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Online job site Monster.com is having trouble holding onto its own employees. Monster.com and its parent, recruiting and yellow page advertising company TMP Worldwide, is suing WOWemployers Network, a competing job site founded by Monster.com’s former president. WOWemployers, which has hired 18 former Monster.com employees, will officially launch Wowemployers.com on Thursday. The lawsuit, filed Monday in Marion County Superior Court in Indiana, charges WOWemployers Network and some of its employees, including CEO Bill Warren, with civil conspiracy, misappropriation of trade secrets, violation of stock option agreements and breach of other agreements. Monster.com also alleges that Warren, who resigned as president of Monster.com in December 1999, raided Monster’s employees to obtain trade secrets as well as proprietary and confidential information. Monster.com, based in Maynard, Mass., is requesting an injunction and expedited depositions. Warren, noting that his non-compete agreement with Monster.com expired in December, said the 18 employees he hired from Monster.com — out of a total staff of 33 — were not recruited. Rather, these employees approached him because of dissatisfaction at Monster.com’s Indianapolis, Ind., offices. “We just have done nothing,” Warren said. “They’re just trying to disrupt us and keep us out of the market.” Warren described Indianapolis, Ind.-based WOWemployers Network as an application service provider that will enable job recruiters and human resources departments to better manage and filter the deluge of resumes that come through job boards such as Monster.com and HotJobs.com. Customers will be able to license WOWemployers software, which also enables recruiters to use intranets to manage hiring, for an annual fee ranging from $6,000 for small businesses to $180,000 for a large multinational company. WOWemployers, whose job board will launch in three weeks, already has recruited a group of advisors that includes such companies as Texas Instruments, Eastman Kodak and Nike. Warren contributed his own money toward getting WOWemployers off the ground, but the company has also received funding from Jose Manuel Alvarez, founder of the OCCMundial job site in Mexico, and executives from Mexico’s Grupo Televisa. Warren also founded the Internet’s first employment site, Online Career Center, in 1992, and sold it to TMP in 1995 for $6.5 million. Evan Kornrich, TMP’s director of litigation and labor, denies that Monster.com’s suit is aimed at closing down WOWemployers. “This is not an issue about stifling competition,” he said. “This is an issue about preserving Monster.com’s trade secrets and proprietary information as well as the integrity of the contracts that our employees sign.” Mark Marcon, an equity analyst who covers human-capital solutions companies for First Union Securities, said that there is still plenty of room for more competition in the online recruiting space. By his account, the value of that market equals the $8.4 billion generated by newspaper help-wanted classified ads. “When you advertise with Monster.com or Headhunter.net, there’s the potential to be flooded with resumes,” Marcon said. But Marcon notes also that WOWemployers faces competition from several other companies already providing software designed to address that problem. In June, Monster.com acquired one of those companies, Simpatix, an ASP that Monster.com said would enable clients to screen and rank job candidates and create recruiting centers on their corporate Web sites. Related Articles from The Industry Standard: HotJobs.com, Monster.com Rise Above the Rubble Recruiter Beware Recruiting: How The Best Are Won Copyright � 2001 The Industry Standard

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