(Editor’s Note: This interview is sponsored by TheLadders, who graciously arranged at my request an interview with Alexandre Douzet, co-founder and company president. It was a very interesting conversation, enjoy!)
Since 2003, TheLadders.com has set out to establish themselves as the top online service catering exclusively to the $100K+ job market. When your company is looking for senior talent, TheLadders wants to be the go-to resource for your recruiting team. In addition to providing traditional job search services, TheLadders also provides a host of specialized career development resources, including an executive resume service, ability for job seekers to follow the recruiters and receive real-time job updates via Follow Recruiter, customized online profiles, email alerts and career advice.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Co-Founder and President Alex Douzet, about the latest and greatest from TheLadders and the job board industry in general. Alex is a veteran in the industry having worked at HotJobs.com prior to starting TheLadders. He’s seen all of the changes in the industry and watched TheLadders grow to over 4 million members.
Alex, some people confuse the terms “job board” and “talent community”, what do you see as the difference? And how does TheLadders address the needs of the community?
A recent study published by The Aberdeen Group, “Challenges in Sourcing Six-Figure Talent”, confirmed what many have long thought – one of the least effective solutions for sourcing six-figure talent are job boards. Easy access to job listings has really minimized the effectiveness of the traditional, one-dimensional job board. At TheLadders, we don’t even charge recruiters to post a job listing on our site.
We are focused on making it easier for recruiters and jobseekers to connect with each other in meaningful ways – often called a talent community. In the past year, we’ve launched tools like My Pipeline, one-click connections, and mobile web that connect the job seeker and the recruiter faster and more efficiently. In fact, recruiters who use My Pipeline™ to share hiring alerts with their followers have seen a 43% open rate. This is more than double the average open rate for most marketing communications – indicating that the community approach is really more effective than the old job board model.
Why should professionals focus on being invested with communities versus job boards?
Professionals are finding more success today when they invest time in becoming a part of a community because, by the very definition, a community is an engaged audience linked by common objectives. Recruiters using TheLadders know any hiring alerts they send are being delivered to an engaged group of $100k+ job seekers who have signed up to receive their alerts and who are twice as likely to open the alert than any other form of direct marketing. While recruiters and jobseekers shouldn’t abandon the notion of job boards all together, it makes sense to invest more time in a multi-dimensional channel that is more effective.
What makes TheLadders different from other talent communities?
Recruiters who come to TheLadders know from the start they are engaging with a group of pre-screened $100k+ jobseekers. Additionally, using My Pipeline they have an opportunity to quickly engage and share hiring alerts with a pool of jobseekers who have already expressed interest in learning more about their positions. Thanks to our one-click-communications, they can quickly move the conversation beyond just the declaring of intent. Recruiters who use TheLadders find that they are able to make meaningful connections, faster.
With over 4 million members now, it seems like there would be some changes at TheLadders. If I was one of those professionals who tried the network back when you first started almost ten years ago, what would you want to tell me now?
TheLadders has indeed evolved since we launched in 2003. We are continually looking for new ways to connect the right person with the right job and now, via Passport, we are letting recruiters post job listings for free! Thousands and thousands of recruiters have taken us up on this offer since our Passport product launched. Additionally we now offer FitFinder™ and My Pipeline as a part of our Premier package for recruiters.
What makes the Premier package incredibly attractive to employers and recruiters is they will have the ability to leverage FitFinder™, a feature that utilizes a Talent Specialist who will personally search and deliver the top candidates that match a particular position within 48 hours. Employers and recruiters can also post a $100K+ position on TheLadders.com, search the database of pre-screened candidates and share updates with a talent pool via the social recruiting tool My Pipeline.
You mentioned that the TheLadders introduced a new product called Passport. Tell us about it.
Passport is TheLadders’ free recruitment solution for recruiters and hiring managers who need to find the right fit fast. It includes the following features:
- Free Postings. Recruiters can advertise their professional jobs ($100K+) and get the attention of over 4 million professional-level candidates.
- Build a Warm Talent Pipeline and Stay Connected. By utilizing My Pipeline, a social recruitment tool, recruiters and hiring managers can attract and cultivate their own network of top applicants.
- Save Time. TheLadders offers the ability to store, sort, access and manage applicants from a single source to save time.
Passport has launched to tremendous success. Since January, we’ve more than doubled the number of recruiters taking advantage of Passport and they keep coming back. The average number of resumes a recruiter receives per posting is around 20 targeted resumes versus using other job boards where they could receive in excess of 100 resumes and then be tasked with sorting through them.
Alex, thank you so much for sharing your insights and giving us the scoop on what’s happening over at TheLadders. Between My Pipeline, FitFinder and now the new Passport product, there’s a lot to check out. So much so, that I asked Alex and the folks at TheLadders to set me up for a test drive of their new Passport product, so I can share with you my thoughts. Be sure to check it out yourself and look for my review coming soon. If you want to stay in touch with TheLadders, check out their Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile.