Monster Offers Broader Features for Its Career Ad Network

Tens of millions of searches are conducted on the job boards every month. These are the active job seekers, drawn to one or another or, as is usually the case, more than one job board because, as Willie Sutton never said, that’s where the jobs are.

But for every active seeker, there are many more who, if they learned of the right opportunity, might just be convinced to kick the tires. Reaching those millions of others in order to find just that one, perfect candidate, is a recruiting goal best described as a quest.

For years, now, the job boards have been in hot pursuit. They’ve partnered with newspapers — CareerBuilder is mostly owned by newspaper publishers and Yahoo’s network is hundreds of newspapers deep — they power niche sites, buy keywords on search engines and traffic from social media, and have built networks of hundreds, even thousands of blogs, content providers, hobby sites, professional associations, and others.

In most cases, the networks and traffic deals simply broaden the distribution of job postings. Some, like the programs run by SimplyHired and Indeed, offer publishers the ability to choose what types of job ads to display. It’s a rudimentary type of targeting based on the content and nature of the site.

Monster’s Career Advertising Network is more sophisticated in that it targets ads to the user based on their browsing and job search behavior. Come across an ad that catches your attention and you click into the posting on

But recruiters are looking for more; instead of simply collecting apps, recruiters, influenced by social media, want to build relationships with candidates and bring them to the corporate career site.

Now Monster is leveraging its ad network to drive candidates to where recruiters want them and to deliver an advanced set of analytical tools to  help them more accurately tally up the results of a CAN ad.

I got an overview of the changes Monster has tested with some of its bigger customers. The change in the business model will undoubtedly appeal to recruiters and employers who might have balked at the old program’s double-dipping. Previously, you bought a job posting on Monster, then bought a CAN ad that linked to that job posting.

However, Monster is clearly putting the emphasis on building traffic to corporate career sites. Customers want to go from their ATS to the ad network and drive traffic back to the corporate career site via the ATS, Monster’s PR chief Matt Henson said, explaining the rationale behind the first of the enhancements to CAN.

Previously, employers who bought into CAN converted a job posting to a text ad (with logo) to get broader exposure: active job seekers via the Monster posting, and passive seekers (or at least less active seekers) via the CAN ad. CAN, being a period buy, meaning the ad would be served up over 14 or 30 days, didn’t guarantee a certain number of impressions, but company officials said an ad would typically get at least 40,000 and as many as 200,000.

Now, employers who have a Monster account can skip the job board posting and go right to CAN, bringing potential candidates directly to the corporate career site where the company can tell its story and begin a relationship.

The second development that Monster introduced is every bit as valuable and, if you are data-driven (as Dr. John Sullivan has been evangelizing for years), it may even be more useful. This is a set of enhanced analytics that can tell you where a candidate saw your CAN ad, how they came to your career site, and what they did when they got there.

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So even if a candidate came across the ad last week, didn’t click on it, but today remembered it and Googled the company to find the job, the new analytics will tell you that. Did the candidate check out the job, leave, and then come back a few days later to apply? The metrics will tell you that.

“It let’s us go beyond the click,” says Chris Snow, analytics product manager at Monster. His comment that these analytics are “a powerful tool for recruiters” is understatement. Besides offering insight to the targeting and effectiveness of a specific ad, the data can help assess the ad’s branding value.

The first release of the analytics are already in place. They provide data on landing page visits (for the ads), candidate source information, application starts and completes, and basic ad click and impression information. More data points are coming in the future.

The analytics use a cookie with a 14-day duration, so anyone refusing cookies or who cleans them out at the end of a browsing session or acts after two weeks doesn’t get counted. That’s an issue everyone faces with cookies.

Still, that’s likely only a small number of job seekers. For everyone else, recruiters can get a much clearer picture of candidate interest and ad yield.

