Interview: Sinead Bunting, European VP Marketing
It’s been a huge, purple, furry year. We caught up with Sinead Bunting, VP European Marketing, to find out what’s big and what’s going to be even bigger.
“2017 was a monster of a year. We launched our new Monster Jobs App in August right across Europe. We obviously had high hopes, but even we were surprised by how well it was received. We’ve seen how users’ behaviour has changed recently. ‘Swiping’ to like is intuitive now and people’s expectations have changed. It wasn’t that long ago that people found notifications and contact intrusive. Now users actively want that kind of regular update.
Let’s be honest, searching for jobs is hard work at the best of times, so anything we can do to help out is going to be well received. ‘Click to apply’ and ‘click to upload your CV’ is a barrier. Nobody wants to do the legwork, nobody wants to trawl through job after job looking for treasure. Technology has very quickly shifted how hard people are prepared to work. Whether you’re buying a new toaster or looking for a new career, users now expect recommendations and want products and services to find them. And, crucially, ‘one click’ usability.
Technology that understands the avocado generation.
Millennials get a bit of a bad press about their avocados and lattes, but they’re forcing technology to get better. By insisting on targeted jobs, technology that understands them and the ability to ‘chat’ constantly, they’re forcing tech companies to adapt rapidly. To them, the idea of their application falling into a ‘CV black hole’ is unacceptable. And they’re absolutely right.
It may be an uncomfortable truth for those of us from other generations, but millennials also trust chatbots more than chatting with real people or even getting emails. Monster has had to respond to these pretty seismic shifts.
But it’s not just our technology that we’ve invested in, it’s also our marketing. We had another big push in January this year to get people to download the new app and our big TV splash was focussed on ‘helping you get the job you deserve’. It’s so important that we translate what Monster actually does for people, rather than the clever technology that I’ve just been talking about.
Marketing to the individual.
So that’s 2017 in a nutshell, and 2018 is going to be even bigger, even furrier and even more purple. We’re having a bit of a spring clean, looking at the website’s core function to make it more focussed on the seeker and how we can ‘be in their corner’ at all times. It won’t be a radical shift, but there will be some cool new things going on. The app has made a new promise to our users and it’s important that the core product works with it seamlessly. Our motto and commitment continues to be ‘Seekers first’.
2018 is also bound to throw up some new buzzwords. Every year the whole industry groans under the weight of something new like Big Data or Blockchain. The technology that’s really exciting me at the moment is AI. For example, chatbots can be either ‘rule’ based or ‘AI’ chatbots that constantly learn and that, for us, could be a really exciting use of AI to help the candidate in their job seeking journey.
Another thing that’s of real interest to me at the moment is ‘programmatic’. Our business relies on engaging really well with as much talent as possible. Using programmatic allows us to send messages based on a number of things; location, current job, interests etc. It helps us deliver more tailored, personalised advertising and helps employers and candidates get together.
Humans are naturally quite self-interested; we know from research that people’s favourite word is their name and they always zoom in on images of themselves in photos. People care about themselves and their own image, especially in this social media dominated world and programmatic lets us help people do just that. It should also stop marketers from annoying people with stuff they don’t want. It’s exactly what our business is about so I find it both fascinating and exciting. It’s what will allow us to build a truly ‘candidate focused’ approach.
At Monster we have a responsibility, and a real desire, to build the pipeline of talent and build a diverse pipeline at that. In the last couple of years we developed an initiative we named ‘Monster Confidence’. Working with Stemettes the social enterprise, we’ve gone across the UK & Ireland talking to young female STEM talent – giving them confidence and specific advice and information. Helping increase confidence and defeating the ‘imposter syndrome’ amongst young talent has been a real highlight of my job in the last couple of years. Now we’re looking to open this work out across Europe and for all women in business.
We want to tackle underrepresentation, we want to promote equal pay and we want to give women the confidence to know that they make organisations better and more commercially successful.
The up and coming generation won’t tolerate any, excuse the term, bullshit of inequality. It’s a legacy of an old system and it’s on its way out. If you as an organisation aren’t doing something to tackle inequality, you will lose out. Change is happening and, if you want the best talent, you’ll have to fight for it and show them you are a progressive organisation with values that match their own. Money is the currency of power which is why the gender pay gap is so fundamental in reinforcing inequality and why it’s an issue that needs to be addressed and fast.
Another initiative which I’m really proud of is the Tech Talent Charter, which I wrote and brought to life in collaboration with a number of amazing inspirational women in the world of business and tech. We’ve secured the support of the UK government and over 182 signatories such as Monster, Cisco, Shell, HP, Salesforce who are driving diversity in the tech workforce.
If we can help drive diversity and inclusion it benefits everybody across the board.
What else? Well, ‘Google for Jobs’ is coming and we’re a partner in that. We’ll be working with our customers to show them how they can get the most out of this new taxonomy and route to market.
Stating the obvious, connecting with talent is especially hard in an environment with record low employment and the highest ever levels of vacancies. According to the IMF, 6% of the European workforce is actively seeking a job. Now you can fish in that pond, but the real challenge (and the real rewards) come when you go beyond that active 6% to the 94% passive audience. Monster Social Job Ads and our Power Job Ad lets you present your employer brand and job opportunity on media where people are just hanging out, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other online websites. The passive audience is vast and with our unique ‘passive play’ we are giving employers whole new audiences and bringing talent and opportunity together in new ways in an easy, seamless and innovative fashion.
That’s what we’re all about, bringing talent and opportunity together over a seamless platform. I can’t wait to get out there and take better technology and value to new audiences and deliver a productive, diverse and more effective workforce.”