rolling out in the U.S. on July 1. Europe will follow shortly after.

However, Monster’s CFO, James Langrock, described the financial implications of the new strategy, detailing the size of the market potential and the potential for boosting Monster’s financial performance within 24 months. He predicted that the company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) would reach 35 percent, a significant improvement.

Much of the analysts’ questions at the end of the presentation focused on the financial implications, as well as seeking more detail on the specifics of the strategy. For the recruiting industry, the strategy marks a significant overhaul in the way Monster does business.

The company is clearly setting its sights on expanding into the long tail of employers, specifically mentioning Craigslist and its $25 (in some markets; $75 in metro markets) job ads. A new pay-for-performance model will make Monster attractive to the “pizza shop owner” who previously spent $25 on Craigslist, as one Monster official explained.

But the company’s new aggregation of online jobs puts it directly in pursuit of Indeed, the largest aggregator in the world, by shifting from a purely paid ad business model to one that will now include a mix of paid and free ads.

Here are the highlights of developments most directly affecting recruiters:

  1. Monster will aggregate jobs from online sources all over the world. In the U.S. alone, jobs available on the site have already increased from 250,000 to 1.5 million in the last few months. By the end of the year, the total will reach about 4 million. Like the aggregators, these ads will appear in Monster’s search at no charge to the employer.
  2. A pay-for-performance model is being added to the pricing mix. Monster will keep duration pricing — the traditional paid job model for the industry — adding a paid-for-performance option it expects will appeal to the smallest, price-conscious employer.
  3. Customers will have more choices of where their paid ads appear, including social media sites. Twitter and Facebook were two sites specifically mentioned. These jobs ads, company officials explained, can be narrowly targeted and will be able to reach not only those individuals with a connection to the company (i.e. a company follower or fan), but others who fit the job profile.
  4. The number of candidates in the Monster database is already growing “massively,” as one presenter described the increase from Monster’s aggregation of candidate data from the Web and from social media sites. Iannuzzi said recruiters now have access to 115 million profiles in the Monster database; enough millions more to bring the number to 200 million will be added in the coming weeks.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • Gareth Cooper

    “This is disruptive to everyone of our competitors.”

    Not from where I am sitting. This looks like an enormous reaction and more like the “significant overhaul in the way Monster does business” as quoted towards the end of the article.

    LinkedIn were truly disruptive when Monster and co were king of the recruiting world.

    Time will tell whether this is a game changer.

  • Richard Araujo

    Sounds like they’re adopting the practices already used by their competitors. I don’t have that much faith in their ability to maintain, despite whatever small bump such a move might give them, if it took them this long to realize people don’t necessarily want to shell out a million dollars for a one month job ad that may or may not produce candidates for them.

  • Rathin Sinha

    This is ten years too late! The ideas and plans were there ten years ago but the fear of cannibalization of listing revenue paralyzed the company. Often times, success leads to extinction- especially when that means taking an unknown path while on an apparently secure and successful spot. Most of the entrepreneurs and innovators in the company are long gone – so it will be interesting to see if the new ‘strategy’ makes any change for the better, or turns out to be just a final attempt for survival. History is not on their side.

  • http://www.RickGillis.com Rick Gillis

    I agree with the previous comments. The terms ‘Monster’ and ‘disruptive’ no longer belong in the same sentence.

  • Stephanie McDonald

    Unless they significantly improve the candidate experience (can we stop pushing ITT tech and other “colleges” who are preying on candidates, please?!) they will continue to be seen as less than Indeed.

  • Darryl Clements

    Not sure it’s a clear as to how effective this will be. There appears to be “more” but not necessarily a clear path to “better.”

    Go to Monster now and the first thing that’s annoying is ads – first come or highest bidder right in your face. Go to LinkedIn, the first thing is your profile. Ads are there, but not as spammy feeling. That has to be fixed before any strategy can succeed.

