Monster Eyes Local Ads

Recruiting site Monster is planning a move into local markets nationwide in a bid to compete with regional job sources, beginning next month.

The company, a unit of New York-based recruitment and yellow pages ad giant TMP Worldwide , plans to unveil the first of more than 100 local job sites on April 1, beginning with Cincinnati, Ohio.

The sites will be under the brand “JobMatch” — as in, Cincinnati’s The sites range from AkronJobMatch (for Akron, Ohio) to ZanesvilleJobMatch (for Zanesville, Ohio) and represent all 50 states.

In preparation for the move, TMP Worldwide registered more than 500 domain names (including both AkronJobMatch and JobMatchAkron) and has begin hiring local sales reps in the area, sources close to the firm have said.

Spokespeople from Monster confirmed the pending launch, but declined further comment.

The move is designed to help Monster better compete in the local classifieds market, which some believe is poised to bounce back from the current advertising slump sooner than traditional media. Like most advertising types, newspaper classified ads saw a decline in spending during 2001, though many industry watchers believe the decrease was only about half of that experienced by the online ad market. (New York-based CMR has calculated the 2001 decline in online ad revenues at about 14.7 percent.)

To date, efforts by online job sites have made only marginal headway in local markets, where offline newspapers continue to dominate — especially when it comes to blue-collar, mid- and lower-level jobs. Monster, like chief rival , typically skews toward higher-end, white-collar opportunities, particularly those in the Internet and financial sectors.

Monster, which recently has taken to advertising itself without the “.com” suffix, has made plays to better its position in local jobs markets before, with lukewarm success. Last May, TMP bought, a search engine that extracts job listings from employers’ Web sites and groups them geographically.

Monster’s new effort also will help it compete more directly with No. 3 job site CareerBuilder/, which has agreements with print media giants like Tribune Co. and Knight Ridder to cull jobs from their local sites. Knight Ridder also operates its own job sites, in connection with its Real Cities network of regional, newspaper-affiliated portals.

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