Tag. You're Hired. Will this be the line that slays Monster!

Last September I went to my first ERE Exchange conference. It was the 2nd ERE Exchange International Conference and was in beautiful Amsterdam. At the conference I had the opportunity to as Jason Goldberg the CEO of Jobster a simple question at the end of his presentation.

"Hi Jason, Declan from Ireland, could you give me your opinion on when push and pull RSS technologies will meet?"
"2 years," he answered with the steadfast indubitable stare of a sniper locking in on a distant target.

I wondered quietly to myself, can he do it in 2 years!

If there is anyone that is going to teach Monster, the almost $7billion dollars, 1 billion profit generating job board, some manners, it's Jason and Jobster.

Seattle-based Jobster, which has put together $50 million in venture capital, used to have a similar business model to Monster - a pay and post advertising proposition. But late last year they made a decision to try something different. They handed out a lot of pink slips, announced redundancies and shifted their business model dramatically. As of yesterday they have made their jobs listings free and offered a wide range of new features including and most importantly profile tagging technology.

Jobster is like LinkedIn or Xing: a social network. It contains well thought out profiles which allow users host their CV. The super cool thing about the site is the user can also "super tag" their profile and Jobster using Jobby's tagging technology (a company they bought last year) will match up profiles and job specs. Goldberg has also decided to syndicate these listings out via RSS and other methods, so job search engines like Indeed will be able to add these to other listings from around the web.

This without doubt in my mind Monster's biggest competitor. Goldberg famously belittled Monster in a series of interviews recently saying that Monster was a "crap product". He is now impressively backing up his words with a dramatic shift in his business model. This can also hurt other social networks, especially the quickly growing LinkedIn. If people start putting their profiles up in Jobster instead of LinkedIn their popularity will erode. Isn't competition great?

Jobsters job posting is free. I know I will be first in queue from Ireland and getting my jobs posted their today.

So here I am thinking 2 years like Goldberg said was unrealistically optimistic. He mislead me and did it in 5 months. Great news for employer and job seeker alike. The sword has come out, the battlefield laid down; how long will it be before Google, Yahoo or Microsoft come to the battle or Monster starts to slowly turn the ship! LinkedIn while probably nervous are probably secretly rubbing their hands together going "ching ching" if one of the big boys want to get into the market they'll probably have to add an extra zero to the check book if they want to acquire rather than build the technology.