Monster’s 7 Warning Signs May Have Come Too Late

Mar 16, 2012
This article is part of a series called Financial.

Is Monster becoming a Mini-ster?

That’s the kind of question that’s really meant to be a statement. No matter how you answer it, the predicate already tells us it’s going to be bad for the subject. No surprise, then, that Jason Buss posed it last week in the midst of offering “7 Warning Signs For”

It’s a sad litany of the ills that have befallen the once-mighty job board. The company that is synonymous with digital recruiting, is up for sale, or in the Wall Street speak used by CEO Sal Iannuzzi, it’s exploring “strategic alternatives.”

The company has retained financial advisers to help it with that exploring. The outcome could be almost anything from nothing to a partial divestiture to the outright sale that many think is the likely path. The only mystery there is who would buy.

Investment adviser Motley Fool says LinkedIn would be a perfect suitor. There may be fine Wall Street reasons why that might make sense. However, I can think of at least one good reason against it. Recruiters already are beginning to see LinkedIn as a job board, a pretty good one with a strong social component, but a job board nonetheless. And even though we now have two independent studies, using wholly different data, to tell us job boards deliver candidates that get hired and do it very well, they get no respect. By buying Monster, LinkedIn would confirm the suspicions and send recruiters looking for the next alternative.

One other interesting point. Buss notes: “Comscore shows leading the job search pack.” True enough when it comes to the job search traffic. But in overall careers and jobs focused traffic, LinkedIn beats everyone with 36.8 million uniques.

(Attention data geeks: the Comscore numbers represent unduplicated uniques, and the job search number for Indeed is smaller than what the chart shows, since the latter counts visitors to other parts of Indeed besides job searching.)

This article is part of a series called Financial.
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