Monster.com Brings Contractors to Market

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Leading online recruiter Monster.com is expanding its bailiwick July 4 with the debut of Monster Talent Market 1.0, which it touts as the first talent auction on the Internet.


The new offering allows free agents like consultants, small-business owners, independent contractors and freelancers to market their skills online to potential employers auction-style.


"One of the overriding issues of free agents is that of marketing themselves," said Victoria L'Homme, director of relationship marketing at Monster.com, Maynard, MA. "What Monster Talent Market gives them is the ability to market themselves all the time or at the times they need to."


To participate in the auction, free agents build a profile on the talentmarket.monster.com site, including their education and work experience as well as ideal assignment, salary requirements and project scope.


Potential employers who want to fill a position immediately post their bids on the site, leaving it up to the free agent to accept or reject the terms and assignments offered.


An ad campaign for the site created by Mullen Advertising, Wenham, MA, will break July 4. Themed "Declare Your Independence. Choose Monster Talent Market. Choose Freedom," the effort initially includes a direct mailer to human resources executives, ad banners on the Monster.com site and radio ads in eight markets. Airplanes will fly over key markets on Independence Day, tagged with banners. A blimp will be the other component of the aerial ad push, flying over major cities for the next three months. An August print campaign follow-up includes consumer and mainstream business publications.


Owned by TMP Worldwide Inc., New York, Monster.com was launched last January as the combination of company-owned online recruiting properties The Monster Board and Online Career Center. The new site now claims 7.6 million unique visits a month from job-seekers and HR executives.


Nearly 90 percent of Monster.com's current roster of contractors have agreed to use Monster Talent Market, L'Homme said. An estimated 350,000 of the 1.3 million visitors who post their resumes on Monster.com style themselves contract employees, according to the company.


More than 10 million Americans, or 7.8 percent of the country's population, currently describe their work status as self-employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And about 5 million self-described "contract" workers surf the Internet regularly, says online reference service CyberAtlas.


Though the pricing model has not been determined at press time L'Homme said Monster.com will charge a nominal fee to the free agent and take a cut from the hiring company's accepted bid.
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