You Make the Call: Is This 3rd Party Scraping Jobs a Hero, Shady or Something Worse?

Kris Dunn Bad HR, Business Development, Kris Dunn, Recruiting

A few years back, former FOT editor Jessica Lee did a post on The Ladders scraping jobs from her corporate site here at FOT (See the entire post and comment string here). The summary of Jessica’s post was this: The Ladders was scraping jobs from corporate sites and positioning them as 100K+ jobs (The Ladders positioning as only 100k+ has changed in today’s market), and Jessica was getting candidates for 80K jobs that were expecting the job to be 100K+.

And that was Jessica’s problem, not The Ladders.

Houston, we have had a problem.

But what about job scraping today? It seems to me there are three types of aggregators that are trying to scrape jobs:

1. Hero, aka Indeed – Indeed has flipped the whole thing. They’re an aggregator, and you want them scraping your jobs because they are the death star of careers SEO and traffic. Plus, the traffic redirects to your site, which is key.

2. Shifty McShadies – These are the sites that scrape your jobs, but they do it in a non-transparent way, positioning them as their own so they can get traffic to their sites up, maybe capture some resumes for the database and generally use your work product and career opportunities to make them look more credible then they are. At the end of the day, they still send the candidate to you, but they take advantage of you and scrape without your permission.

3. Shifty McShadies x3 – It’s pretty easy to categorize this type of job scraper. They do everything I describe above with the Shady McShadies, but at the end of the rainbow, they keep the candidate applications. Where do they go? Hell, no one knows because they aren’t running the search.

I think category #3 is pretty rare. But, just when you think you’ve seen it all, you get surprised. Harry Joiner, one of my favorite recruiters in the world, just had his job board hijacked. Listen to Harry’s description from his LinkedIn group:

Hi Gang!

This month something weird happened and I need your advice.

A company that I thought previously to be semi-reputable has scraped ALL of my site’s content and republished it as their very own. It’s really quite incredible. The company simply took my job postings—commentary and all—and ran it on their own job board with “APPLY NOW” links that direct unsuspecting candidates into their own resume database. There’s no mention of me or my company anywhere.

Best I can figure, they actually had a human editor comb through my work and anonymize it.

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And get this: After three visits back to read my own content, the company offered to sell me a subscription to their site! Seriously, it’s insane.

You have to see it to believe it:

Can anyone in this group please advise me of my options? I’d greatly appreciate it.

And if you have any job-seeking friends who are working with this company, you might want to forward this message to them. This is a pretty shady SEO practice, and I’m not sure what this says about the firm’s other activities.

If you go the site and data cut in question, it’s a weird deal. The link Harry shares is a search string at for “Harry’s Comments,” which is a feature in all of Harry’s custom job postings. They’ve grabbed them and Harry even had one of his friends apply for the job with no response, and no, the resume didn’t go to Harry.

But wait. I applied tried to apply and got the following 72-hour trial offer. Yikes.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 9.51.09 AM

At least when The Ladders did this back in the day, Jessica Lee still got the applicant flow. Bad-and-pissed-off applicant flow, but flow nonetheless. I’m on record back in the day of being a fan of The Ladders, and yes, I know The Ladders charges the candidate side and was trying to muscle up their number of postings by scraping jobs, but… Well, never mind.

But Employment Crossing? Seems like they’ve taken it to a whole new level based on what I’m seeing here. But then I dig into the business model, and it seems like charging the candidate is the key part of their model.


Two things I’m asking you for:

1. Tell me whether this example of job scraping is Hero, Shifty Mcshady or even worse behavior; and

2. Tell Harry what you think he should do.

Crazy example of brazen activity. Have fun with this one.

Kris Dunn
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He's also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.