Is The Ladders Giving Recruiting A Bad Name?

Let me say upfront so there are no misunderstandings, I haven’t used your service and most likely never will but thought I might as well chime in with my thoughts on your company, (which remains a topic of discussion) as so many others have. While I will agree that financially you seem to be on track, your business model and brand could probably use some tweaking.

First off, don’t air offhanded and offensive commercials as it affects the entire community of companies within your space. Part of the measure of a good company is it’s ability to demonstrate good steward-ship. I’m not given pause when the Walmart commercial comes on the television as I’m sure most aren’t. Honestly I didn’t find the ads as offensive as others but thought they were distasteful and certainly not something I would want my kids to watch on television. The fact that everyone has seen worse on their television set shouldn’t be the sole consideration for a commercials content. More homework should have been done as the ads clearly have alienated many from your company.

Second, I fundamentally disagree with charging an out of work person $30 a month to do little more than hold their hand and tell them “it will be okay”. For the good it will do, they would be better served to spend the 30 bucks on their local lottery as in both cases, lightning strikes somebody and it may be the candidate. This too has alienated many from your service.

Lastly, take a little bit of the profits you report and sink it into business model restructuring. You could turn more revenue by aligning yourself with the rest of the industry rather than offending everyone. Although I haven’t had any first hand experience with your company as stated earlier, many of the successful folks in my space that I respect tremendously have, and have taken to the rooftops to cry out against you. That should present itself as a red flag to your management team. I’m really quite thankful that I am able to place information technology candidates without the use of your service. I have always been of the opinion that one on one engagement beats the big machine every time and that there is truly much more to a person than the sum of their resume.

History is replete with examples of faulty or misguided albeit successful individuals and companies. Enron, Bernie Madoff, Hitler to name just a few, and the list goes on and on. All of them eventually came to an end but for a time they were extremely successful. Just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should. I can appreciate all of these examples for what they accomplished in their time and at the same time completely disagree with their methodologies, tactics and ideology, as I do at this time with yours.

I hope these words reach you and that they have meaning as I have bad will towards none. I will lose no sleep regardless whether your company succeeds or experiences utter and complete collapse.

Views: 652

Comment by Recruiting Animal on February 24, 2011 at 11:52am

Is it just me or is one of these not really a member of this group: Madoff, Enron, Hitler.


> I disagree with charging an out of work person $30 a month


Someone who was earning over 100K and doesn't know anything about searching for jobs online gets a feed for $30. I think Josh was trying to say that this isn't that awful.


There are plenty of businesses which charge a lot for information you could get yourself: eg lawyers.



Comment by Chuck Klein on February 24, 2011 at 12:07pm
Curious if anyone from the Ladders will be reading this.
Comment by Lesley Hardy on February 24, 2011 at 12:59pm
I have to say they get a fair bit of air time on here from us.  I think I have said all I have to say on the subect.  Once again...I agree
Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 24, 2011 at 3:40pm

If anybody thinks TheLadders gives a rip about what anybody thinks we are dreaming.  It is a money making, marketing machine.  They will not go off message no matter what.  If some folks get a job or some recruiters make a placement with it that is a nice side effect but it's not the purpose.

All the hype is to do volume jobseeker subscriptions, upgrade those they can to an 800.00 resume, get companies/recruiters to pay for posting and database access.  They will do it however they can, in any way that they can.  They can not do volume jobseeker biz if they don't have jobs.  During the last six months they didn't and we didn't and companies didn't have that many 100K jobs.  So they couldn't even scrape enough jobs off other sites to keep the jobseeker volume up.  Recruiters and companies didn't use them.   So they dug up old jobs and fired them out to any candidate.  They put jobs on the site that were not 100K as they always have.  Almost every resume was a bad one according to their form letters.

 With the market picking up they are simply starting a marketing campaign to build their numbers.  It doesn't have anything to do with recruiting or anybody getting a job.  It's building numbers if anybody does benefit that's dandy and the machine will continue to move.

The reason ponzi schemes, tax shelters, and the lottery works is because not everybody loses all the time.  If nobody ever won the lottery people would quit buying tickets.  As long as there is a winner once in a while the machine continues to grind out the bucks.


Is there anything wrong with making money?  Absolutely not.  Is there something wrong with scamming people to make money.  Absolutely.


