Dave Mendoza Reveals "The Dark Side of RecruiterEarth: When Funny Is Actually Spite"

I can understand how anyone viewing this video with laugh tracks edited within it would find it humorous, and even more so give credit to Jason and myself for the antics described, however, the real story behind its formulation and its intent is anything but funny.

I waited a couple of days to let this this situation and its implications 'sink in' to properly address all the issues involved. Today I will make an attempt to remove any ambiguity on where I stand on the video, its creators, Chris Lavois - a public figure in our industry.

It started as a 'gag reel' to loosen up for a more serious video about an entirely different topic matter. I requested, and I was promised, - without any ambiguity - that this video would not be produced nor aired at any time. In emails to date, this has been confirmed by Chris LaVoie, a Recruite earth Co-Founder, that he fully understood that it was never my intent to have this video shared with the general public.

You may be asking yourself why it matters, "It was funny Dave, why the issue?"

The video you may have seen was originally taped in November at Kennedy Expo four months ago. I was given no expectation that the material would be aired, I was not informed of the video by Recruiter Earth, nor did the video even give credit to RecruitingBlogs.com nor Jason Davis. Above all, I want to inform Recruiter Earth's membership that the video you saw was edited entirely out of context, of which none of this material should have been on aired. Chris LaVoie and Recruiter Earth never had legal rights to make it available to the public and overall it wasn't a funny situation. Overall it was an abuse of trust. The video was made to look like a comedy at the expense of my friend Jason Davis and though it is a funny Video, RecruiterEarth's intent was not meant for comedy and I'll explain why.

Let me give you a bit of background on the process that led to this seemingly, lighthearted video:

This past September, Recruitfest, Toronto, was produced by Recruitingblogs.com and a cocktail party was hosted at the home of Jason Davis. Being one to enjoy "Where are they now" Baby pics I took a photo as a prank on my friend, Jason Davis, on my iphone of a picture frame. A month later on Halloween when Jason asked me who I was pretending to be for the holiday, I told him I was going as "him" - he was puzzled but a few hours later I used the little boy picture as my own profile photo for the day. The initial intent on my part was that of an innocent prank, a shenanigan, - but It was poorly executed and the impact was something I could not have expected 4 months later and has been a matter of personal regret.

As a partner of RecruitingBlogs.com, I know first hand that decisions to ban members are never easy. Over the last several months Chris LaVoie has been an active participant on RecruitingBlogs.com but instead of being active by adding content and participating in the ongoing conversations about recruiting, Chris would use RecruitingBlogs.com in order to promote RecruiterEarth in a way we like to call 'Predatorial' networking. His behavior was that of someone whose sole purpose was to attract RecruitingBlogs.com membership to his own, with the intention of selling products to them.

You see I am the first to tell you that Recruiter Earth is slick, just like its leadership. The word "slick" is defined by Webster's dictionary, however, as "deftly executed and having surface appeal or sophistication, but shallow or glib in content; polished but superficial." The look and feel is that of a Vodka ad in GQ magazine - and it feels that way because it is indeed utilizing its membership information to continually promote its Red and Black book of passive candidates, among other products.

We at RecruitingBlogs.com spent at least two months determining whether to ban Chris Lavoie from RecruitingBlogs.com, and once he was banned - he shot back at jason by banning JD AND then manipulating my gag reel - with Recruiter Earth going out of their way to make it look like it was through my own consent. It is no coincidence, that four months after that video was shot that it would appear without warning or notification just as he was being banned himself from RecruitingBlogs.com. The video was produced to spite Jason Davis, myself and RecruitingBlogs.com because he was removed by our community for his lack of respect. The timeline and the lack of consent is consistent with this conclusion. The fact that Chris LaVoie continued to air the video after informing me he would remove it merely confirms this understanding.

As much as i would like to take credit for being funny, this was a concerted effort to have as many people see this as possible and
completely taken out of context. The more I learned about the timeline of actions leading up to the video being posted, the more I understood it was no coincidence. It was Chris LaVoie's way of giving a middle finger to RecruitingBlogs.com after he was banned.

I am absolutely appalled. I always found Chris to be a personable sort of guy, the kind you can crack a joke with down the hall of a conference, but interestingly enough Chris was always fond of closing a conversation with "Let me know when you're ready to join the "Dark Side." I certainly saw the site's underbelly this past weekend and over the last several months hitting our membership to join his own site. What is more interesting is that Chris repeated this refrain right as I was about to hang up the phone telling him to take the video down. It speaks volumes that Chris would view himself and Recruiter Earth in this manner.

