7 Warning Signs for Monster.com 18 Comments


In 1999, Monster was born and quickly became the largest and one of the most respected job boards in the industry.  Over the past few years (like most job sites), Monster.com has tried to rebrand itself as much more than a job board, with little success.

The site has made a lot of headlines recently, many of which highlight a gloomy future. Is Monster becoming a Mini-ster?

Here are 7 recent warning signs:

  1. Last week, UBS downgraded Monster Worldwide Inc (MWW), citing market share losses in North America. The news cited Monster losing market share to competitors in 2011, and Analyst John Janedis references limited chances of a reversal in this trend in 2012.
  2. 6 weeks ago, Monster.com announced it would be laying off 7% of its’ workforce (400 people), as continuing global economic uncertainties persist.
  3. At Baird’s 2012 Business Solutions Conference last week, Monster.com’s CEO Sal Iannuzzi shared they find themselves in an ironic position considering the company is in a stronger position that it has been – in years – with a stock price that is totally in-adequate. During the session Iannuzzi shared Monster is exploring strategic alternatives. Here is an audio replay of that presentation.
  4. At the Baird event, Iannuzi also shared Monter has well over 300,000 clients compared to LinkedIn’s 9,200 clients. He added Monster focuses on postings and search primarily for jobs between $50,000-$100,000 and in comparison LinkedIn is mostly search – for jobs paying more than $150,000. He added Monster and LinkedIn are in 2 different sectors of the market, and that even if you do use LinkedIn to search profiles you should use Monster’s search technology to do so. Seriously?
  5. Monster has evolved its’ products, and launched new ones too. BeKnown, as an example, made the Top 5 Recruiting Fails for 2011. Another example, nearly 80% of the Monster iPad app users rate it 1, out of 5.  This, from a technology leader.
  6. Comscore shows Indeed.com leading the job search pack, with over 50% of the traffic in the US. CareerBuilder is #2, and Monster is #3.
  7. MSNBC posted an article yesterday – Is LinkedIn Ready for a Monster Acquisition? The article states that Analysts see Monster.com’s revenue and earnings falling by 6% and 30%, respectively, compared to other competitors facing growth. As a comparison, Analysts are banking on revenue and profitability soaring 67% and 74% for LinkedIn. The financial difference between these 2:  Monster’s enterprise value is less than $1 billion, while LinkedIn’s value is more than $8 billion.

While many say job boards are not dead (and they’re not), it will be interesting to see how the strategic alternatives the company is considering play out in the job board space. Until then, we’ll see if the company will transform itself, or go from a Monster to a Mini-ster.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Friday, March 9th, 2012
  • This Post Has 18 Comments

    1. Chris Parker says:

      The one thing I have noticed about Monster that has made me not want to use it anymore is they focus mainly on sales positions and Military type positions. I still get daily updates from Monster but have not looked at them in well over a year, I just delete them.

    2. Josh Morgenstern says:

      Point of clarification…Monster was born and operating before 1999.

    3. I’ve used Monster in the past and felt it offered a very poor user experience. Social Media is probably its biggest threat now, with Linkedin being a great place to promote your skills and search for opportunities.

    4. RJ Narsavage says:

      Regardless, you should definitely have a profile and presence on Monster ( and the other traditional legacy sites ) … simply update your profile\resume once a week to keep it at\near the top of the pile. Be an active-passive member … don’t rely on it. It’s just another tool in your belt.

    5. Candis Cando says:

      Monster has unrealistic pricing for a small business.
      No wonder they are slipping to #3.

    6. Ben Gregg says:

      I agree! While Monster is still a useful resource for lower level positions (100K and below), I find that Linkedin is much better for those harder to find senior level and “passive” candidates, many of whom just can’t be found on Monster. Linked is clearly expanding, and represents a real challenge to Monster.

    7. Jason,
      I couldn’t agree more.

      Sal and Monster are now desperate.

      They have a well known product and brand, but Wall Street is no longer excited.

      Monster is NOT the go to job board for positions between $50-150K.

      A quick search for job postings will show that most job listings are entry-level or part-time.

      In March 2010, I wrote a blog post, LinkedIn is the new Monster.

