RealTime IT News

Monster To Debut Networking For Job Seekers

Several years ago, Monster.com came to prominence from among a crowd of other job search Web sites. This time around, it wants to build a name for itself among the many online professional networking Web sites, announcing Monday the launch early next year of a similar service.

To do it, the Maynard, Mass., company has garnered the services of its newest senior vice president of consumer products, Michael Schutzler, who's had some success of his own as president and CEO of Classmates.com, a subscription-based schoolmate's networking site.

Jeff Taylor, Monster.com founder, said professional networking is the natural evolution for the company as an online career management resource, not just a place for people to look for jobs.

"In addition to leveraging the Internet as a powerful recruiting tool, consumers continue to rely on their network of friends, colleagues and peers when seeking professional guidance or advice about how to best achieve career goals," he said.

The company points to a report by the Society for Human Resources Management, which said 90 percent of job seekers used networking in conjunction with their job searches. Monster.com points to findings of its own, conducted on its home page during the week of Sept. 29 through Oct. 6. The poll showed 46 percent of 22,272 respondents found a job through peers and friends, while 91 percent of nearly 10,000 voters found networking to be an important component to any job search.

Details aren't forthcoming from Monster.com about the price of the new service, which is expected to kick off in the first quarter of 2004. Like Classmates.com, Monster.com lets consumers visit and browse the Web site, and even post information. The charge comes with advanced use, like contacting someone. Classmates.com charges $39 per year (or $59 for two years) to keep in touch with classmates.

The company is looking for a revenue model to kickstart its stock on Wall Street Since October, 2001, when Monster.com was forced to cut its staff in a company-wide shakeup, the company has been seeing a steady decline in its stock value, capped by a two-year low in mid-March at just over $7 per share. It has steadily increased since then, to somewhere just under $30.