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Godzilla vs. Mothra: competitive innovation from LinkedIn and CareerBuilder?

LinkedIn and CareerBuilderAs Monster continues its long, slow fade as the ‘big dog’ in the job board world (funny how long-term lack of leadership can do that to you), industry attention turns to LinkedIn and CareerBuilder. Why? These sites have shown the most consistent efforts to offer new services. Since what happens at the top of the industry often filters down to the rest of us, let’s take a look at what LinkedIn and CareerBuilder have introduced in 2012-13:


  • Introduced a service that allows you to compare your ad’s results with other similar ads on CB – including qualifying demographic info about applicant pool. Nice use of the infamous ‘Big Data’.
  • Integrated an OpinionLab tool that allows job seekers to provide feedback via mobile devices
  • Created a Supply and Demand portal that allows employers to determine where certain types of candidates are – and are most plentiful. More ‘Big Data’.
  • Provides advice to employers on finding skilled workers from closely-related occupations (via, yep, you guessed it – ‘Big Data’).

In a nutshell, CareerBuilder’s purchase of EMSI in 2012 has generated several new services – and I suspect they’re just getting started.


  • Introduced a tool to measure brand awareness on LinkedIn of a given employer – and increase awareness.
  • Updated its LinkedIn Recruiter service and added a talent-matching feature (a recommendation engine, actually).
  • Added mobile-optimized ‘company pages’
  • Bought mobile news reader Pulse and presentation tool SlideShare
  • Added ‘endorsements’ for LinkedIn profiles

So what’s really going on with these two very large companies? Despite the general press buzz, we of course know that LinkedIn has been around for quite a while, and is thus a much more mature company than its PR (and stock price) might indicate. LinkedIn has been rolling out a steady stream of minor modifications to its site that make it more useful, both on the web and on mobile devices. It is also trying to make itself into the primary hub for everyone in corporate America (and beyond) – a Facebook for people that actually work. At the same time, it’s trying to add revenue-producing services to satisfy its stockholders – and the vast majority of those seem to revolve around recruiting and job search.

CareerBuilder of course is even older than LinkedIn(gasp!), but after many years in the #2 slot behind Monster, seems to be assuming a leadership role – particularly with the actual implementation of big data in recruiting. It almost seems from the outside like the addition of EMSI has reinvigorated the company – and of course it has certainly turned its focus to the development of how employers can use all that data that CareerBuilder captures. At the same time, CareerBuilder struggles with a legacy that it is just ‘another big job board’. It is a bright spot for its corporate owners – but financial pressures from above could stifle ongoing innovation.

So it’s not quite like Mothra versus Godzilla, but the battle between LinkedIn and CareerBuilder for the deep pockets of the world’s recruiters is quite interesting. Until the EMSI acquisition, I would have given the edge to LinkedIn – now I’m not so sure.

What do you think? Are LinkedIn and CareerBuilder making the right moves?

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dear sir

    In my opinion, job boards will need to innovate more to compete against the social recruiting. They will have to come up with enriching experience for candidates and employers both, that justifies the purity of job board focussed around job against the social networks.
    Mobile adoptions, visual CVS, video adoptions and screening process innovations are some of the opportunities that exists for the industry to monetize. Hanu software is helping all that.

  2. A few years ago, one would never have expected to read such a blog as this but it just goes to show how the landscape has changed. While I utilize LinkedIn reguarly and we have received a few good hires, CareerBuilder simply drives us more relevant candidates (and ultimately hires) through their improved RDB and supply/demand portal but also automation in recruiting. The real question is how does Monster’s senior leadership remain intact with quarter after quarter of significant losses? Guess they are like weathermen/weatherwomen, they can be wrong and still keep their jobs…

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