Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Unemployed? Wants You to Laugh

They found that people wanted humor, even in a cheerless economy.
In one television spot, a construction worker clings to a beam, crying and whimpering; the camera then pans up to show he is only a few feet off the ground. In another, a crew of emergency medical technicians jumps out of an ambulance as heroic music plays. They run to a car accident — and an E.M.T. faints.
“Are you in the right job?” the ads ask.
It is a high-profile campaign that promotes Monster’s redesigned Web site. Ads began running during the Golden Globes on Sunday, and are scheduled during the Super Bowl and the January season premiere of “Lost.”
•With the ads and the redesigned site, Monster is trying to attract not only the unemployed, but also people who currently have jobs, which it calls “passive seekers.” That’s because Monster is paid when employers list jobs and when they contact a candidate. The more résumés employers like, the more revenue Monster should get.
“That passive seeker, if you think about it, a lot of passive seekers are the best candidates,” said Ted Gilvar, Monster’s chief global marketing officer.
Monster has added three features to the site, based on the 40 million résumés it has collected in its nine years in business, that are intended to attract passive seekers.
One presents profiles of jobs, called Career Snapshots. Enter “fire ranger,” and users can review duties (direct crews during forest fires, ensure fire-regulation compliance at campsites); the rate of job growth in the industry from 2006 to 2012 (12.1 percent) and the number of similar jobs posted on Monster (more than 1,000).
The second is called Career Benchmarking. Users enter information about their career, education, salary and benefits and see how they compare with others in their field.
The third is called Career Mapping. Users enter a starting job and an ending job, and Monster plots how other people who have made that transition have done it. To go from nanny to spy, for instance, one suggested path is nanny, to youth behavioral counselor, to probation officer, to police officer, to intelligence analyst/security specialist, to intelligence analyst/imagery.
Monster lists relevant and available jobs on the pages showing those tools, in the hopes that passive seekers will click on them and submit a résumé.
“It’s a typical funnel. The more people you draw at the top, the more people come through,” Mr. Gilvar said. “This notion of dislodging the passive seeker is an attractive thing.”
Monster’s job postings have fallen because of the economy, Mr. Gilvar said, though employers were still hiring in areas like information technology, manufacturing and health care.

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