It’s also a plus for Monster, since source of hire statistics have always been problematic. Most sourcing data is gathered by candidate self-reporting or automatic capture by the ATS. So that candidate who Googled the company in the example above would be counted as coming from a search engine, when, in reality, they were acting on an ad.

Making all this work requires a tight integration with a corporate ATS, which means the CAN ad tracking isn’t going to work for every employer. You need to  have a way to create and submit a requisition through Monster’s Business Gateway.

Monster says there’s also a certain amount of customization a vendor is going to need to do for the system to work. It’s working with a few of the major ATS vendors now, though the customers will be driving the integration.

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.


16 Comments on “Monster Offers Broader Features for Its Career Ad Network

  1. Our company has not tried CAN yet, but it is interesting. I am curious to hear success stories of companies that have used CAN for recruiting, and found great candidates this way. Please post a comment if you have a success story. Thank you!

  2. This is a very good story and thank you for taking the time to dig into the new features of Monster’s CAN. The reach of Monster’s Advertising is enormous – I know. The analytic component is huge and I agree with Dr. John, we will all be living and breathing more analytics over the next decade to continuously optimize our budgets. Cheers to Monster for investing in the analytics.

    The challenges with the CAN are really two-fold. First, Monster is naturally biased and can not make true recommendations across a full recruitment marketing mix. Will they recommend Indeed, Simply Hired or Google – maybe even Dice for a client if that is in fact more efficient? Probably not, they will only recommend Monster products.

    The second challenge of the CAN is related to the crucial task of building the employer’s brand. The CAN limits the exposure of the employer’s brand because of the way the ad units are presented. It is Monster’s brand first. In this recruiting marketplace, the employer brand is critical to connecting and communicating with the right candidates. Social media has created urgency and attention to the employer brand and smart employers will learn that they can target the same passive candidates through more cost effective channels. If an employer could have their own brand in an ad placement versus paying Monster for a co-branded ad and continuing to build the Monster brand, wouldn’t they always choose to build their own brand.

    Corporate recruiting teams have a lot of challenges and opportunities that make their jobs very challenging. The CAN may be the easy solution for some companies but there are ways to reach these same candidates on these same sites AND build YOUR employer brand.

  3. It is great that Monster is showing even more signs of re-awakening after several years of slumber. For so long it was the undisputed leader in our industry and led our industry to higher heights.

    This is another example of Monster being much more ready, willing, and able to both listen to the needs and wants of its clients and delivering what they’re asking for. I’ve found it to be amazing how many clients have put up with job boards and other media outlets charging the clients for driving traffic to the job posting ads paid for by those clients. Isn’t the job posting fee enough? Aren’t they saying that the job posting won’t be effective so you need to spend hundreds or even thousands of additional dollars to make it effective? And if that’s the case, who the heck would want to buy a posting for thousands of dollars on any site?

    You see this with targeted emails too. Some boards require the candidates to click through to the employer’s job posting ad on the board rather than going directly to the client’s web site. That’s ridiculous. The client is paying to drive traffic to the job board. It is truly amazing how many job boards have gotten away with this for so many years — and how many clients have let them.

  4. Steve Rothberg,
    Hope all is well. Your friend, Jason Alba, did a post on Linkedin @ 60 days ago asking re: + and/or – with continuing to use Monster. I appreciate your insight re: the latest tweaks going on @ Monster, as well as some possible pitfalls with them. Thanks again fore all these posts on this very important subject.

  5. I think this makes total sense for Monster, and it’s a smart move. The TalentSeekr product from EnticeLabs probably forced their hand…it’s gotten rave reviews and looks to be even more powerfull than what the CAN network provides, but at least Monster is allowing clients to purchase a CAN Ad without an associated Monster postings.

    In terms of analytics, companies should be implementing a solution that provides analytics across ALL their recruitment marketing channels. It’s the only way to really understand what’s working and what’s not. I agree with Neil that you can’t rely on Monster to provide this data and recommendations. You really need to have a solution of your own that provides those analytics. Full disclosure, my company provides that type of solution.

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