What Does Randstad’s Purchase of Monster Mean for the Talent Industry?

The talent industry is abuzz about Randstad’s recent $429 million acquisition of the job board purple behemoth, Monster. But the talk has less to do with the purchase and more to do with what it might indicate about the talent industry’s future.

Monster’s fade from the spotlight was, at least to some, a predictable event that followed a slow and sometimes painful decline. Although it was one of the big survivors of the dot-com boom, times change and Monster didn’t. Now it’s part of the Randstad family. Meanwhile, a new wave in the talent industry is innovating, growing and moving into a new era where proven performance isn’t just a selling point; it’s a survival requirement.

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The Talent Industry is Evolving Right Before Your Eyes

A quick glance back through history shows that it wasn’t very long ago when classified ads were the only game in town. Digital job boards shook up that scene, and Monster was a huge part of that revolution. It offered something different at a time when the industry was ready and anxious for it. And now the industry is shaking up again.

To its credit, Monster tried to innovate. But innovation is a far cry from imitation. Job aggregation, pay for performance and social media integration was already being done, and done well, elsewhere.

According to John Zappe at ERE Media, Monster became a “me too” company instead of one that led the pack. The company that began its own life as a spunky trendsetter turned a blind eye to new startups with innovative ideas that were making a difference.

Where the Industry is Really Headed

Martin Burns suggests at ERE that three talent industry trends are gaining real traction. They’re pivot points that mark this new era in talent acquisition.

The first is recruitment marketing. Burns asserts that it’s the “driving factor in modern corporate recruitment strategy.” Automation is also a very big deal, and industry leaders are figuring out which elements are best suited to it. For now, those elements are “low-level sourcing activities.”

And of course, big data is central to these changes. The ability to pull together relevant data and then market it effectively puts the revenue (and value) focus on information and access to candidates, not on a single product that can quickly become outdated, such as a great big purple job ad.

Monster isn’t entirely irrelevant. It’s just different now. It will keep its name, and its online presence is still there. As a Randstad company, it might gain the financial stability to play a little catch-up.

For now, the pack leaders offer something different, something more. Burns says the key to long-term success is solutions, not products. For example, candidate matching in real-time and programmatic ad placement were virtually unheard of just a few years ago. And now they’re moving into industry-standard territory because there’s real value to be had for everyone involved.

What’s next for talent acquisition is anyone’s guess. But you can bet that it will be much more efficiency- and performance-oriented than Monster ever considered.

If talent acquisition is your game, cutting-edge technology is the only way to stay competitive.

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