Gen Xers, Baby Boomers May Be the Ones Who Save Monster, Internal Survey Says

Have you heard? Monster is making a comeback. In light of being acquired by Randstad in 2016, the once-mighty job board has been reborn with new leadership, a new mascot, and maybe even a new job search.

It makes sense to start anew and connect with a whole new generation of recruiting professionals. “We were asleep at the wheel on the millennial rise,” a Monster executive, who prefers to remain anonymous, told me recently. Indeed, most young people hear “monster” and think energy drink more than they do online recruiting.

However, Monster may not even need the youngsters if it wants to become relevant again. A new internal survey done by the company says the older folks roaming the halls of recruitment may have more to do with a comeback than the newbies. Makes sense, as fortysomethings and fiftysomethings are the ones who first fell in love with Monster back in the early days of the web.

Yep, those young professionals of the late ’90s, who first championed Monster, are now in charge of the recruitment ad dollars, and they apparently still have affection toward good ol’ Trumpasaurus. “It’s those in Generation X and the Baby Boomers who still remember us from their first experience using online job sites,” said Penny Queller, SVP and GM of Monster’s staffing and recruiting business unit. “The brand is still strong with these demographics.”

Queller opinion is buoyed by Primary Intelligence, a company she hired to do a customer experience survey on Monster’s client base. Encompassing 10 percent of its staffing and recruiting customers, Primary Intelligence put participants through a 30-minute questionnaire to get their thoughts on the company.

The report said 76 percent of those polled reported a positive relationship with their account manager. Additionally, 70 percent of respondents have increased or kept steady their spend/usage of Monster over the years. Among the most ardent supporters were those who first used Monster as young recruiters 15-20 years ago.

“In all my years, I have learned to respect what Monster has done,” said Maxine Richmond, VP talent acquisition and strategic staffing delivery at Stefanini. “I’ve been with Monster since the early days of my career. There were several years in between where job boards were still my responsibility. Because of the models that Monster offered and the cost, I leaned more towards other job boards.

“I’ve seen the recent progress that Monster has made in becoming more client-driven. Their responsiveness to the client’s needs overall, not only the customer service but the product, has been enhanced through the years. I’m pulling for Monster and I’d love to see them be the top provider again.“

Jim Essey, president and CEO, TemPositions added, “I’ve been in the staffing business since before Monster even existed. Needless to say, I’ve seen them rise to amazing success and, more recently, struggle to hold their value in a competitive space. I feel a strong partnership with my Monster team.

“They listen intently and have moved beyond being a job board to delivering innovative tech that is making it easier for us to do business at TemPositions. I’ve been watching closely the last year as Monster has brought in new leadership and has begun messaging about their direction. I’d like to see Monster win again and get their swagger back. That would be a great recovery story.”

Monster also positively impacted those who were job seekers back in the day. “In 2000, I posted a blind resume on Monster with the hopes that a great new opportunity would find me,” said Greg Henrichon, CoreMedical Group. “The owner of a small medical staffing firm, Core Medical Group, reached out to me about starting a new division for them. I joined Core Medical Group in April of 2001 and the rest is history. Since 2001, we have used Monster as one of our primary sources for applicants. Monster has changed my life and I hope that its resurgence as a dominant online career site will help to carry our business to even greater heights.”

Now, before you go and refresh your MySpace profile and update your Top 8 friends, while Monster may have a special place in the barely beating hearts of older professionals, it can’t ignore future generations of recruitment decision-makers.

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Twitter is full of users who are disenchanted with Monster’s tech shortcomings, “Being one of the first to being the best #jobs site, Monster has one of the worst #MachineLearning systems or don’t even have one. I always get irrelevant job postings,” tweeted @ckalapala. More direct was @stem_is_a_myth, who shared, “Indeed is no different than that m**fucker Monster which never leads to anything. Online job postings are illegitimate, you will fail.” (But, they didn’t use the asterisks.)

Wait, did I just age myself highlighting Twitter instead of Snap or Instagram? Hey, get off my lawn!

Of course, young or old, Monster is going to have one hell of a fight on its hands if it hopes to really become really relevant again. Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and a plethora of startups are hitting the job board stalwart from both sides of the competitive landscape. Indeed.com, the “startup” who first took out Monster a decade ago is fighting the same fight.

Turns out, no one is immune to progress, not even monsters.

Joel Cheesman

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.