I recently interviewed Monster CEO Scott Gutz and chief product officer Chris Cho for my podcast. We discussed a variety of topics, but here the five things that stood out the most, in no particular order:
Video resumes. Monster launched Monster Studios in the fall, a tool for recruiters to add video to job postings. It has been such a success that the company expects to add video resumes to the mix next year.
Gutz said, “We think video is an important component [to finding a job], it’s one of the components that we think candidates will effectively consider going forward and we are really very, very bullish on on Monster Studios as a major element of the Monster technology stack and the Monster employer and candidate solutions going forward.” He added, “we are also looking at moving the video solutions into the candidate world as well that would more likely be second half of 2019, but there are some things that you need to take into consideration before the launch.”
Reinventing the resume. Cho doesn’t think much of the current state of resumes, asking “The humble, but lowly resume artifact that, honestly, as a online artifact hasn’t changed in the past two decades, right? It’s still the same Word file, same PDF file, right?” Never mind the fact that others who have tried to change the resume haven’t fared too well, Monster sounds committed to updating the format. “We are making advances in uplifting that artifact with a certain halo of information that I think will yield to better outcomes for employers and both Scott and I are very passionate about that being part of our core strategy.”
No Google search API. Competitors like CareerBuilder and Dice have embraced the integration of Google’s search API into their job search functionality, but Monster is staying clear. “If we were to move to a more commoditized search solution [like Google’s], it doesn’t change the fact that the match and recommendation component of what we do is highly specialized based upon algorithms that have been built out over years and is reflecting a significant investment that we have on the data science side,” Gutz said. “Even if search is commoditized I don’t think match and recommendation will every really be something which we will relinquish.”
Gig economy. Gigs are hot, as companies like Upwork, Plated, and Snag look to capitalize on the trend, which Monster has noticed as well. “So we absolutely see in this next generation, they are going to be looking at gigs as much as they may be looking at full-time jobs, so we’ve got a variety of different initiatives that we’re both exploring both from an internal perspective and from a partnership perspective,” said Cho. “… we absolutely have to consider [gigs] if we want to be all of the jobs to all of the people as we go forward.”
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Chatbots. Another hot trend Monster is looking to embrace is chatbots.”We have multiple different partners that we are discussing the evolution of text and chat with,” said Gutz. “It is available in solutions that we are offering today as we move to our next generation of candidate search for employers. We will have text capabilities built into the search process, and we have a variety of initiatives now around chat, but just to make the very clear statement that we think these are very important components of the employer and candidate experiences going forward, and we intend to be a leader in the space … as more and more traffic moves to mobile and mobile apps or mobile web, we fully expect chat and text to be that much more prominent and that much more usable in that environment.”
I’ve been impressed with many members of Monster’s new executive staff and the company’s direction. The new attitude around transparency and humility has been refreshing. Taking on competitors like LinkedIn and Google feels a little like Monster is bringing a knife to a gunfight, however, so I’m skeptical that the initiatives above will truly move the needle for employers and job seekers alike.
I get the sense that Gutz and his team truly believe they can compete at the highest level, though, so it should be interesting to watch. Time, as always, will tell.