TheLadders: Here Come Da Judge!

If you’ve been job hunting at any point in the last few years, you’ve undoubtedly run across a site called TheLadders.  Without question, they’ve been one of the most aggressive players within the Internet employment space, advertising their wares nearly everywhere (including a 2009 Super Bowl commercial) and trying to lure people with the premise that they could provide access to “exclusive six-figure jobs” not found anywhere else.

The problem?  The emperor, as the old saying goes, never had any clothes. As numerous career bloggers and consumer watchdogs have pointed out, TheLadders merely appeared to be “scraping” the same job postings off the web that any savvy individual could easily find for free, via sites like Indeed and SimplyHired — not to mention the fact that there seemed to be little or no quality control taking place to ensure the jobs provided were at the $100K+ level.

And yet, this was the site’s primary value proposition, and the rationale they repeatedly offered for charging hefty subscription fees each month.

Given all this, I was rather pleased to recently learn that the long arm of the law may finally be catching up with the world’s most notorious fee-based employment site.  Thanks in part to the tireless efforts of Nick Corcodilos, author of the Ask the Headhunter blog, The Ladders is now facing a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District court where it will (I hope) be held to account for picking the pockets of thousands of anxious and unwary job hunters over the years.

I’d encourage you to read Nick’s article here for further details about this groundbreaking lawsuit — and again, to keep this cautionary tale in mind as an example of why it’s important to keep your guard up around any site making extravagant claims related to  job hunting success.  At the very least, make sure to conduct a bit of due diligence on Google before signing up for any service, searching on the company’s name along with some additional keywords like “review” or “scam” to see if any red flags turn up.

Again, kudos to Nick for being such a crusader on this issue — and if you’re interested in reviewing some of the historical discussion leading up to this lawsuit, you’ll find several earlier articles on the subject here, here, and here.


5 Responses to “TheLadders: Here Come Da Judge!”

  1. Dave: Sorry to hear you were one of the ones who got burned by the site — and having come across (unfortunately) at least 30-40 executive job hunters over the years who, like you, subscribed to TheLadders, I have yet to hear of a single case of a person actually landing an interview from it. Nada. Not one. Sad to think of how many people bought into the hype over the years, investing funds that could have been devoted in a more productive direction…

  2. Hey Matt –

    This is a very interesting development. I used “The Ladders” in both of my past two career changes and was very suspicious that their advertising claims were a bit overblown. However, as many in the job market will do, I spent precious $$ on the service with the conviction that they were a legitimate service that would be helpful in my search. It was a very big disappointment.

    I ultimately cancelled the service and of course moved on after I chose my current business, but I can only imagine how many folks invested much more than me in pursuit if a possible job connection . . .

    Thanks for sharing –


  3. From the beginning it was all about the ads and PR not the results. I am certain most thought the concept had great merit, but the results reality didn’t stack up…. too long a time coming.

  4. Hi Matt, I think we have seen it time and time again, during periods of high unemployment, scalawags come out to fleece the needy. It wasn’t long ago that I recall a group that would, for a fee, fax your résumé to the hiring manager of the so called ” hidden job market.” Caveat emptor.

  5. Justice is served indeed!

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