Ziprecruiter, LinkedIn: Fraudulent Job Postings and Sharing Your Job Candidates

Hey Recruiters: It's time to turn on the lights and chase the cockroaches out. The story below is real and happened just this past week. It’s a story of fraud and one that has real world implications on my business.

If you haven’t heard the radio commercials for Zip Recruiter, you must listen to some remote C & W station from Muleshoe, Texas. 

My latest experience with Zip Recruiter

I was minding my business yesterday; I answered my phone.  A lovely lady indicated she was interested in the purchasing job we were posting on LinkedIn in the Bay area.  Hmm, we don’t have a listing for a purchasing job in the bay area.  My first thought was that we had a product manager spot about eight months ago in the Bay area so perhaps this was an old job posting from someplace that was floating around.  It didn’t make sense because we don’t post jobs on LinkedIn except within groups on rare occasions.  I explained that we didn’t have a listing it could be an old one.  The lady indicated it reflected it had been posted the day before. 

The Link

I asked her to send me a link to the job posting.  I clicked on the Link, and there it was posted under my company name, logo and a “Meet Professional Search, Inc. Int’l” under the job posting with further information about my firm.  Albeit showing a category that we do not support.  Then I noticed that to the right of the posting was our logo over the company name “Professional Search Group.”  Not us and no link to a Professional Search Group page.

Trying to figure out who was using our company information to post a job we do not have with our contact details and how they did it, I clicked on apply. 

The Application To My Own Job (That I never Posted)

Immediately I received an email from LinkedIn letting me know my application was on the way and a link to see more jobs like the one I just applied for under my company name.


Seconds later I received an email from Emma at Zip Recruiter telling me my app had been sent to Professional Search Group, also giving me a list of multiple other jobs in the same area and same category I could apply for including another agency. 

Not only has the candidate applied to a non-existent job in my company name, they have now been given leads from LinkedIn and Zip Recruiter.

I then received an email from Phil at Zip Recruiter thanking me for reaching out to Zip Recruiter and a list of things I could do to be sure my Zip account reflected lots of info so they could help me find a job. 

The Concern

Congratulations to me if I had paid Zip to post this job any candidate applying for it would become a part of the Zip Recruiter database and have the opportunity to pay LinkedIn for premium service to help find a job. You see once you apply there is another link to the post that takes you to the LinkedIn sales page so you can buy the LinkedIn job seeker service.  Excellent work. 

A company or a recruiter pays Zip to post their job in lots of places.  You get the candidates but so does everybody else who posts the same kind of job.  Including everybody who posts the same kind of job on LinkedIn.

The Real Question and Zip Recruiters Response

But the real question is, How did Zip Recruiter post this job under my company name without my authorization.  Did they use my password for LinkedIn that might be in their files from four years ago when I did a trial of Zip Recruiter that was such a disaster I canceled it after three days? 

Their CEO says he has identified who posted the job.  Well, that’s nice.  Zip Recruiter posted the job; I know that.  How did they manage to post it under my company name?

Does Zip Recruiter advertise that if you use their service, they will take the candidates who apply, send them other job opportunities and try to up-sell the candidate to use their job seeker service?  Uh, no they don’t. 

So if you want to provide a big list of jobs for every candidate who might apply to a job you post by all means pay them to aggregate your candidates and flip them someplace else.  You might try and see if they have posted jobs under your company name that you don’t know exist.  Difficult to do unless a candidate happens to call you.  Why would I be doing a search for a job I don’t have a listing for in an area of the country I seldom work in or a specialty that I may have had two listings in 40 years. 

I was just minding my own business when this little gem of fraud, misrepresentation and deceptive trade practice dropped into my lap.  It’s great not to know how many people may have applied to this post thinking it was mine and gotten barraged by Zip, LinkedIn and whoever Professional Search Group may or may not be.   

