I got a pretty shady message on careers about an employer looking to hire me. Great pay, etc etc... after googling the company and the owner I found out this guy has been in a bit of trouble in the past. A few Google searches verifies that him along with his brother (who work together) have both been involved in various law suits from copyright infringement to scamming thousands of customers by creating "copycat" websites, etc.

I was just wondering whether, before allowing employers to "invite" the Stack Overflow community members to find a job, does Stack Exchange look into these employers first?

  • I doubt this happens. Why would they? To what extent?
    – Oded
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:10
  • 17
    Why would they you ask? Because it turns off power users and it certainly wastes my time. I've gotten a few offers from careers but this one was bogus. Bogus because I researched it, will everyone who gets this invite research it? Maybe not and it could cause grief, besides we are talking about a career...a life changing experience. It is also a reflection of stack exchange I believe.
    – JonH
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:12
  • 1
    Sure, but when one begins with a stance of good-faith and with the fact that employers pay, unless this becomes a common occurrence, I don't think there is much of a business case. And what would a check include?
    – Oded
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:15
  • A check would include a simple google search, it's an administrative task that should be done right before agreeing with the employer. I don't think I am asking for too much. We give in a lot of time to help others on the site. How would you like it if you landed a job that only down the road after you've "joined the team" you find out it was bogus? A simple 5 minute check on the employer and raise the issues to the employer.
    – JonH
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:17
  • 3
    I am not disagreeing, I was just wondering about the scope of a check and the liability to SE if the check turns out to not have found out something... even if there was something to be found. And I have been in that situation (long before SE and Careers existed), so I know where you are coming from.
    – Oded
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:19
  • 3
    What about EA or Zynga? They're both "shady" by some definition.
    – user7116
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:22
  • Well Zynga went downhill and had to let go of some folks. There's good times and bad times but I dont think as a reputation Zynga had that bad of a rep when it first started. I am not sure about EA, what is it that they did so wrong? I guess I could google that too :).
    – JonH
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:33
  • 3
    EA Spouse was all over the interwebs some time ago.
    – Oded
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:46
  • I hope that SO not became CIA. Even if I do not not for what company you talking about, the various law suits did not mean that is guilty, and what you see on the internet is not absolute truth. If you going to work or not with a company is your responsibility and not anyone else. A good company today may fire a person tomorrow and that person starts claim that SO is not spend his time to make "face control" and block this company out. No I think you are wrong. You should investigate your way any company and its your responsibility what to do with it.
    – Aristos
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 15:01
  • @Oded thanks for posting that, surprisingly I didn't know it was that bad...wow.
    – JonH
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 15:04
  • @JonH, Zynga's reputation for questionable business ethics long predates letting people go. Take a look at the founder's public statements about tactics used to get revenue early on. Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 16:02

2 Answers 2


Employers are free to sign up on Careers to buy job listings or search subscriptions without any pre-qualifications. However there is a filter when our sales team proactively reaches out to customers. They are focused on finding companies that the SO community will appreciate. Poor performing job listings or searches (ie no developers like the company or the job) can result in refunds, and ticked off candidates can result in an employer subscription or listing being pulled. This isn't good for anyone.

In this particular case, we've refunded the company's subscription. They're not a good fit for our community.

And @JNK is right. Part of our filter is having you let us know when a position or employer is offensive for any reason or just doesn't feel right. We've seen very few cases of this, but keep letting us know if the bad guys show up.

  • 17
    That was pretty magnanimous of you. I believe that most companies under these circumstances would just keep the money.
    – user102937
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 23:40
  • +1 - In this particular case, we've refunded the company's subscription. They're not a good fit for our community. Thats great....for me and them.
    – JonH
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:42
  • Currently, how can we provide efficient and effective feedback to you about employers when we spot an issue? I believe the intent of the question is to minimize views of such postings... Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 21:41

You indicate several times in the question and comments that a "few Google searches" turned up enough issues to steer you away.

It's not clear to me why you think the burden of checking the employers out should be on Stack Exchange and NOT on the person considering a career change.

You say yourself "...we are talking about a career...a life changing experience..."

Anyone who would accept a job offer and change careers without taking the basic step you indicated of a simple Google search on the potential employer probably deserves what they get and will learn a valuable life lesson.

Adding this check before allowing employers into Careers seems like overkill to me, and would be difficult to manage. Where do they draw the line?

This sort of filtering needs to be done by the employee, NOT by the job site.

  • 2
    +1, but some avenue for Reporting should be available; flagging a job posting or something (nb: I don't use careers so I'm not sure if this already exists).
    – user7116
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 18:01
  • I dont see a flag to flag the employer, so it doesn't appear to be available. I do believe it is the ultimate decision of the employee to research this, however I don't agree that they should be burned through the process. Allowing this employer to post on here to me means stackexchange has verified this person as being legit.
    – JonH
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 18:04
  • @JonH I'm not sure how you define legit though, and that's why it needs to be up to the employee looking for a job, NOT Careers 2.0. If an employer has had issues at an office that is now closed, is that enough to be excluded? How about if they have problems at international offices but not in the US? How about if they had legal issues that were resolved? Bankruptcy? BBB ratings?
    – JNK
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 18:06
  • @sixlettervariables I partially agree you should be able to report. Honestly though I don't think it should be SE's job at all to police employers. There are a lot of other avenues for that which are more effective - fraudulent companies need to be reported to authorities, not just blacklisted from a website.
    – JNK
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 18:30
  • @JNK: I agree :)
    – user7116
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 18:45

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