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April 29, 2009 / Toby Dayton

SimplyHired Asking Job Seekers To Work For No Pay

SimplyHired announced last week that it was making a greater effort to combat the blight on its site in the form of scam jobs, outdated listings, and duplicate job posts. SimplyHired bills itself as the largest job search engine on the web, pulling the vast majority of its jobs from other job boards such as Monster, Careerbuilder, Yahoo, etc. As a result of pulling in jobs from other job boards, the site is subject to the same problems that plague most job boards – scam jobs, spam jobs, outdated listings, fake jobs, and postings from 3rd parties such as recruiters, headhunters, staffing companies, etc. SimplyHired and Indeed (another job board aggregator) have the addditional problem of duplicate listings because they pull jobs in from multiple job boards and don’t screen out those jobs that might have been posted on more than one job board.

In any event, I was amused by the solution that SimplyHired proposed to combat the problem: asking job seekers using their site to flag all of the bad listings they publish on their site. Can you imagine a grocery store stocking the produce section with a bunch of rotten produce and asking customers to help sort through the good and the bad? SimplyHired is doing exactly the same thing. Here is their press release (with my bolding added):

Simply Hired Announces New Feature to Remove Scam Jobs

“Flag this Job” Feature to Further Protect SimplyHired.com Job Seekers from Scam Job Listings

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Simply Hired, the largest job search engine and recruitment advertising network, today announced the launch of a new feature, “Flag this Job.” While Simply Hired already has many safeguards against scam jobs, this feature enables job seekers to help each other by pointing to listings that are potentially fraudulent.

Job scams are not a new problem; fake listings have existed since the early days of classified ads. Reports of online job scams have increased in these challenging economic times, making the already time-consuming job search process even more frustrating. Simply Hired understands this issue and has pro-actively implemented—and will continue to implement—tools such as “Flag this Job” and procedures to help insulate job seekers from this growing concern.

“While scam and spam jobs represent only one tenth of one percent of the three million postings on SimplyHired.com, we have zero tolerance for them,” said Tejas Saraiya, Director of Marketing and Products, Simply Hired. “Enabling the millions of job seekers on our site to flag inappropriate job listings helps us to improve job quality and remove scam and spam jobs from our site more quickly.”

Simply Hired’s new flagging feature can be easily utilized by job seekers on the SimplyHired.com site. Throughout the search results pages, users will see a new icon under each job listing labeled “Flag.” Users may flag a job by clicking the icon below the job listing and choosing the reason they are flagging the job. A job posting can be flagged for a number of reasons: it looks like a scam/spam posting, the job is expired, the link to the posting is broken, or it is a duplicate listing. The job listing will not be automatically removed from the job search results, but will be marked as flagged and reported to Simply Hired’s data quality team.

The flagging feature allows the Simply Hired team to investigate all flagged jobs and remove listings from our database that are faulty or fraudulent in nature. This is an active way for job seekers to improve the quality of search results for both themselves and others.

First off, I absolutely and sincerely congratulate SimplyHired for acknowledging a significant problem that afflicts most job boards in the industry: old listings, fake posts, and scam jobs. They have also courageously acknowledged a problem unique to their business model: duplicate job listings. Taken together, SimplyHired has come to realize and publicly stated how frustrating these issues are for job seekers. But rather than fixing the source of the problem and eliminating the garbage listings from their jobs database in the first place (which is precisely what they’d do if they actually abided by their purported ‘zero tolerance’ policy), they are asking job seekers to do the work for them.

What I’d recommend to job seekers is to start using LinkUp, the largest job search engine on the web that only indexes jobs from company websites. Because LinkUp only lists jobs from company career sites, the jobs are always current, often unadvertised, and never fake. And because LinkUp only pulls job listings from a single source (the employer site itself), there are no duplicate listings. Today, there are 19,630 companies with 408,517 real, current jobs on the site. When a job seeker clicks on a job found on LinkUp, they are taken directly to that specific listing on the company’s website where, in most cases, they can apply for the position directly with the employer’s applicant tracking system. I will freely admit that we, too, have a ‘flag this job’ feature on the site because there are occasionally some busted links to the position on the employer’s website, but we’ve eliminated all of the blight that SimplyHired is desperately trying to deal with.

At LinkUp, we don’t ask our customers to help sort out the rotten tomatoes.

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous / Apr 30 2009 7:49 pm

    Flagging job postings like LinkUp and SimplyHired are doing is a time tested strategy and used by such very prominent sites such as YouTube. With hundreds of thousands or even millions of listings on these sites there simply isn’t a feasible way to monitor the listings without user help — and getting users to help gives them a stake in your service and that’s always a good thing.

  2. StevenRothberg / Apr 30 2009 2:49 pm

    Flagging job postings like LinkUp and SimplyHired are doing is a time tested strategy and used by such very prominent sites such as YouTube. With hundreds of thousands or even millions of listings on these sites there simply isn't a feasible way to monitor the listings without user help — and getting users to help gives them a stake in your service and that's always a good thing.

  3. Mike / Jun 24 2009 6:43 am

    Hey Toby,

    How about not using the public pages to shill for your company. After reading your biased fraud of an article I actually went to your hack company and it did me absolutely no good whatsoever.

    Hopefully people will read this and get the message that nobody on the Internet can be trusted to do the right thing.

  4. Mike / Jun 24 2009 1:43 am

    Hey Toby,

    How about not using the public pages to shill for your company. After reading your biased fraud of an article I actually went to your hack company and it did me absolutely no good whatsoever.

    Hopefully people will read this and get the message that nobody on the Internet can be trusted to do the right thing.

  5. Mike / Jun 24 2009 6:43 am

    Hey Toby,

    How about not using the public pages to shill for your company. After reading your biased fraud of an article I actually went to your hack company and it did me absolutely no good whatsoever.

    Hopefully people will read this and get the message that nobody on the Internet can be trusted to do the right thing.

Comments are closed.