Josh knows it's not about the money they charge the jobseeker he was simply impressed with the machine. Fine,  Madoff ran a pretty impressive operation and a lot of those folks got actual returns on their investments.   Some got returns on paper that were not

Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 24, 2011 at 5:03pm

that different from the resumes from the Ladders.


Ted Bundy was charming at cocktail parties.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 24, 2011 at 6:17pm

 Yes, Travis i think they are hurting our industry.  Do we justify ripping somebody off because:

A.  30.00 bucks, it's not that much money. (WE'll just screw you a little bit, and gee you might hit a winner.)

B.  Those folks earn or should have earned over 100K so big deal they can afford it. (why will they take resumes of people at 75K with the justification that they might be worth 100K)

C.  100K up earners should know better because they make that much money.

D.  If 100K earners get ripped off they will probably not say anything because they should have known better.

E.  They might luck out and get a job.

Do we justify taking jobs  under or over 100K off of other job boards and company/recruiter sites then charging people to see them because:

A.  Indeed and simply hired do it so what is 30 bucks to have them in one place.

B.  They can't know if they are 100K because not many recruiters or companies put salary ranges. So if there are any on there that are below their advertised range of 100K only jobs they just missed the estimate and really they should be based on the job description.

C.  HR people and recruiters don't have anything to do but damage control because people are mad when they find out the jobs have been filled for years or are under 100K.  So what? Big Deal? The recruiter or the company may have made a good contact since we lied for you.  End Justifies the means?

D.  Jobseekers are not sophisticated enough to do a google  search so it's ok.

Are we all so damn dumb that we think they give a flip about jobseekers, recruiters or companies other than we are and we supply their inventory.  There are a lot of us so if some think they are crooks not all will.  Spin big, they need volume.  They will throw money at your little group or your event.

Are we so naive that we really think they have much interest in what any of the group that went to New York had to say.  It was

Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 24, 2011 at 6:19pm
.. a PR move so they could spin to jobseekers, recruiters and companies that they had a pow wow with the "Mavens" of our industry who are in agreement and working with them to cure the ills of the job market.  According to all reports no one was able to get any answers to questions or comments about the scam reports.  Just ON MESSAGE spin.  Or "sure we know there is some bad press out there that's why you are here"  read:  for us to impress you with our think tank, blah, blah. then we can tell the world we collaborated with you so we must be just whoopee good.

I could puke, i could just puke.  If they were not spinmeisters we would not be having these discussions.  Douzet has even stated that the response to the commercial was running 3-1 positive.

Anybody heard anything positive other than that goofy statement "i hate it but, all buzz is good buzz"?  check out the you tube comments.  Many of them are as nasty as the commercial.  If one jobseeker/recruiter/company reads your article and the comments and decides not to donate to the money machine then you and i and everybody else who speaks out has done one good thing today.

It won't stop them or change them but we may have saved somebody 30.00 bucks today.

Comment by Barbara Goldman on February 25, 2011 at 3:35pm
I hate the Ladders advertising. It creeps me out to see people writhing around, and in some way using that image to attract quality candidates. Or anyone, for that matter. I have used the Ladders with success, but not often. 30.00 a month is nothing for the candidates. Execs subscribe to many different information sources, and this is probably the least expensive.  I have never seen Ladders targeting the unemployed in it's advertising, if they did, it would turn off the recruiters who go there for talent.
Comment by Valentino Martinez on February 26, 2011 at 2:38am

There was a ladder on the freeway they other day causing a lot of problems with the flow of traffic.  People do get upset when there's a ladder in the road when they're trying to get someplace.



Comment by Lesley Hardy on February 26, 2011 at 2:46am

If you are a 100k+ candidate I would imagine you have developed skills in research, business, fit for purpose, networking, relationship management, business writing and communication.


These are the skills such a candidate would use to find a job.  The internet makes it easy, and jobs can be sought on job boards.  In fact if you google your skill set, you can usually hook into agregate job board sites for the area you want to work in.  So if you are moving to another town, or country..its all there.  I did it myself yesterday and found heaps of jobs from a range of job boards on one site.


Now what I want to know is, if I was such a person what possible benefit would paying $30 to a site like ladders give me that I cant create for myself?  I dont get it!  Im missing something!


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