It’s that time of year again. So here are my predictions for 2013:
- Monster finally gets acquired. With its growth days behind it and an economy that should remain challenging - as in recession challenging - Monster’s stock dives enough to be too juicy for a bigger fish to gobble-up.
- LinkedIn buys Simply Hired. If you think Monster and CareerBuilder are LinkedIn’s biggest concerns, think again. It’s Indeed. And buying Simply Hired, who already runs LinkedIn’s posting backfill, is a relatively inexpensive move to strengthen their position in the job search landscape.
- Craigslist mobilizes. I know, the company is synonymous with “stubborn” and has done little in its 18 years to get with the times. That said, not being able to surf the site comfortably on a smartphone is ridiculous, especially when you consider how important mobile is to local search.
- Rise of the domains. If you thought .jobs was an unnecessary addition to the Web, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. ICANN is opening the floodgates, which will open the door for .career and being able to throw “jobs” into everything from .accountant and .ibm.
- Facebook makes a serious push against LinkedIn. Maybe the app was supposed to take attention away from the real strategy. Facebook is starting initiatives to generate revenue like their hair’s on fire. Going public will do that to you. And I think LinkedIn is in the crosshairs. Testing pay-to-contact at $1-per-message is a potential blow to LinkedIn’s cash cow, InMail, which charges $10-per-message. Now Facebook just needs to enhance their search engine in order to find qualified candidates.
For anyone who pays attention to this space, it should be an interesting year. Startups are again a serious part of the landscape while established players continue to face the challenges of an ever-evolving world led by increasingly powerful companies looking to get into the game.
Happy New Year!
Someone might be close to acquiring Monster - finally.
The who’s-going-to-buy-Monster rumors have come and gone over the years - LinkedIn being one of the most recent - but the buzz this time ‘round may be more than a ploy to pop the stock.
Sources have been pointing to Fall as the time it’s all supposed to go down. Only time will tell, but here are a few of the players in the mix, ranging from logical to not-a-chance-in-hell:
- Microsoft - Maybe. I think the company still owns a small position in CareerBuilder, so they are privy to the online employment landscape. As Microsoft struggles to hold onto their enterprise stronghold, adding job postings and Monster’s technology might be a move they’d make.
- News Corp - After things going so well with MySpace, what could possibly go wrong? With the newspaper biz fading into the sunset, buying a an online job board may seem reasonable for ol’ Murdoch. I think they also have a position in Simply Hired, which could make for an interesting combination.
- Salesforce - The cloud champion has been adding to its portfolio of companies like mad lately, so throwing in some employment IP could be in the playbook.
- Oracle - They hate Salesforce and their CEO is nutso.
- SAP - They bought SuccessFactors earlier this year, which begat adding Jobs2Web a few months later. Monster could be another piece to the puzzle.
- More Old Media - A longshot, but The New York Times or Washington Post could come out of left field.
- Portals - Aol’s stock has been on a tear lately, which may embolden it to make a move for a different kind of content play - jobs. Like old media, I see them less interested in the technology, but who knows? Yahoo!’s lack of success with HotJobs could be a deterrence.
- Wildcard - Thrown into the discussion have been China’s 51Job and Australia’s Seek. CareerBuilder seems like a longshot, but what the hell. LinkedIn? Fat chance.
Timing is always paramount to acquisitions, and each of the alleged prospective buyers are either grasping for innovation or hoping the replace one dinosaur for other ones. I still contend a sale is a long shot, but if it’s going to happen, it’s likely to be one of the above.
And hopefully soon. I hate long soap operas.