Degree: Bachelors degree in international relations from Eisenhower College of Rochester Institute of Technology; Masters degree in computer science from North East Worcestershire College; and a Stanford Executive MBA
Car: Chrysler 300 M, silver
Book Im reading now: Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare by Alan Axelrod
At the end of June, the worlds largest online recruitment company, Monster.com, announced plans to acquire HotJobs.com, its biggest competitor, in a deal worth about $460 million. Monsters parent company, TMP Worldwide, plans to keep HotJobs as a stand-alone site after it closes the deal in the fourth quarter. Brian Farrey, Monsters chief technology officer, says that with the downturn in the economy, business has never been better. Farrey joined Monster in 1999, and is responsible for managing all technical aspects of the operation. Farrey recently spoke with Senior Writer Laura Lorek.
How is the Internet better at job searching than offline methods?
Its a better experience for users. They can get more information quicker, and they can target their search much easier.
What is the greatest challenge you face right now?
Finding the appropriate balance between acquisition of product and technological assets, and the buy vs. build decisions. Monster is now beginning to acquire a lot of companies, and the technical and product integration of those companies is a challenge for us. We need to rethink the way we do things. We have less control, and many of these companies are on different continents.
How do you measure success?
Through a customer satisfaction and customer loyalty survey. We need to know that people are happy with the product, that it is effective and that its worth the price people are paying for it.
What was your biggest mistake?
One of our first major Super Bowl advertising releases in 2000 didnt go as smoothly as I would have liked. The problems were in rolling out the release globally. Customers got frustrated. The quality was not the level it should have been for our customers. We had some pain from that. We use that as an example moving forward on how not to do things.
Who are your biggest competitors?
We have approximately 60 percent of the market share in the U.S., and HotJobs has 11 percent. Today, theres less and less online competition. We still see newspapers as somewhat of a competitor, but the marketplace has made that choice clearly. Forty [percent] to 50 percent year to year, classified newspaper sales have dropped off and our revenue has grown.
Why did Monster succeed when so many others have not?
We were first to market. Monster really changed the way online recruiting is done. [There was a] fundamental restructuring of the interaction between the job seeker and the company. We established a brand and focused on a sustainable brand in the marketplace. Monster has a sales model, a sales force and a technical infrastructure that work. Thats the reality of a successful company on the Internet right now.