Monster’s 7 Warning Signs May Have Come Too Late

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.

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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.)

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.