It is easy to contrast the healthy ecosystem as reflected by Recruitingblogs.com - a community whose membership can be secure without fear that their private membership data will not be sold to vendors, and whose leadership works to benefit its membership with transparency and worthy, user generated content without the hollywood glitz. This description is decidedly contrary to that of Recruiter Earth, whose membership is availed to vendors, a constant stream of vendor related spam, and whose leadership can often be found lurking from profile to profile promoting a competing site and its products and spamming its membershp via email. It is a depiction Chris LaVoie thinks is funny, or perhaps a freudrian slip of the tongue of how he views his practices as compared with that of our own at RecruitingBlogs.com. It is not, however, how Jason Davis and I do business nor do we find such juvenile responses to being banned humorous, pitting one friend against the other to show spite.

When the goal is to sell people things rather than to build community, I agree with Chris, it is the 'Dark Side' of the industry and it is what we are trying to Change - not continue to propagate as the image of an industry we want people to take pride in.

Sometimes what seems funny turns out wrong, but it becomes unethical when the sole intent is to manipulate it as an instrument of spite.

PS: As soon as I posted my response to the Video on RecruiterEarth Chris Lavois banned me as a member of RecruiterEarth within 5 minutes, then he banned Maureen, I assume Jerry Albright - Oh Well lol - really Chris be an adult. There are so many simple solution, like for example, taking the video down you have no signed release for nor stated permission otherwise - and apologizing. Escalation is pointless especially against individuals not even involved because they shared opinions on the matter.

Chris Lavoie - I would appreciate it if you apologized. It's warranted.

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Thangs that make you go "hummmm...."
(I left the best piece for you, Ami.)
One question - how can he apologize if he's bad-boy banned?
Wow, I had no idea about all the history and story behind this stuff. Our industry does have a dark side, it is something we are always trying to rise above. There are always people ready to drag us back down, though. Always.
What I find interesting here - and I mean reeeaaaaallly interesting - is how Lebvois must have thought this would be taken. Was it his site "officially" taking a knock at JD? And Dave? What was the intent there? I guess it doesn't really matter - as it stands now Chris LeBois has been caught in his dirty deed.

Shame Chris. Shame.

It is interesting how my inbox has been pounded with literally hundreds of spam ads for their site for their black book, red book, etc. ever since I created an account over there - but I never see any real content. So maybe he's just hoping to lure some of us from here so they would get some content??

Oh well. It's now a public record I guess. I'll cut myself off before I say..................
Draaahhhhhhh-mmmaaaaaaaa! Who needs reality tv when we have this ;)
Oooooo Now they made it personal...
Sorry, Maureen Sharib 513 899 9628, you can not access Recruiter Earth as you have been banned. If you think you've been banned in error, you can contact the administrator.
They made it personal when they first did this Maureen. It's truly childish. All Chris had to do was remove it and apologize. he escalated it and made it public and personal. I think its funny he bans the subject of the video teself - proves the case it was done to be malicious, not funny.

He gave his word he would remove it, though it remains. He emailed us both telling us he would remove it - it remains up. We complain, he bans us. I don't think these truths make community self evident at Recruiter Earth. If you want to receive spam on their products of self-described "passive Candidates" - feel free everyone.
This is a perfect example of what can happen in this new era of social media. The public content on the internet is open for interpretation by the viewer/reader/listener. I clicked the link to view the video before reading your post and laughed... it was funny (and an adorable picture of Jason) .... but as I read through your post, quickly changed my tune because you and Jason were offended.

I posted pictures of some old friends on my Facebook (from 1989). They depicted us all at the time of the big 89 Loma Prieta earthquake. Everyone was so excited that I had saved them after 20 years and that we had all reconnected!

Through all the funny FB comments I received a private message requesting one photo in particular be taken down. There was nothing wrong with the photo - he was making a silly face for the camera - but he explained in his note that it was a bad time in his life and that photo wasn't something he wanted displayed in public. I got his message and immediately took it off out of respect for him.

It's a crazy crazy time in the social media world. It's going to work successfully for some and be the down fall for others. I've made my own fair share of social media mistakes (a LOT)... but I learn everyday by them...... hopefully Chris will learn by this one.

:-) and one last thing Dave & Jason you both ROCK!

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