Facebook Needs to Buy Monster, Embrace ‘Boring’

Facebook is in the enviable position of being able to pretty much launch anything and get it in front of a billion human beings. And over the years, they’ve done a good job at throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

Their most recent foray into search (a good move, in my opinion) is one such example. Others, such as deals, check-ins, chat, Poke and classifieds exist too.

They’ve dabbled in employment. Last year’s Social Jobs Partnership was widely – and fairly – criticized. Jason Buss called it a “debacle” and “laughable.”

I say the dabbling is over. It’s time for Facebook to get serious about jobs. 

Here’s why: Facebook is losing its cool. Teens are leaving the site for cooler kids like Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. I recently presented to a group of students at Penn St. who told me Facebook is “moderately cool.” Other anecdotal evidence is even less optimistic.

It’s OK. It happens to the best of us. Fortunately, anti-cool is not a death sentence, but for a company that blossomed because of coolness, figuring out the next chapters are vital.

Most readers know Facebook acquired cool-kid Instagram last year. That good news and bad news. Good for its current popularity; bad because it too will one-day be uncool.

Then what?

Facebook is putting itself in a position where it has to drop cash every so often to stay on the cutting edge. That’s a tough treadmill to run.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the social media spectrum. Possibly cool to the buttoned-up, degree-carrying, cube-dwelling humans that walk the earth, but less so to hipsters.

Who cares? You need a job? Get your butt on LinkedIn or else it’s mom’s basement for you, buster.

In other words, LinkedIn is a utility. It’s Google, YouTube and Amazon (or at least on its way). It doesn’t care about being cool because it’s become the place for professional networking. 

And that’s where Facebook needs to go. it can spin its wheels on one end of the hip meter snatching up the next Instagram, but it would be better served acquiring a major player in the employment space. 

So, if Facebook isn’t seriously considering a play in the employment space that’s more than window dressing, it would do right by making a serious play for Monster. LinkedIn would be nice, but it’s probably too expensive.

Monster’s stock price and lack of acquisition interest make it ripe for bargain basement shopping. Additionally, Monster’s database is rich with employers who might have soured on Monster’s product over the year’s, but are just waiting to be reenergized around new ownership.

Lots of industry partnerships, brand awareness and roots in employment add icing to the cake. Most importantly, however, Monster potentially puts Facebook on par with LinkedIn, a network immune to the winds of cultural change.

Employment, as LinkedIn has shown, will never go out of style. Facebook needs to embrace this reality, grow-up and get boring.

Joel Cheesman :