Why LinkedIn Shouldn’t Buy Monster.com 2 Comments


A couple of months ago we shared the 7 warning signs for Monster.com. Fast forward to today, Monster is preparing to send financial information to interested parties for a potential sale. Is LinkedIn one of them?

One source says LinkedIn expressed an interest, another says they withdrew it, and a third states that Monster or Bank of America made it up – hoping to drum up interest.

Only a few people know if LinkedIn has or had an interest -and it doesn’t really matter. LinkedIn shouldn’t acquire Monster, or any job board for that matter.

Wait! Some say LinkedIn has already become another job board, so why wouldn’t an acquisition make sense? Wouldn’t an acquisition of a job board increase their membership and open up a segment that has a lot of room for growth?

LinkedIn would face several challenges with an acquisition of any job board. Why?

  • LinkedIn changed the recruiting landscape in less than 10 years. Compare this movement to what has happened in the job board space during that same time.
  • Sure, recruiting solutions is significant makeup of LinkedIn’s revenue but to make a blanket statement about LinkedIn becoming a job board is short sighted.
  • Reputation.  LinkedIn has earned a reputation as one of the top online recruiting channels and sources.
  • Diluting price vs. value.  There is a large pricing gap between LinkedIn and job boards and an acquisition could cause some internal conflicts and client confusion with their value proposition and pricing.
  • Job boards are still job boards.  Yes, I know job boards have attempted branding themselves as so much more than job boards.  This hasn’t played out well for most of them.
  • LinkedIn has set its’ targets on replacing things like Resume’s, business cards and rolodexes – with business intelligence.  A job board acquisition doesn’t align with these strategies.


There is massive differentiation with LinkedIn’s strategy and their success – in comparison to that of a job board. Consider the following:

  • In March 2012, LinkedIn was ranked as the 31st most-visited website worldwide  with 102.5 million unique visitors, according to comScore.  ComScore also measured 9.4 billion page views.
  • 3 out of 4 members use LinkedIn for everything business, from keeping up on trends to reading business news.
  • The LinkedIn “share” button is now on 400,000 sites worldwide, enabling professionals to share news articles and other content with their networks on LinkedIn. Referral traffic from LinkedIn grew 45 percent between Q3 and Q4 2011.
  • LinkedIn members did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform in 2011 and are on pace to surpass 5.3 billion in 2012.
  • More than 60,000 developers are using LinkedIn APIs to create innovative tools and services for professionals, averaging over two billion API calls per month as of March 2012.
  • LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than one million LinkedIn Groups.
  • More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.

Still think LinkedIn is a job board? Here’s an infographic that might change your mind.

LinkedIn isn’t perfect, and there are still a lot of people playing the social network vs. professional network confusion card (cluelessly).  If I were at LinkedIn, the only “job” site acquisition that would get my vote would be for an aggregation site – for very different reasons.


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.

Tags: , , , ,

  • Posted on: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012