Monster's Tickle Fetish

If the Internet has taught us anything, it's that leading sites often come with unlikely, yet cleverly branded, domain names. CNet's (Nasdaq: CNET  ) Search.com isn't the world's most popular search portal. Those bragging rights belong to Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) and Google. Books.com will redirect you to Barnes & Noble's (NYSE: BKS  ) online store, but former Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) rules the roost.

That's why you shouldn't be surprised that the leading career placement site is Monster.com (Nasdaq: MNST  ) , and that it will acquire the popular Tickle.com online testing site. Beyond the odd pairing of domain names, you don't need to put yourself through one of Tickle's intricate quizzes to know that the two are a match made in heaven.

Tickle's tests will help you find anything from a love match to a community of like-minded souls, but it's also a provider of career assessment testing. Tickle claims that it has 18 million active members. Just as important, it has been profitable over the past two years.

If you have ever taken the site up on creating a quiz on yourself, you already know about Tickle's viral acumen. As soon as you email the quiz to your friends and family, they too get tangled in the web of sticky dot-com goodness.

For a company like Monster, data is gold. And Tickle is a veritable Midas, with a tally of 7 billion questions that have been answered by its members. Tickle's career tests will help Monster put out a better product to both jobseekers and headhunters, but don't discount Tickle's other features.

Matchmaking can be a lucrative business. Just ask Monster's rival HotJobs.com. That site is owned by Yahoo!, which makes a pretty penny off its dating personals. Community? That's another Yahoo! strong suit. The similarities can't be a coincidence. Last year, the company spun off its executive search and eResourcing business as Hudson Highland Group (Nasdaq: HHGP  ) , and now it acquires a worthy data-munching eyeball magnet? It's an appropriate response.

While Monster will have to put up a million shares, an initial payment of $29.5 million, and financial objective payments that will likely top $40 million in three years, Tickle is one fetish that will suit this Monster just fine.

Are you looking for work? Are you tired of your present job and looking for a change of scenery -- or at least a change of salary? Isn't The Office grand? All this and more -- in the Ask The Headhunter discussion board. Only on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that all work and no play make for the only really good Stephen King movie.His stock holdings can be viewed online, as can the Fool's disclosure policy.


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