Climbing TheLadders: CEO Alex Douzet Explains the Online Job Search

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

TheLadders is a New York-based job site that charges subscribers, mostly professionals from the white-collar world, $25 dollars a month to search its database. CEO Alex Douzet says the goal is to pair people with appropriate jobs. It even tells job candidates who they’re competing against.  

"The number one complaint we hear from people is 'I've see jobs online that I'm a good fit for. I apply and I don’t hear back. Why?'" he said.

To answer that question, TheLadders launched a new service called Scout that shows where other applicants work, went to college, even how much they make.

"We stripped out the confidential information. So we're not showing you their name or the company they work for," Douzet said. "What we've done is show you their title, what skill sets they have."

Even with all that competition, Douzet said job seekers should be optimistic especially if they're interested in tech.

"We're seeing all kinds of sectors hiring," he said. "New York has been known in the past for industries like insurance, financial service, real estate, media, but we are seeing new tech, and the new economy going really fast and creating jobs and hiring people....Every industry is being transformed by technology."

In fact, TheLadders itself is going through a transformation of its own as job seekers conduct searches on the go.

"Our traffic coming from mobile has doubled every year for the past couple of years," he said. "Today, one out of every three persons will access TheLadders from a tablet or a smart phone. We think that by the end of this year over half of our users will come from a mobile device."

Still, Douzet said taking that professional leap may take a little while. The average job search takes about six months and that jobs seekers should be prepared to apply and interview numerous times for multiple positions before actually getting an offer. 

TheLadders has faced some of its own challenges. In March, it was sued for allegedly posting jobs that did not exist and that did not pay more than $100,000 as promised, and it was alleged those postings were scraped illegally from elsewhere on the internet. Read the complaint here.

In response to those allegations, Douzet told New Tech City's host Manoush Zomorodi: "This case has no merit, and we hope that it will be thrown out of the court quickly."


Alex Douzet

Hosted by:

Manoush Zomorodi

Produced by:

Jessica Gould and Daniel P. Tucker

Comments [4]

Nick Corcodilos

3/19/14 Update: US District Court denied TheLadders motion to dismiss the consumer class action brought by Ladders customers. Customers filed claiming breach of contract and deceptive practices with respect to fake job listings and phony "resume critiques." Details and copy of the Court order here:

Mar. 19 2014 10:13 AM
William from New York City

We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.

Buckminster Fuller.

(Video Tedx) Robots Will Steal Your Job

Apr. 19 2013 12:55 AM
Nick Corcodilos

The consumer protection class action in US District Court, Southern District of NY is also reported on NewsHour:

Jeffrey Seidel's complaint about TheLadders is just one of many from paying customers (job hunters), from employers who pay to use the service, and from recruiters who have used it. Just search Google for TheLadders+scam.

Apr. 09 2013 11:14 AM
Jeffrey Seidel

"The number one complaint we hear from people is 'I've see jobs online that I'm a good fit for. I apply and I don’t hear back. Why?'" he said.

I don't think Mr. Douzet answers his own question. "Scout" is not a unique service; websites such as Startwire and CareerBuilder also track your position in the application process. The reality is that job boards don't work for professionals and companies haven't developed solid methodologies to filter qualified candidates. Job sites like TheLadders try to differentiate themselves, claiming to offer quality positions to justify their fee. As a former subscriber to TheLadders, the response rate is just as weak as free sites like For professionals, the best route to follow is your network, especially if you are trying to change roles or change industries.

Apr. 09 2013 07:58 AM

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