JG and I spoke today on his way to Toronto to play Poker with Jay-Dee of Recruiting.com and many other recruiting cronies. No, I wasn’t talking to my JG – Julian Gude, rather – Jason Goldberg, CEO of Jobster. I really wanted to go to play a few hands with those boys, but My JG basically said, “over my dead body.”
Regardless, during the conversation with Jason, I found out that during his talk at the Direct Employers meeting he made it clear that Monster.com provides its users with a poor user-experience. To be specific, he said that:
these guys are literally printing money with a crap product.”
and that Monster users are:
giving their personal info to some companies that Monster has basically pimped out their site to …”
What was he talking about? Interstitial ad pages. You know, those annoying pages that appear and force you to physically click the link to skip the page before you are allowed to see your content. These are now an integrated part of every Monster search. The defined Monster user path: Job Search > Special Offer > Search Results.
Jason is right about this one – bad job seeker experience – but I am curious about the kind of response rates those pages garner on Monster. Julian worked for a short period of time at a clearing house for this type of product that made huge amounts of money for online leads like these interstitials generate. He shared with me that these registration pages are tremendous direct response vehicles for advertisers and that they will bid anywhere from a few pennies all the way up to $100 or more for every one of these submitted leads. So clearly these are huge money-makers for Monster. What affect do ads like these have on brand? I know that my reaction to seeing an interstitial page is that is asking for my personal information is that the company is begging – not the best brand message.
Monster has taken quite a bit of flack in recent years, and while I agree with Jason’s sentiments completely – I DO give Monster credit for almost single handedly directing job seeker behavior away from newspaper classifieds to online classifieds in the Web 1.0 world. It is easy to dismiss them as the money printing dinosaur and as much as we hate it – today, if you ask any job seeker on the street, they will know what Monster.com is, but few will know a site like Indeed.com for example.
While improvements to online Job search are coming in leaps and bounds – the new job sites have a long road ahead of them evangelizing and getting current users to spread the word about their new solutions in order to change job seeker behavior again. It remains to be seen if the new job sites can attract gaggles of job seekers simply because they’ve produced a better solution or if they will need a blimp and a mascot. What is the key to changing the job seeking behavior of the masses? It can’t happen fast enough for me 🙂
BTW: I updated my Jobster profile today just to see how the new Superstar tags work. Its cool. Go ahead, add your profile, add me to your faves :-). Now – if only they would allow me to display my RSS feed on my profile page….
[tags]monster, jobster, intersitials[/tags]