For the past eight years, TheLadders — a recruitment service — has provided targeted opportunities for $100,000-plus job seekers. Its value proposition is to delineate the market and avoid the messiness that a free-for-all recruiting tool can produce.
On Thursday, the company announced it would leverage its existing services to all professional careers, starting in September. In a phone interview, Co-founder and President Alex Douzet said the decision to expand to a wider market segment — namely full-time, white-collar professional talent $40,000-plus — was largely a response to needs echoed by employers and recruiters as well as job seekers, many of whom (earning below the $100,000 mark) they had to turn away or re-route to other job boards.
The announcement comes on the heels of its new “Signature” service, which basically guaranteed a job offer within six months to $100,000-plus-earning participants who qualify, failing which they’d be reimbursed. Needless to say, this claim was greeted with skepticism in some circles. Before that, about 18 months ago, the company introduced “My Pipeline,” a social networking platform that enabled $100,000-plus job seekers to connect with recruiters confidentially.
An Indication of Where the Industry’s Headed
There’s no question that the competition among vendors in today’s recruitment service market is fierce.
Tools such as BeKnown and Branchout have recently entered the fray, hoping to give LinkedIn a run for its money. Each of these capitalizes on Facebook’s 750,000-plus users with the intention of connecting them to professional opportunities.
Merely spitting out job listings will no longer suffice, and job boards that don’t want to get left behind are doing more — integrating social networking components, career coaching or advising tools, etc. — to pave the way for the future of recruiting.
Implications for Employers
Perhaps one of the biggest frustrations employers and recruiters today voice is that casting a wide net on myriad job boards, only to have them throw out listings that in many cases aren’t even a good fit, is a highly ineffective, time-consuming strategy.
The golden nugget that employers and recruiters seek is relevance. The bulls-eye: find the right person for the right job in the least amount of time. The most valuable arrow in their quiver would be a tool to tap into targeted niches of engaged, pre-screened, highly qualified talent who’ll be ready to hit the ground running, without having to wade through countless resumes. It is this service TheLadders seeks to provide.
“Our approach to talent market is even though we’re going to be a larger, broader reach brand, our segmentation of the marketplace will enable [employers and recruiters] to find an aggregate of niches under one roof,” Douzet said.
Musings About the Future
As TheLadders gets set to roll out its recruiting service to all professionals, some questions linger.
For one, how many $40,000-or-thereabouts job seekers would be willing to part with the monthly fee for this type of service? What percentage of employers is keen on utilizing such a service for more than just senior leadership positions? What’s the anticipated growth rate of users joining the network?
Not even top leaders know the answer. But time will certainly tell.