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It is better
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the web than
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John Sumser

is more
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John Gall


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(August 07, 2003) -  By now, you've heard that Monster has let its relationship with AOL and MSN expire. The news hit the stock price hard. The various bits of coverage focused on the fact that CareerBuilder anted up the roughly $300 Million in contracts to secure the deals.

This is a good thing.

CareerBuilder is in the business of distributing employment classified advertising. Adding AOL and MSN to their distribution network will make them significantly more competitive than other advertising distribution companies (like CareerCast). These businesses extend the idea that employment advertising, now electronic, behaves like it did on paper. Think of this as the circulation model of Electronic Recruiting.

TopUSAJobs turns the tack on its head to consolidate offerings into a single destination.

The other two players, HotJobs and Monster are clearly and rapidly differentiating themselves.

From here, it looks like HotJobs will evolve to become a matching tool within the Yahoo community. Yahoo workers and Yahoo employers will get the chance to scope each other out through a toolset that looks more like the personals column. Yahoo, without having to focus on traffic development, will be in a position to make real moves in product development and functionality. As a component of  commercial services, you can imagine employers with a Yahoo website, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo employees. In this vision of the future, Yahoo uses its position as the daily information utility to become the IT department for its membership.

Monster, more data-driven than the competition, will evolve to become an employee delivery service. Instead of relying on the lottery-like probabilities of passive circulation, the company will shortly be able to target its advertising to produce specific workers in specific places. Monster, by letting go of its view of itself as yet another employment classified ads distributor, positions itself to be an agent in the Human Capital Acquisition process. Without the crutches of big portal traffic, the firm will quickly learn to spot-target its advertising based on demand. Instead of bulk traffic purchases, Monster is leading the way to advertising that delivers results in specific geographics and demographics.

By putting its crutches down, Monster has demonstrated its commitment to enlarging the category.

John Sumser

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