The decline of Monster.com from HR leader to follower

1 month ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Features

At one point in time, Monster ($NYSE:MWW) was valued at $5.5 billion. It was the leading job-listing and finding site on the internet until only a few years ago. It was the first of its kind, a true pioneer. Today, Monster is part of Randstad Holding, an Amsterdam-based HR company that acquired the website in 2016 for $429 million.

But ask yourself this: when was the last time you, or someone you know, used Monster for his or her job search, either as a recruiter or prospect? Chances are, you turn to LinkedIn ($NASDAQ:MSFT) or Indeed ($TYO:6098).

Fact is, Monster is an afterthought these days. Here's where it's at, according to the data.

From first-run to also-run

Monster made finding a job online a real thing with a massive database of real-world jobs and updates throughout the day. During the company's prime years, job-seekers anxiously awaited listing updates, and recruiters wouldn't think twice about posting a job to the site.

But then competitors like LinkedIn, Indeed, CareerBuilder, Ladders, and Glassdoor moved in with swiftness and innovation, making Monster's simple approach to job listings look very 20th century.

Monster scrambled to keep up, launching an app that, at least for some time, did decently well in terms of login data ranks.

But Monster simply couldn't keep pace with Indeed. Now billing itself as the "#1 job site in the world", Indeed dominates the very same space that Monster created.

Scrambling to find its way, Monster launched a LinkedIn-like professional networking app called MonsterBeKnown in 2011. The app was met with lukewarm reviews. AdWeek even said that the app "lacked value" due to some critical missing features. Usage data for the app sunk, today, the app is nowhere to be found.

So what is Monster now?

As of today, Monster is little more than a front-end for a recruiting company with a focus on creating commissions as revenue for the company through hires. This operation is called "Talent Fusion by Monster", and currently has close to 300 jobs listed on Monster.com itself as a way to create leads.

Can Monster rebuild?

One has to ask if Monster — and its parent company Randstad — wants to rebuild. It describes itself as an "online employment solution for people seeking great jobs", distancing itself from its simple past. On its careers site, it proclaims that its "roots are as a 'job board' for [its] grown into so much more. Today, Monster is a recognized global provider of a broad range of job search, career management, recruitment and talent management products and searches."

On its own careers site, Monster lists 29 openings, most in its Weston, MA headquarters, 9 of which are listed via job-tracking data from its careers site. 

Of those positions, most are IT and engineering positions, an indication that the company is focused on supporting its role as an HR provider. 

As Of Date

Title

Category

Location Text

20190217

Sales Development Representative

Sales/Retail/Business Development

Weston, Massachusetts  US

20190217

Marketing Manager, Research and Insight

Marketing/Product

Weston, Massachusetts  US

20190217

Compliance/Privacy Analyst

Legal

Weston, Massachusetts  US

20190217

Network Engineer

IT/Software Development

Weston, Massachusetts  US

20190217

.Net Developer

IT/Software Development

Weston, Massachusetts  US

20190217

SQL Server DBA Developer

IT/Software Development

Weston, Massachusetts  US

20190217

Talent Acquisition Partner

Human Resources

Weston, Massachusetts  US

20190217

Senior Talent Acquisition Partner

Human Resources

Weston, Massachusetts  US

20190217

Campaign Manager

Customer Support/Client Care

Weston, Massachusetts  US

In other words, Monster, once the premier place to find and fill a job, is now little more than an outlet for Randstad. One look at Randstad's own site confirms this, as its mission statement sounds an awful lot like Monster's: "Our business is matching smart people with great jobs."

And that's not necessarily a bad thing for Monster. Gone are the days of attempting to be another LinkedIn or chasing the traction that Indeed has built recently. Now that Monster has Randstad — and Randstad has Monster — it may be just where it belongs: more the monster hiding under the bed rather than the big one in the closet.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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