In this Monster.com review, I’ll provide you an in-depth look into the job board.
And, an overview of what’s happened to the site with the onset of competitors, such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and so on.
Let’s get started.
Time certainly does fly. It might not sound accurate, but Monster.com was founded some 25+ years ago (in 1994). Other well-known job boards came on the scene a few years later:
- CareerBuilder.com in 1995
- USAJobs in 1996
- SnagaJob.com in 2000
- FlexJobs.com and Glassdoor.com were both founded in 2007
With internet usage on the rise, searching for a new employment became easier almost overnight. Do you remember the alternative, combing the classifieds? Yuk!
Whether you’re looking for a sales job, tech job, media job, green job, or an engineering job, finding one online was one click away.
Recruitment agencies flocked to these job posting sites and resume databases. At Monster’s peak, the site generated some $770M in revenue and had approx. 4,000 employees.
My first intro to Monster.com was during the Super Bowl in 1999, which aired the “When I Grow Up” commercial:
It’s not an overly impressive advertisement IMHO, as we don’t see the Monster.com logo until the last few seconds.
The commercial received high praise at the time however and was mentioned in Time magazine.
Like others, Monster.com offers an array of resources:
- Search Jobs & Company Profile
- Set up of Daily Notification Alerts
- Research Salary Based by Job/Location
- Upload Resumes & Apply For Jobs
- Get Career Advice on Key Job-Search Topics
WHAT HAPPENED TO MONSTER?
Monster does feel “stuck.”
Only a few minor job-search resources have been added to the company’s service offerings in the past 10 years.
Adding to the challenges, the company experienced two sizable data breaches; one in 2007 and another in 2009.
STRING OF BAD LUCK?
The company also went through a string of less-than-stellar executive hires and questionable acquisitions that caused the Monster Worldwide stock to drop more than 40%.
Adding more strain to Monster, competitors such as LinkedIn.com and Indeed.com launched. LinkedIn began in 2003 and aggregator Indeed began in 2004.
Looking at the below snapshot of Google Trends, you can see Monster’s continued decline (follow the blue line).
Other job-search sites are seeing similar declines.
In the above graphic, notice that CareerBuilder.com (yellow) and Indeed.com (red) show decline as well.
The truth is there are far fewer sites today for searching available jobs than there were just 10 years ago.
Job boards are getting purchased and merged by larger competitors. For example, HotJobs.com was acquired by Yahoo!, Jobs.com was acquired by Monster.com, and Workopolis.com was acquired by Indeed.com.
Plus, there are many more that have just shut down, while others have been “white knuckling it.”
THE POSITIVES OF MONSTER
Despite the continued industry disruption, you have to tip your hat to the fact that Monster.com is still alive and kicking.
That shows a fair amount of grit on their part.
Monster’s established brand has been key to maintaining its longevity.
Another reason for Monster’s age is because it’s a staple for many jobseekers and hiring companies.
In fact, Monster’s 100 Companies Hiring This Week report shows that major employers such as Northrop Grumman, Reynolds & Reynolds, Honeywell, and Johnson Controls haven’t lost faith in Monster’s service.
THE NEGATIVES OF MONSTER
Okay, we’ve taken a look at the launch of Monster with the struggles and successes the company has faced.
Now, let’s talk about some negatives.
The first is spam. Over the years, job boards have knowingly made member’s info available to affiliate partners and unknowingly (or knowingly?) to spammers. Of course, the spammers and the affiliates partners could at times could be the same.
You may have noticed an increased number of spam emails in your email inbox after registering a new Monster.com account.
Offering unsolicited resume reviews to jobseekers is another trend we’ve seen, along with a slew of resume-related scams.
[Related Resource: Here are a few job-search scams and spammy practices you should be aware of.]
This sounds harmless, but, in too many cases, the reviews are automated with stock content, and from what I can tell, not completed by a real person 100% of the time.
The advice contained in most free evaluations are vague and seen mostly as a sales tool to boost revenue.
This now brings me to their writing services.
I have mixed feelings about the writing practices at sites like Monster.com. It didn’t take long for these sites to realize there was money to be made after allowing jobseekers to upload resumes and apply for jobs for free.
On one hand, I know we all start somewhere. So, we need new, inexperienced writers to “cut their teeth” on client projects.
On the other hand, I’m concerned about the quality that clients are getting and the low fees their writing team receives.
I manage a site that trains and coaches new resume writers, so I get the chance to discuss projects with writing staff at those levels.
The news I’m hearing isn’t good.
Writers at these high turnover writing firms are getting a measly $25 to $50 per resume written.
Adding insult to their writing staff, they hold their writers to a quota.
Can you imagine?
How long would it take for those writers to burn out, or worse, take shortcuts and produce a lower-quality resume?
[RELATED: The Best Resume For YOU – Here’s How]
There are many of us in the career industry who are VERY CONCERNED about how large writing mills are tarnishing the profession.
I’m not sure I can or will rope Monster.com’s writing department into this concern, however.
I have noticed, however, that the company has a slew of negative comments on sites like Yelp and others.
As a business owner, I know some clients can’t be satisfied no matter how much you try.
Heck, we’ve had our own run-in with a negative Yelp review.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MONSTER.COM?
What can I say in this review of Monster.com that I haven’t already said?
Personally, I hope that Monster gets a much-needed second wind and finds its way out of the ashes.
That may be easier said than done.
One key step to Monster’s survival should be to maintain relevance and keep its fees below LinkedIn Recruiter, which are a staggering $800+ for the corporate level.
Another step for survival would be to find more ways to be relevant. For example, encourage members to use Monster’s tools in addition to those over at LinkedIn. At this point, it’s not about competing with or trying to dominate competitors.
It’s about maintaining relevance and realizing that we as a population will oftentimes use more than one tool to conduct the same tasks.
For example, we’re seeing this with online TV show providers (e.g. Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and SlingTV). CBS All Access is also on the rise. It’s worth noting that CBS isn’t looking to dominate or take over services like Netflix. They are simply looking to coexist.
I believe Monster needs to follow suit. Monster.com review.
Monster.com does need to find more product/service differentiators, identify key partnerships, and revisit its business purpose if it wants to stay afloat. Making a fun-to-go-back-to-Monster advertising campaign that highlights employees and community events can revive Monster’s vitality and market share.
[Monster.com review updated 9/19/19]