Recent Acquisitions Signal the New Era for Recruiting!

The announcement last week that Monster Worldwide will be acquired (pending approval) by Netherlands based Randstad Holdings heralds the new age of recruiting. “Post and prey” is out. What’s in is direct recruiting, creating communities of interest, specialized job boards, mobile apps, and new candidate/company matching technologies which work like dating apps!

Monster changed the world of recruiting when it emerged in 1994. With the new ability to recruit online, recruiters switched from newspaper ads to posting jobs on Monster.  Then, along came LinkedIn and social media. Companies were slow, at first, to realize the value of the data available through LinkedIn and its search capabilities. But once they did, post and prey switched to direct recruiting. Recruiters could sort through LinkedIn’s data to find the passive candidates they wanted to hire, but who weren’t posting their profiles on Monster, then send them an InMail. “Hey, are you interested in a move?”

Even if the person said, “No,” the smart, persistent recruiter would develop a relationship with the passive candidate, update them on company achievements, and check in with them at key milestones in their careers to see if they were interested in moving.  When paired with phone calls from the company’s executives or friends of theirs who connected with them on LinkedIn, it became a serious recruiting tool. As more recruiters learned to use Boolean search on LinkedIn, it became even more powerful. My recruiters loved it and preferred LinkedIn and specialty boards to Monster. Even though Monster drew more candidates, they were generally less qualified.

LinkedIn Acquired by Microsoft

While Monster reached a valuation of $7.5 billion in 2006, the acquisition last week was valued at $429 million, a significant drop. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is being acquired for $26 billion by Microsoft[i]. While Monster is profitable, LinkedIn is still losing money. Why $26 billion? Because LinkedIn continues to innovate. Over the past year, LinkedIn has launched a new version of its mobile app, enhanced its newsfeed, and acquired, an online learning platform. It also released a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers. All of these innovations led to new memberships, increased revenue, and higher market valuation.

But LinkedIn is facing competition. Facebook, once thought of solely as an online social network for Millennials to keep up with each other and share photographs, has become an effective tool for creating a social following and communities of interest with prospective candidates. So has Google+. Smart recruiters use these tools to expand their brand awareness among passive candidates, build relationships, and even get candidates’ e-mails, which often were not available on LinkedIn.

New Specialized Recruiting Platforms

Technology start-ups are providing other specialized recruiting platforms with their own disruption., for instance, matches New York City and San Francisco start-ups, with series A or B funding, with candidates looking for start-up roles. Candidates submit their resumes and other information, and uses its technology to review and rank them. It then sends screened candidates in weekly batches to the start-ups. Hiring managers are then free to contact the candidates directly.

Whitetruffle is a job-matching platform for engineers in San Francisco and New York that works a little like eHarmony. Candidates enter profiles and review company information. Everything is anonymous, at first. Whitetruffle uses its algorithm to identify potential matches, based on work location, work history, skills, re-location availability and other unique data. Candidates are then told that an employer wants to “get to know them better,” and if they agree, Whitetruffle shares their identity.  For the candidates, it eliminates the “black hole” of resume submissions and scouring job boards. For high-tech firms, it eliminates the need to source and cold call candidates.

The acquisitions of Monster and LinkedIn signal a change in recruiting technologies and tactics. Other platforms are also changing recruiting.  Are you switching tactics? Join the conversation.

Victor Assad is the CEO of Victor Assad Strategic Human Resources Consulting and is a Managing Partner of InnovationOne. He consults on talent management, leadership development and coaching, innovation, and other strategic initiatives. Please e-mail Victor at or For innovation visit www.InnovationOne.US.

[i] PR Newswire (July 13,2016, 8:36 ET) “Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn,” Found at

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