An article in this week’s BusinessWeek made me feel a bit old. LinkedIn, the six year old social networking site geared towards professionals, has been making significant inroads against “traditional” job boards. Monster.com CEO Sal Iannuzzi acknowledged as much, saying:
“We are not done,” hinting that acquisitions could be forthcoming. But even Monster’s architects see the writing on the wall. Bill Warren, the founder of an early job board that morphed into Monster, is now executive director of the Direct Employers Assn., a consortium of corporate employers. He’s partnering with the owner of the “.jobs” domain and will launch job sites under that domain later this year. Says Warren: “The days of the big, expensive job boards are over.”
Wow. How the time flies. Didn’t Monster.com and its ilk just replace newspapers a short while ago?
Other questions popped into my mind:
- What’s going to replace LinkedIn or, more broadly, social networking sites?
- Is any technology here to stay?
- Is Monster.com grasping for salvation? (Yes, I just read Jim Collins’ How the Mighty Fall.)
Particularly interesting is LinkedIn’s use of push technology:
Push technology, or server push, describes a style of Internet-based communication where the request for a given transaction is initiated by the publisher or central server. It is contrasted with pull technology, where the request for the transmission of information is initiated by the receiver or client. (Source: Wikipedia)
As it relates to job searches, push technology allows recruiters and hiring managers to receive the profiles of job candidates without having to actively “pull” them via searches. If I’m searching for a new IT Manager, for example, LinkedIn will find and send me the profiles of qualified candidates without my having to wade through the backgrounds of hundreds of potentially underqualified applicants. This saves me time and makes the entire process less costly and cumbersome. While it cannot guarantee a good hire, I’d love to see metrics assessing that very question. I suppose that that’s a question for business intelligence gurus.
I suppose that my main point is that no organization–not even a successful one founded during the dot com boom–can rest on its laurels. New technologies can be used quickly to displace industry leaders.