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Hotjobs / Monster merger : my 2010 opinion

Question: What happens when two dinosaurs mate in the last days before their extinction?

Answer: Um, yes… the both still become extinct.

Disclaimer: The following is totally my opinion - an outsiders perspective including random assumptions. I'd be happy to hear contradictions or rebuttals to correct my statements here.

In my opinion, as a former consumer and current recruitment marketing pro, HotJobs had been a dying brand since Yahoo! purchased it in late 2001. Like many other Yahoo acquisitions, HotJobs failed because it was expected to earn without the new parent's assistance in continuing to move the product on its previous trajectory. Yahoo purchased the site and instead of continuing to innovate they let it sit and sit and sit. It's obvious to me that the sales teams drove forward, fighting their ever uphill battle, but neither the product nor its consumers ever benefited from Yahoo's ownership of HotJobs.

And isn't that the reason for such an acquisition in the first place? To become owned by a company that can help the former become greater than it could on its own or to at least consolidate operations allowing it to operate leaner and run profitably?

I don't have any inside knowledge about Yahoo or HotJobs… I can assume that some staff tried to make the product better and I'd bet every last one of the employees cared about HotJobs and wanted to see it succeed… but the fact is that from a consumer's perspective, HotJobs failed to fulfill its apparent destiny. Its promise went unfilled within the Yahoo enterprise.

Now, will this all change with HotJobs as part of Monster? Absolutely not (imo)!

HotJobs is now dead. Monster will milk what's left of HotJobs for what it's worth (from a traffic standpoint) and then it's gone.

Monster didn't buy HotJobs

Let's be honest here: Monster didn't buy HotJobs... they bought a $225 million advertising deal with Yahoo, one of the largest websites in the world. They'll benefit from all of the traffic Yahoo sends to them and will continue to do so for as long as that relationship is mutually beneficial.

One of the under-reported parts of the deal, which I first learned from Joanna Lord's YourJobStop article, is that on top of the huge cash payment that Yahoo is getting they'll also receive ongoing revenue in return for traffic Monster gets from the new relationship that was forged. That is the part of this deal that makes the most logical sense.

What doesn't make sense is why Monster would pay $225 million dollars rather than invest that money in something other than another job board… For example, why not invest $225m in buying (or creating) a job search engine or, even better, invest that money to make their own existing product better.

Additional related articles:
- Mashable: Monster Acquires Yahoo HotJobs for $225 Million

- Monster Buys Yahoo HotJobs: Blah Blah Blah

- Does Monster's Acquisition Of Yahoo HotJobs Matter If The Internet Is The Job Board?

Yahoo's biggest failure is the huge investment it made in attracting a consortium of newspapers to work with it but never realizing the potential of that accomplishment. [I'll discuss this topic further separately soon.]

History: In 2001: Yahoo paid $436 million for the No. 2 career site (HotJobs), stealing it away from TMP Worldwide, the parent that had earlier agreed to buy HotJobs for about $355 million.

Posted: 2/16/2010 8:00 PM EST by Tim Dineen

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