      Nothing has changed since then, except LinkedIn going public and gaining more corporate recruiting traction.

      On Feb 28th, the day before Sal’s comments at the Baird Conference, Monster’s stock was trading at $6.67.
      Today, it’s trading at $9.11, a 37% GAIN, in 8 days.

      It’s hard to imagine that the market is going to continue increasing the value of the company based on comments by the CEO, when the business really hasn’t changed.

      Monster is a great company, but it has some work to do.

    8. Sunil says:

      Monster is down but not out. It needs to realign itself to the realities of economics.
      Monster’s tracking system is better than Linkedin. The big difference is that one can post jobs free of cost in different groups on Linkedin, this does attract lot of traffic.

      In India Naukri.com remains the No. 1 jobs portal. The reason is that the product features and pricing are more aligned to the local market. What Monster needs is few new thinking caps.

    9. Tracy O. says:

      The world of job searching has changed so much in the last 5 years. As a job seeker, one needs to NETWORK with companies and hiring managers, information that LinkedIn provides. I also look at LinkedIn as the Social Media for Professionals like myself. Another thing about Monster is the uploading of resumes – text only resumes do not look good. I have the same criticism about CareerBuilder. I say upload your resume as a PDF and that’s it – your resume in YOUR format.

    10. Sam says:

      The Board should never have given the job of CEO to someone with:
      – No internet experience
      – No consumer experience
      – No recruiting experience

      Time to change the Board and the CEO.

    11. […] been going on in the media lately (check out Jason Buss’s post on it from last week – 7 Warning Signs For Monster), I thought it was high time we start giving kudos to the new King of the Job […]

    12. Adam Rose says:

      I haven’t posted a job on Monster in years. It has a terrible user interface and no quality control. LinkedIn and Indeed are really the only places to post a job outside of niche job boards.

    13. MikeyB says:

      Aside from Indeed driving more seekers to your jobs on your career portal, and at a fraction of the cost- Have you checked out http://www.indeed.com/resumes? This resume search product will drive Monster further down!

    14. The Monster Board — the predecessor organization to Monster.com — went live in 1994. Monster.com came into existence in 1999 when The Monster Board merged with Online Career Center (OCC). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster.com

    15. Monster has a marketing problem, not a product problem. It may only have 70% of the profiles that LinkedIn has but they are all job seekers and all less than 18mths old (they scrap older ones). LinkedIn’s search interface is rubbish (hence why people like me make money to train people how to get around it) whilst Monster have invested heavily in semantic search which whilst not perfect is better than nearly all of its competitors.
      Whilst BeKnown was definitely a flop in 2011 I think they were just experimenting in advance of a much more serious Beknown/ Monster integration in 2012.
      I write most job boards off due to their lack of innovation and “head in the sand” approach to social media but believe Monster will get there in the end as they seem prepared to make mistakes and learn from them.
      Time will tell but I wouldn’t write them off.
      Traffic volume is no measure of the success of a job board. Indeed’s users spend significantly less time on site and look at far fewer pages. Their traffic quality is poor and they have much lower conversion rates. They are not a threat. CareerBuilder on the other hand, now there is a threat, yet they do nothing in Europe! Interesting.
      Thanks for stirring me on a Saturday morning!
      La Feile Phadraig everyone!

    16. Jeff says:

      Really, job boards ARE dead. Get over it. Facebook out numbers Monster, Careerbuilder, Dice, Indeed, Simply Hired, even USAJobs with visitors each month. Why do we even care about F$&$$ Monster? Why is there so much drama around Monster. Let’s move on folks get over it. Enough with the water cooler talk about Monster. The reality is Facebook is wher the talent is. 68% o Facebook users have their professional profile on their page. Also, over 18 million Facebook users found jobs though Facebook last year (complete.com) Job board are done! That’s it!

    17. Alex says:

      Monster reminds me of what Yahoo is to the search space. Slowly being removed as a household name and being replaced by other more relevant and efficient forms of career related services.

    18. Georgo says:

      I think more and more employers are seeing the reality that its a big mistake to hire at monster.com for reasons such as local talents bring limited skills and creativity. Not to mention the expenses that will be able to save if they hire internationally and still getting the same quality of work.

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