  • Richard Araujo

    A true innovation would be a pay-per-hire, or at least a pay-per-applicant model, which is starting to show up in the market. Thing is that would force confrontations with their clients; i.e., “You got ten solid applicants, all of whom have the qualifications you asked for in the ad, but you didn’t hire any of them, so now you don’t want to pay…”

    The simple truth is there’s only so much you can accomplish with what amounts to job ad distribution, and feeding the results of even a successful ad into a dysfunctional hiring process, which most are, will yield less than stellar results. But, since no one in HR/Recruiting, much less upper management, will take the blame for the lack of results, it’ll have to get pinned somewhere else. Monster, or Indeed, or CareerBuilder are convenient targets, especially if the applicant flow is low. Not writing an effective ad, or offering a particularly good job, or salary, or benefits, or work environment, or forcing people through endless interviews, or demanding college degrees when they’re not really needed to do the job, won’t ever be brought us possible reasons for not making a hire.

    That’s just the way it is. There are people out there who are qualified and looking for work, and the job boards all do essentially what they’re supposed to, they get the ad out there for people to see. Companies just don’t want to face the fact that their marketing hype about what a massive Privilege! and Opportunity! it is to work there just doesn’t hold up to the evidence of reality. Information flows these days and people are less afraid to ask questions.

    If it’s such a great company, why is the pay so low? If it’s such a great company, why is their Glassdoor score 2.0 or lower? If it’s such a great opportunity, why have they been through 10 people already in this very position? Why hasn’t this company promoted someone internally for the last ten years, nor given annual raises higher than 1.5% in the same time period? People are asking these questions, implicitly and even explicitly now. If companies can’t answer them, or fix the underlying reasons why it seems to be the case for their particular organization, the best written and most widely and effectively distributed job ad possible won’t make much of a difference.

  • http://www.originate.com Rob Mallery

    “Monster… Meet 21st Century… 21st Century… Meet Monster. Now you guys play nice!! Monster has been napping for the past 15 years, so don’t mind the eye boogies and the heavy blinking!”

  • Cristina Hunt

    Wow, I hate to pile on here, but isn’t this pretty much what companies like Simply Hired have been doing for years? I don’t understand what’s newsworthy about this.

  • Bill Strong

    The biggest difference is that Monster has semantic search technology that they have purchased patents on and have been developing to now take all of this big data and instantly search and distribute to recruiters and job seekers alike. With Job Matching technology and new acquisition Talentbin, which is like Linkedin on steroids, I think Monster is in a decent position to capitalize on the big data frenzy going on.

  • Martin Snyder

    When I look at Monster’s stock performance and posting/activity metrics, I see a mismatch between the rhetoric of Monster’s doom and the reality of a stable consumer brand. I think there is some classism at play because Monster’s job postings are targeted more at everyday working people than higher end techs (Dice) or creative/sales (CareerBuilder) or full spectrum (Indeed).

    I like Monster’s shift toward technology and I certainly think their mantle of hubris has been shed…picked up by LinkedIn I believe…..

  • Richard Araujo

    @ Martin,

    Agreed. I think this will just be a development that will allow them to keep their market standing. It’s not innovation or something truly new, it’s just some proven techniques from competitors that they are adopting.

    As for your opinion on LinkedIn, I agree as well. If you take a snapshot of the market at any given point in time, there are always winners and losers, those doing very well, those doing poorly, and those doing essentially average. And those positions change over time. LinkedIn’s hype will die off eventually as their site becomes less and less hyped and people regard it more as the hopped up resume database that it is.

  • Scott Weaver

    I, like many here, don’t like Monster. That said, I think this is a good move for them. They may be doing what the Indeed’s of the world did 10 years ago, but no one has the name recognition of Monster and Careerbuilder. People gravitated to Indeed over the years because of its ‘one-stop-shop’ ability as well as its ease of use. If you can do that with the large brand backing of Monster… I’d consider that a game changer.

    Add to that the fact that I have another large source to post my jobs for free?? I’ll take it.

  • Mike Wolford

    From where I’m sitting this is huge. They have an enormous database of resumes that they are now going to be able to match to social profiles via the tools they acquired when the purchased TalentBin. In addition, they are adding in Indeed’s pricing model. This will give you access to multiple points of information on a single candidate that has not been widely available to the market before in a pay for performance model. Its exactly what I would have done if I was Monster. If nothing else it puts them back in the game, possibly out front, for the first time in a long time.