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Mon, Feb 7, 2011

Talent Acquisition

Talent Acquisition: The Real Job of Job Boards

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It seems every day, there’s another discussion about “job boards,” and today was no exception as I kicked off my week reading the latest entry in the canon, “How Job Boards Work” by Laurie Ruettimann.  For a little context, here’s how my friend and favorite “Cynical Girl” kicked off the conversation:

“Readers have asked for a few points of clarification on how job boards work, how Human Resources professionals and recruiters fill their jobs, and how job boards make money.  I’m happy to oblige. This could be a very long post if I don’t watch myself. I’ll ask my HR/recruiting readers to fill in the blanks and correct my mistakes in the comments.”

I normally watch these conversations unfold from the sidelines, but since she offered, I figured I would fill in a few “blanks” for her audience and our larger industry…and maybe vent a little.  That’s the nice thing about blogging; it’s cheaper than therapy.

Of course, the title of Laurie’s post is How Job Boards Work (and they do!) but it’s important to know how we got here, and why job boards exist in the first place. But I can only speak to what I know, which is Monster.com; I’d hate to further confuse our alignment with the category.

Now, I understand that this post, appearing on our corporate blog, might be perceived by some as self-serving or overly promotional. But it’s my hope that you understand, if you’re reading this, that we exist for one singular purpose: to serve you.  Seriously.

Since we were created in 1994, our strategy has centered on building an audience of, and trust with, career-minded individuals.  From newly minted college graduates just entering the workforce to seasoned executives looking to climb that last rung of the corporate ladder, job seekers across all levels of experience and expertise share a belief, a hope, that there HAS to be a better job out there.

Helping job seekers find that better job, that next step, is the engine which drives Monster’s strategy, and our ability to match the right people with the right opportunity is the engine powering our beliefs, our business model and, ultimately, our bottom line.

Look at the history of our tag lines: There’s a Better Job Out There, Never Settle, Today’s the Day, Your Calling Is Calling.

Those are more than marketing to me; they’re my passion, the same passion that’s gotten me out of bed every day for the last 7 years: helping people improve their lives.

A Great Job Equals A Great Life

Call me an optimist (or maybe even an idealist) but I believe that ‘Great Job equals Great Life.’  Over five thousand Monster employees helping job seekers in 60 countries believe in the exact same thing.  I’m confident there are many people rolling their eyes out there.  But here’s the thing: it’s true.  And it’s that basic equation that keeps us keeping on, our formula for success.

In her post, Ruettimann writes that Monster is “a place where HR and recruiters post their jobs. This is called ‘monetizing the employer’ because HR pays to list their jobs. You don’t pay.”

Of course, monetizing audiences is not a new concept. It didn’t take long to figure out there is value in millions of highly engaged career-oriented internet users, a concept so simple that even Tony Danza could understand.  But for some, the fact that employers pay the bills seems to create a bit of confusion around the question of, “Who’s the Boss.”

But remember, it’s that audience, those job seekers, who employers are ultimately after, backed by the understanding that the perfect hire is out there, somewhere.  The balance between preserving the experience of job seeking end users and giving employers the tools (and tactics) necessary to find the talent they’re looking for is top of mind on a daily basis.

Job Postings have become just one of many ways employers connect with Job Seekers.  As Reuttimann’s post points out, there are also resume databases that employers pay to search.  Typically, these two offerings are critical to being determined a “Job Board.”

It’s important to note, both outlets work!  Every day, companies hire candidates sourced through Job Postings. And every day recruiters find talent through resume databases.  In fact, semantic search technology is making it easier than ever for recruiters and employers to find top talent faster.

What Ruettimann, her readers, and most job seekers may not understand, however (at least judging from the sentiment in the proliferating posts on job boards and their viability) is the growing role that media plays in how employers find and connect with them.  Nearly five years ago, Monster conceived the idea of the behaviorally-targeted Career Ad Network.

Today, the patented technology delivers over 12 BILLION (that’s billion, with a B) ad impressions to 69 million unique internet users in the United States alone.  This allows our audience to connect with career opportunities while simply using the internet for ‘normal’ day-to-day activities:

“Checking stock prices, ad for a Sales Manager. Checking last nights scores, ad for a Sales Manager. Grabbing a recipe for dinner, Sales Manager Ad.   Wait a second…I am a Sales Manager…click.”

Now, I can’t speak for all job boards.  But that kind of power is what this so-called “Job Board” delivers.

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  • http://www.fasttrackrecruitment.com Mitch Sullivan

    You lost me when you tried to convince people that your and Monster’s reason for being is one big altruistic crusade to improve people’s lives.

    Yeah, right.

  • http://www.monster.com Eric Winegardner

    Appreciate the candor, Mitch. Wasn’t trying to convince you of anything.

    Monster happens to be in a rare position where our ‘widget’ is powerful. We don’t manufacture shoes, or cars, or any other shiny trinket that can be coveted by a consumer. When we are firing on all cylinders, and at the top of our game, we are creating and offering products and services that bring employers and workers together.

    Magic happens every day in the world of work. I see it. I believe it. I don’t allow myself, or my team, to lose sight of the role we play in helping people, help themselves.

    We are a business. We take risks, and profit from the investments we make. That being said, I hold firm to our guiding principles and assure you that career-minded individuals are at the center of our strategies.


  • http://starkravingmanager.com AS

    “Thanks”, Eric. I linked here from Lauries site.

    So, explain to me the justification of seekers paying for elevated status on boards like Monster or “others”. What I mean is, they offer “premium” services which really don’t “add value”. Sure, your resume is on the top of the list…along with EVERY other sucker who paid for the service. So, you are still in a pool of applicants. And, there is no guarantee that the recruiter will spend any time w/your “elevated” resume. I see these “premium” services as equally unethical as some other paid job boards. The only difference is at the point where you hand over your money for the service.


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