Views: 18469

Comment by Matt Charney on May 11, 2016 at 1:32pm

I'm going to stand up for Zip Recruiter here - this isn't new, and while it's not the most ethical practice, all they're doing is scaling what the RHIs and Aeroteks of the world have been doing for decades. Their entire marketing approach has been B2C, which means that they're actually laying the groundwork for this to be a viable business model by going direct to the hiring managers primarily within the SMB space (and end users like their product, btw) - and it's far less nefarious than the "HR Tech" companies who do nothing but scrape jobs and make money off PPC margins. It sucks this happened, but I don't know that being an unnecessary intermediary in the hiring process is really anything except recruiting - with a little rusing thrown in, but still, this is just beating staffing at its own game.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 11, 2016 at 4:18pm

Well, Matt, let me say this about that.  RHI and Aerotek hasn't posted a job under my company name yet.  I am not the only one that happened to on this same job. I would suggest that a post showing up associated with my company on LinkedIn and the same job showing up on Glassdoor associated with another recruiting firm (complete with contact info) who did not have the listing is not exactly beating us at our own game. I would suggest to anybody who is paying Zippy to post their positions that it would be wise to apply for the job themselves and see what their candidates are seeing.

One of the other joys I discovered is that when Zip posts it on linkedin , a candidate applies, that candidate now has a link to message everybody who works in your company.  One recruiter -firm owner, reported that she was using Zip with an additional charge for "boost".  One of her employee recruiters sent a candidate to her the owner had received directly but had not had time to contact yet.  The applicant had applied for the job through Zip post on LinkedIn that went to the boss, then got a link to one of the recruiters with the firm and sent the resume to that recruiter in addition.  The employee recruiter contacted him and referred to her boss asking for commission if the candidate were placed.  It was never the intention of the boss to have candidates contacting other recruiters in the firm.  It is never the intention of internal recruiting to have candidates given a direct link to every person in their company so the candidate can them shoot resumes all over the company.

"While it's not the most ethical practice"   Do we really classify things as ethical, more ethical, not the most ethical.  Not in my world.

Comment by Matt Charney on May 11, 2016 at 6:24pm

Sandra: you're right, there aren't varying degrees of ethics, but what you're describing above would mean from a moral absolute standpoint means that there's not a single vendor in our space with a modicum of morality, so I have to assign some gradation in the absence of any standards of decorum, professionalism or common human decency. But this is all legal, which means as long as capitalism exists, so too will this general shadiness.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 11, 2016 at 7:27pm

Trust me when I tell you that it is not now nor has it ever been legal for anybody to use my company name without my authorization.

the rest of it is just low rent, sleazy in my opinion. 

Comment by Bahar Studdard on May 12, 2016 at 1:03am
Interesting Sandra! I post on Zip daily, so tomorrow I am going to apply to my job and see what happens....
Comment by Greg David on November 9, 2016 at 4:39pm

As of 11/9/2016 this practice by ZipRecruiter is alive and well.  I have a client who requests we use ZipRecruiter to post their roles.  I learned today that a candidate who applied for one of this client's roles was contacted after applying by a ZipRecruiter employee and this person fraudently misrepresented themselves as someone who is part of the hiring process at our firm and our client's firm, and they shared that they were themselves passing along the person's resume to the hiring manager and would keep them posted.  They then communicated with the applicant that there are other openings in the area that they may be viable for and shared the links of those jobs with this person.  So what we have (in writing---the email chain) is a ZipRecruiter person directly reaching out to an applicant and fraudently and intentionally making claims that they are working with my firm and the client hiring manager.  They also are intentionally reaching out to this applicant and attempting to steer them to other openings which is something that is not in the contract, nor something I am confident the ZipRecruiter customers are aware that is a common practice. In fact, they are doing things covertly that can be harmful to the hiring efforts of the very customers who are paying them for their service of providing a tool to assist in hiring.  If I had not seen this in writing and then had one of their representatives admit it has been going on, I would not believe that this occurs with this firm.  I would think this is the perfect scenario for a class action lawsuit.  Moreover, I would think this is the very thing that their customers would find more than concerning.  This is bad, bad, bad corporate behavior.


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