Monster is synonymous with online job hunting, even though literally thousands of job search websites exist now. It was one of the first of the big named boards (established in 1999, compared to Career Builder in 1995) and is responsible for finding me a job I loved. (I posted my resume, and a recruiter contacted me, back in 2000.) But, online job hunting is not all that it's cracked up to be. Recent studies suggest that 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking.

What was once thought as the great equalizer--anybody can reach any job by applying online--turns out to not make a huge difference in the job hunting arena. Enter a Netherlands-based human resources (HR) consulting giant. They purchased Monster for $429 million.

While that might seem like a lot of money, it's $3.40 per share, a far cry from back when I landed a job through  Monster in 2000, when shares were trading for $91.

What does this tell us about online recruiting? Is it dead? 

The job hunting aspect of recruiting certainly isn't dead. People will continue to use the internet to seek out potential jobs and companies that interest them. However, this signals that simply posting your resume on a job board, or applying through a job board, is not the job hunting panacea that we all thought.

People still find jobs based on who they know. If Randstad recognizes that, how can they benefit from Monster and can they revolutionize the online job hunt? 

Randstad is an HR consulting giant. They don't just do recruiting, they do everything, from strategic planning management to HR leadership. Hopefully, they'll be able to take the base from Monster and revamp it to make online recruiting work for both companies and candidates.

Both groups of people would strongly prefer typing a few words into a magic box and having the right person or the right job pop up, but the current methods aren't working well. Some areas that I hope Randstad uses it's expertise to improve:

Doing away with the black hole of recruiting. You apply for a job and it's like your resume is thrown into a black hole, never to be heard from again. If they could come up with a way to increase the likelihood that only qualified candidates fill out the application, it could save time for everyone and lessen the black hole effect.

Stop recruiter ghosting. Have you had this happen to you?  You interview for a job and then the recruiter says, "We'll keep you updated?" and then you never hear from the recruiter again? This is common and a worst practice. Let's get HR leadership involved with recruiting to fix this.

Fix word problems. The idea of job boards, like Monster, is that they tie into a company's applicant tracking system and you can find candidates by doing   key word searches and pulling out the best people. Except, computers only do what they are told, and sometimes that's terrible. Peter Cappelli, at the Wharton School, told a story of a company who had 29,000 applicants for an engineering job, yet the computer said there were zero qualified applicants. 

If Randstad can fix these problems, then long live online job boards. If not? This is a sure sign of death for the industry. At least, death of the multi-disciplinary boards.

Published on: Aug 10, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.