Thursday, March 05, 2009

Monster Employment Index Increases in Feb.

NEW YORK, March 5th, 2009 - The Monster Employment Index rose moderately in February, adding four points, as a majority of industries, occupations and regions registered increased online job availability. During February, online job availability rose in 17 of the Index's 20 industry categories and in 18 of the 23 occupational categories measured. Online demand for workers grew in 25 of the 28 major metro markets, led by Pittsburgh and Houston. However, on a year-over-year basis, the Index remained down 26%, the same annual pace observed in January.

“The gain in the February Index is the first since October of 2008, but is a typical pattern seen historically as we move from January to February and companies start their recruiting efforts in earnest. Most industries and occupations showed an increase in online recruitment activity in February as did the majority of geographical regions and major metropolitan markets. All of this suggests that traditional annual hiring cycles remain somewhat intact,” said Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide. “The annual growth rate for the Index is still negative year-over-year, suggesting that labor market conditions remain well below the hiring demand of 2007 and early 2008.”


At 3/05/2009 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monster and other internet job sites, are notorious for posting many jobs that are long since filled, or do not exist at all. It's a haven for "resume farming".

In a 2002 WSJ report, it was found that less than 2% of jobs were filled though internet jobs sites.

By Kris Maher and Rachel Emma Silverman - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Jan. 2, 2002

It is hard to get a job in a recessionary environment, no matter what means are used. But some job seekers say they are becoming particularly disenchanted with big online job sites.

USERS SAY the boards often have out-of-date listings and that inquiries go unacknowledged by potential employers. In fact, many users are finding that job hunts conducted solely online rarely produce jobs - a phenomenon made worse by the current economic downturn.

Take Grace Dubois. The 37-year-old Connersville, Ind., resident spends roughly five hours a day on the Web job hunting through job boards. Over the past nine months, the unemployed health-care administrator and nutrition consultant has applied for nearly 400 health-care industry jobs online. Yet she has landed only seven job interviews and not many responses from other potential employers.

"I don't know if they're even getting my resume," Dubois complains. "When they list jobs on the Internet, there's often no phone number or name, just an e-mail or a fax [number]. You don't know where your resume is going. There's no acknowledgment. The Internet has made a lot of people lazy."

Posted vacancies are often out of date, Dubois says. She suspects some are designed merely to get information about job seekers into the databases of outside recruiters. Machines, not humans, often match job openings to candidates - one reason that Dubois receives numerous e-mails about irrelevant openings. "They keep sending me engineering jobs, which I don't even ask for," she says.

Her frustration is a far cry from the way Internet job hunts were supposed to go. The major online job boards offer hundreds of thousands of opportunities, providing job seekers an alternative to searching corporate Web sites and local newspaper help-wanted ads. To job hunters, they have held out the promise of getting a resume in front of a vast pool of potential employers with relative ease.

But despite the reach and apparent ease online job searches offer, a surprisingly small proportion of jobs get filled that way. Only 6 percent of hires for management-level jobs currently occur through any Internet site, compared with 61 percent for networking, according to a recent study by Drake Beam Morin, a New York firm that provides outplacement counseling services to big companies and advises job seekers on a variety of methods including the job boards.

Another study indicates most successful job-search contacts made online in 2001 happened directly at corporate Web sites, not through job boards. At nine big public companies, which combined made more than 62,000 hires last year, 16 percent of total hires were initiated at the corporate Web site, according to the study, conducted by CareerXroads, a consulting company in Kendall Park, N.J., that publishes an annual guide to job boards and consults with companies on their Web sites. The percentage of hires made through the four biggest job boards, (, (, CareerBuilder ( and (, was far smaller - 1.4 percent, 0.39 percent, 0.29 percent and 0.27 percent, respectively.

Job seekers should use the Internet to collect information, says Mark Mehler, a CareerXroads principal. But he cautions them against overreliance on the Internet. People should remember "that in the majority of corporations in America, employee referrals are the No. 1 source of how people get hired," he says.

Dimitri Boylan, president and chief executive of, says it's not the job boards' fault if some resumes attract few responses. "In terms of not getting a reply to a job, that's primarily the company's option," he says, adding, "Right now, they are getting a lot of applicants." Ltd. has agreed to be acquired by Yahoo Inc. Boylan acknowledges the chance that overloaded hiring managers will lose track of applicants. However, "it's less so with an online system than it is with a box full of resumes," he says.

Jeff Taylor, founder of and a global director at the job board's parent, TMP Worldwide Inc., acknowledges imperfections in database search tools. "I've said that I'll go to my grave trying to improve database searching and tools," he says, adding, "I feel pretty good about the way the system matches up skills with openings and will continue to improve it." Barry Lawrence, a spokesman for CareerBuilder Inc., which recently acquired, similarly defended the company's sites. Job seekers are "just not as patient as they used to be," he says, citing the current weakened job market.
"All job boards can do is bring you to the company's front door," says Tony Lee, general manager of (, the executive career site of The Wall Street Journal. Savvy employers, he adds, use automated response systems, so job seekers know their resume has been received. Currently, the biggest complaint among job seekers using CareerJournal is that there aren't enough listings: There are now roughly 23,000 jobs on the site, compared with about 35,000 a year ago, a result of the economic slowdown, Lee says.

In addition to the giant job boards, there are niche sites catering to professions ranging from accounting to weed science. But as the number of job boards has skyrocketed, so has competition among applicants using them - especially since the unemployment rate began to rise last year.

As a result, the frustrations of searching for a job in a slow economy happen at warp speed. "We've never gone through a recession with e-mail and with the Internet," says Cary Smith, director of marketing technology for Cigna Corp., an employee-benefits provider based in Philadelphia. "It has become very easy to create a resume and then transmit it effortlessly and instantaneously to whomever you want to send it to."
Indeed, the ease with which candidates can create and send out resumes online has meant that employers trying to fill a post can expect to be deluged. Daniel Parrillo, president of Strategi, a small Stockton, Calif., technology- recruiting firm, recently posted an opening for an engineering vice president on five job boards at 4 p.m. By the time he arrived at work the next morning, he had 321 electronic resumes from people whose experience ranged from chief operating officer to help-desk troubleshooter. Several days later, he still hadn't even opened 71 of the responses.

"I probably do have one diamond in the rough in those 71 e-mails I still have to get to," Parillo says. "But unfortunately, if I do find this person, they're going to get into the process too late." He estimates he'll eventually respond to about 80 percent of the applicants, in most cases sending a "canned e- mail" note.


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