Okay, I’m a sucker for dirt on Monster.com and its ilk. And I love to share it. A reader sent this along, after attending the annual CIO Conference sponsored by the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC), held in Princeton, NJ on March 28. (CIO’s are Chief Information Officers — the top information-technology dogs, at their companies.)
I recently heard the founder of Monster.com, Jeff Taylor, speak. Of course, he’s a successful millionaire and quite full of himself, sporting the obligatory dot-com founder’s “edgy” look — gel-spiked hair, salt-and-pepper goatee, trendy thick-framed sunglasses with vertical stripes (yes, I’m serious). He exhorted the audience to chant in unison, “WE ROCK!” and “HALLELUJAH!” to his callouts — as though we were in church — and insisted we take our shoes off and point them at anyone who hadn’t done so, to make his point about adopting new ideas. Although he’s retired from Monster and was there to hawk his new company, he of course traded on his fame as the founder of the “incredibly successful” Monster.com “job board.”
Amidst all this adoration and obsequiousness, no one bothered to mention what a farce Monster.com really is in terms of actually filling posts and, of course, actually helping candidates find jobs.
You ought to re-publish some of your earlier materials, perhaps updated in these again-difficult times, to remind people that if they’re counting on job boards like Monster to find those “unadvertised” positions, they will be very disappointed indeed.
The CEO of the NJTC, Maxine Ballen, gushed about Mr. Taylor and spoke at length about how Monster.com has so wonderfully changed the way people get jobs. I think that’s untrue and is a farce, and gives false hope to desperate people at one of the most difficult times in life, being unemployed. I nearly hurled listening to another false dot.com “visionary.”
Jeff Taylor may have made a killing, but his “invention” serves, well, mainly him and the people who work there, gleefully peddling false hope.
Disclosure: I sometimes have a goatee on my face, and because I don’t color it, it’s salt-and-pepper. So, who am I to talk? Anyway… the same reader then unloaded on another of my favorite dot.com job-board rackets, TheLadders:
I made the mistake of wasting money on TheLadders.com until I got smart, and I had some nasty e-mail exchanges with [Marc] Cenedella [founder and head of TheLadders.com] personally when I took exception to his continual, self-promoting e-mails, false claims of providing a free resume “review” when it was just a lead-in to a paid service, and job listings that were available free of charge at any number of other boards, but advertised as “exclusive, non-advertised” jobs. Cenedella is an ego-maniacal, absurdly self-promoting charlatan just like Taylor. A pox on all their houses.
Whoo-wee. Do you think this reader has made the rounds of the big (and exclusive) job boards? Saved me from having to write a column today. Now I’ve got to go pore over all the e-mail I’ve been getting from professional resume writers who claim TheLadders.com won’t let its resume clients talk directly with the writers who are actually writing those expensive resumes. I guess the boiler-room is just too busy to take calls. (So, who do these $100k+ resume clients talk with after they fork over a thousand bucks or so?)
PS — I cruised over to TheLadders.com to confirm Cenedella’s job title at Ladders, but the site requires the user’s e-mail address or verification code before letting anyone enter. It really is exclusive. Gimme a break. They know who I am. And I’ll share evidence of that in another post.