As a recently unemployed technology professional (and someone who has been laid-off multiple times), I have spent more than my fair share of time on employment websites. Like a majority of people in the 25- to 34-year-old demographic, I rely primarily on the Internet for job information.
In 2003, when I was initially searching for a full-time position, Monster and its sister site, MonsterTrak, were the go-to websites for job postings. Today, this is certainly no longer the case. While Monster has more postings and registered users overall, it seems that the most innovative and exciting companies are putting their openings on LinkedIn.
In fact, LinkedIn encourages and rewards hiring managers for posting jobs exclusively in its “Jobs” section. Positions that are available exclusively through LinkedIn (and not traditional job boards) receive special promotion at no additional cost. Companies like Hulu, Fox Interactive Media, and Sapient have all taken advantage of this LinkedIn feature. Aside from having more appealing job postings, LinkedIn also beats Monster in several other functionalities, including candidate referrals, peer recommendations, and ad targeting (DirectAds).
Previously, a blogger has argued that LinkedIn “was getting to be the monster.com of passive candidates.” In late 2006, I was not only a passive candidate, but also a passive user. I had originally created my LinkedIn profile sometime in 2003 and connected to a couple of people, but I didn’t use the site actively for several years. It wasn’t until a website redesign last year that the site began to find its true calling and revenue model.
According to this recent article in Network World, many recruiters would rather search LinkedIn or Facebook instead of Monster because they find “more active candidates and less stale information.” Therefore, from a technology-based job perspective and with apologies to Dice, LinkedIn is now the Monster.com for ACTIVE candidates, as well as passive candidates.
The management at LinkedIn should create more ways to help the passive candidates become more active website users. The site has evolved to the point where it could be described as a job board masquerading as a social network. This may be good enough to bury Monster, but what about competition from newer, web 2.0 challengers?