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July 31, 2007 / Toby Dayton

Monster Stumbles. Is CareerBuilder Next?


Monster announced yesterday that it is laying off 15% of its workforce, or roughly 800 people. The announcement followed the release of their quarterly financials – Q2 earnings dropped 28% even though revenue was up 20%. Looks like costs have gotten somewhat out of control. And no wonder, considering the fact that Monster’s ability to keep visitors coming to its site has become increasingly difficult and increasingly costly. Perhaps they’ve gone too far in the overly-rich deals they struck during the past year or so with newspaper sites and other media properties around the country. Those career center micro sites, which siphon traffic away from daily newspapers for an exorbitant fee, now appear to be equally bad for both newspapers and Monster. Given the downward trend in traffic for both Monster and CareerBuilder, one would imagine that CareerBuilder is facing similar circumstances in their own operations.

[tags]Monster Layoffs, CareerBuilder, Web 1.0 Job Boards Are Struggling, Daily Newspapers, Recruitment Advertising, Online Job Boards, Job Classifieds[/tags]


  1. Dennis Gorelik / Jul 31 2007 3:21 pm

    I wonder, why did Monster need more than 5000 employees in the first place?
    It’s like ~50% the size of Google, considering that Google’s market capitalization is ~30 times more.

    Considering that Monster did virtually nothing in technology field recent years, I assume that all these employees were busy trying to sell low-quality Monster services.

  2. A pretty significant difference between Monster and Careerbuilder is that the former is embroiled in the options backdating scandal and accompanying SEC inquiry. Monster’s expenses went up by 1/3 year-to-year and by their own admission much of that was due to the scandal.

  3. Bob / Aug 2 2007 11:53 am

    Another reason why Monster is laying off people is that Careerbuilder has been aggressively and successfully pursuing Monster’s customer base.

  4. Teena Rose, ResumetoReferral.com / Aug 5 2007 1:48 am

    Jobseekers have recognized and are taking advantage of listing their resumes into a smaller, more targeted “pond” … commonly referred to as niche job banks. It’s financially feasible for those on the hunt, obviously, since most banks don’t have a fee structure for jobseekers. I suspect hiring managers, recruiters, and the like, are finding the low cost to access resumes as irresistible and a highly attractive alternative too.

    Video resumes, blogs, online networking portals, and so on, are likely additional causes for the consistent decline in traffic to Monster and CareerBuilder. The introduction of new (and yes, fun) technologies will certainly receive upfront exposure.

  5. Doug / Aug 11 2007 8:18 am

    Not sure where any of you are finding your traffic numbers, but Media Metrix (owned by Nielson ) does show Monster traffic decreasing while CareerBuilder traffic has been increasing year over year. Where Monster used to be the tech leader, CareerBuilder has now surpassed and taken the lead in the market. My company used all three national boards HJ, Monster and CB last year, but after extensive research we discovered CB outperfomed the others by 3 to 1 when it came to hires. Am sure it may be different in other geographies or industries, but I would not lump all of the boards together in the decline. Monster has lost its focus – no wonder they are trying to sell off. Did you notice their founder has been selling his shares of Monster like crazy? Over 1 million shares already. That is not a great endorsement!

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