Why I'm Afraid of Monster!

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Like some of you I have several new jobs that I need to get filled—nothing that my seasoned and experienced professional HR-type self shouldn’t consider to be a walk in the park. Thankfully I’m usually well equipped. I have several personal job posting favorites like small (often free) localized job boards and social networking groups with which I’ve often had very good success. Typically these recruiting methods yield a much lower number of applicants per position. But more often than not, these candidates seem to be better matched to the requirements identified in my posting, and I’m happy to brag that I’ve historically had tremendous success.

So when these search methods just don’t pan out and I need more candidate flow, I find myself trying to come up with any other possible sources besides posting on the “big two” (Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com). It’s actually been awhile since I’ve ventured there, and I realized why today.

I’m afraid of the big scary Monster.

My chief complaint lies not necessarily with the Big Two themselves, but with the large numbers of their candidate users who seem to enjoy selecting “Apply to All”. My last experience with a single (very detailed) ad on one board garnered over 350 responses, out of which perhaps 10% actually matched the specified mandatory qualifications in the posting. The trickle-down effect of receiving, scanning, and politely responding to such a large number of incredibly unqualified candidates was massive, and some colleagues have reported receiving response quantities nearing the thousand mark!

True, the Big Two have their dandy versions of “Screening Questionnaires”, which are designed to weed out many of the unqualified (assuming they answer the questions honestly… sure, right). But to actually SEE the screening questionnaire responses that were completed by candidates, I was required to log into the employer site and click on each and EVERY individual response in order to see the screening answers. That was just SO very much helpful.

Apparently there are still plenty of employers who love the Big Two. According to job board management and consultation firm eQuest in their recent press release (http://tinyurl.com/ylha5kc), eQuest cited that Monster and Careerbuilder were “well above the traffic stats of any other online job source, ” and they claimed “…staggering traffic numbers” in the latter half of 2009. Um, hello? Could staggering unemployment numbers have any possible correlation? Maybe it’s just me…

Massive responses from staggeringly unqualified applicants aside, there are the prior hacking issues (http://tinyurl.com/c2qusm), as well as inappropriate and irritating advertising and hokey educational pop-ups (http://tinyurl.com/ye85c4z). And since recruiters are always well-advised to remember things from the job-seekers perspective, more and more candidates are finding things to hate about Monster (http://tinyurl.com/ylkhdac) or are beginning to consider both of the Big Two boards as a waste of time (http://tinyurl.com/ybpbunp).

A waste they may be, but apparently a necessary evil from time to time. So it’s off to the Big Two I go. But I’ll be afraid… be very afraid.


Nanci Lamborn

HR Industry Veteran and BrightMove Writer

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