Hunt Your Own Head

Hunt Your Own Head

A mix of social networking and corporate recruitment is making success stories both inside and out at TheLadders.com

A recent Forrester Research report found that 60% of those aged 25 to 34 rely on the Internet to search and apply for jobs. However, the same study showed that job seekers are receiving poor performance from both traditional job sites, as well as the external job search sites at individual firms. Neither finding is likely to appeal to business executives looking to tap into the power of the Internet to drive their own job searches to a successful conclusion.

Enter TheLadders.com, an online marketplace that looks to capture the C-suite niche by focusing solely on jobs that pay more than $100,000.

Founded back in 2003, TheLadders.com has grown into the largest specialty employment Web site with more than 2 million members and more than 35,000 recruiters. In addition to traditional online job search services, TheLadders.com also provides a host of specialized career development resources, including a proven, one-on-one resume service; advice from career experts; customized online profiles; and e-mail alerts.

According to the company, the site's purpose is to introduce the efficiency of social networking into executive job placement. As in most social networks, the benefit is in the connection. On the one hand, recruiters at large companies get the ability to quickly and easily connect with qualified talent in sales, marketing, finance, HR, legal, technology and operations industries. On the other hand, job seekers "of a certain level" get their search narrowed for them as well as a set of ancillary services.

Ernie Southers is one such executive who says the process went more smoothly than past headhunter experiences. "I stumbled across the Web site and looked deeper, and when I saw the type of job and employers I was interested in were easily accessible, I was hooked," he says. "Within a couple of weeks, I had a reply from a recruiter." Southers, who now serves as a manufacturing materials manager at a multinational conglomerate, remembers that he had other replies as well, but hit a home run on his first swing. "The first job was perfect fit," he says.

As far as the type of "cost creep" that typifies headhunter experiences, Southers experienced none. "On top of the successful interview there were no expenses for me above The Ladders' membership fee," he recalls.

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