Monster Creates Expo Buzz Over Its Coming “User-Centric” Launch

1.10.09. You couldn’t walk the floor of the Expo without seeing someone wearing the rectangular Monster button showing that date. They were part of the buzz the company is creating in advance of the launch of what it’s telling people is a new improved user experience.

Taking to heart the message CEO Sal Iannuzzi has been touting that users are as important as recruiters, the company is set to roll out a new look and new features on January 10th. Monster was previewing some of what’s coming at its well-trafficked booth, and what we saw suggested the kind of career and succession planning tools found in higher-end talent management systems.

“It’s a seeker-centric appoach,” Monster’s VP of Client Adoption, Eric Winegardner, told us during a tour of the features.  There were no live demos because Monster’s development teams are still making tweaks.

But the slides showed tools that should appeal to passive candidates, as well as the traditional active seeker.

In three steps, a worker could learn what rungs others in the occupation have taken up as they worked their way up the ladder. Using the benchmarking tool, a candidate can learn how they stack up against others. Using the Career Snapshot, a worker could research related occupations by title, skills, and the like.

Just like a quality talent management system, Monster’s tools will help career-minded workers do a gap analysis and see what they need to do to ready themselves. The advantage Monster has over any single company is that it taps a database of millions of resumes to create aggregate pictures of career movement for nearly any occupation and industry that exists.

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Where it doesn’t have the data, it reaches out to get it, pulling in things like average salary for a searched occupation in the specific geography. Every job, Winegardner tells us, will have salary data — if not from the employer, then salary ranges Monster will provide.

We asked Winegardner about the integration of the job-matching technology it bought when Monster acquired Trovix. Winegardner laughed. Almost everyone who he talked to asked the same question. “It’s coming,” he said. Some parts are there now, others will begin to appear in December, but the complete integration won’t happen for the Jan. 10th launch.

There are also some changes coming on the recruiter side. One of the more useful is the matching of candidates to job postings based on keyword. It won’t replace resume searching, but it will prove useful to smaller companies since they’ll be able to see resumes and then decide if they want to buy access to the candidate.

Winegardner said that 90 percent of the user experience — seeker, especially, but recruiter as well — will be changed. And Monster will get a new look. No previews there, since the design is still being developed. But he did give us a hint: What users get might very well be a personalized homepage.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


9 Comments on “Monster Creates Expo Buzz Over Its Coming “User-Centric” Launch

  1. This covers buzz, not news. Monster’s “change” (because a new look doesn’t mean new capabilities) will coincide with more active seekers (due to economy) using it but it will all likely due to the economy not a face lift. This in turn will be used to market to more employers as reason to join or up their subscription to Monster.

    Nice, but will employers bite?

    Monster and their ilk should be thinking beyond resume database. The “buzz” does nothing to move the dial in that regard and why many employers will hold onto their dollars or try more innovative ideas.

  2. When you apply on Monster, or any other career site for that matter, your resume is most likely to end up in a black hole with no response from the employer aside from the “thanks for applying” email template (the one you want to print, post on your wall, and use as a dart board).

    This makes the “talent management” approach interesting. By allowing job seekers to measure themselves up against the competition and look at a gap analysis in their skill set could do two things – 1) prevent the job seeker from applying in the first place if they’re not qualified based on the analysis and 2) (i’m not sure if Monster is looking at it this way) provide some long awaited meaningful feedback from the employer (albeit automated) as to why they were not considered for the position – i.e. a “here is where your skills are lacking for the position” message.

    But of course this doesn’t take into account the fact that if I’m not really looking in the first place I’m not on Monster. And even if this tool were to draw in “passives” curious as to how they stack up (one of their hopes I suspect), any process that takes longer than 2-3 minutes will fail to keep anyones attention (and they’re off to update their profile photo on LinkedIN).

  3. If Monster truly focuses on the user experience, they should abandon their mandatory click-thru banners for partners like Phoenix Online University and improve the relevancy companies which contact candidates for jobs (not everyone is interested or qualified to start a Farmer’s Insurance Brand).

    This will take courage as it will initially have a negative effect on their bottom line, and possibly long-term as well if they can’t differentiate from the myriad of other online job sites out there now. It will be interesting to see how far they go and what results.

  4. Can we close a gap that has a tendency to stretch? Mold around or pour overflowing information into and it’s bound to rewrap the posterior and restructure the aortic valve.

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