My company recently posted a job on Careers 2.0 on my recommendation. The job listing naturally contained the company's name and a link to our web site.

The Problem

Several recruiters (2-3 in the past 24 hours) have taken it upon themselves to visit our web site, find the e-mail addresses of the entire management team, and spam them in an effort to get our business (not sure how they think that will be successful, but hey.)

This isn't fun for our business and it isn't fun for Careers 2.0 who now has people actively degrading the customer experience while competing to steal its business.

The question

How can we handle these bad actors? Is there a reporting system or some way to penalize them? Or am I stuck telling my management to warm up their spam-button-pressing fingers?

  • Unfortunately, the spammers could have picked up your job ad without any login to penalise. – Martijn Pieters May 29 '14 at 13:39
  • @MartijnPieters, I completely agree. Not saying it's an easy solution, but it's a thorny problem that I think is worth thinking through. Perhaps a reporting system that penalizes them in the future? – SeanKilleen May 29 '14 at 13:44
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    Penalise them how? There is no one to penalise here. You published a job advert. The internet at large can read it. These recruiters don't need an account on Careers 2.0 to do this. – Martijn Pieters May 29 '14 at 13:47
  • @MartijnPieters I'm aware of this. I am merely suggesting that even a list of bad actors might be beneficial for companies. Or perhaps at some point in the future that firm would want to use Careers 2.0 and would be unable to do so. I don't seek to avoid people reading the advert and I know it's impossible to stop them acting on it. but SO seems like a place that might be able to do something for the good of the industry there. – SeanKilleen May 29 '14 at 13:50
  • That's a huge slippery slope. It'll be your word against theirs. You have no way of knowing how they got by your advert or what their motives are. – Martijn Pieters May 29 '14 at 13:53
  • All fair points. I asked only in terms of "maybe something could be done" and trying to think creatively about it -- not demanding a fix or pretending it's a problem with Careers specifically vs. other sites. We'll have to stick to recruiting companies if management cares about the spam, which is unfortunate because I prefer this site. – SeanKilleen May 29 '14 at 13:55
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    If your company email uses a globalized spam filter, mark them as spam rather than just deleting them. Let your spam reports work their way through the filtering network and, if other people are also reporting them, eventually they'll start getting blocked by the filter. – animuson May 29 '14 at 14:12

Unfortunately there's really nothing we can do in this situation and it's not an issue localized to Careers 2.0. Really posting on any job board would have the same results. Recruiters are relentless!

That said, if they actually used our application process and submitted a sales pitch as a resume, please tell us. They're hit with the ban hammer no questions asked.

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    I understand that it's not an easy fix, but I wonder if there's not something that can be done to fight it after the fact. It would be great to see something where a recruiter's domain is penalized when they're reported for this behavior. (yes, that makes some assumptions, I know). Careers 2.0 seems like the one site I'd trust to help the internet avoid this, so I wanted to suggest it for your capable developers to tackle. :) – SeanKilleen May 29 '14 at 13:46
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    @SeanKilleen It's not a technical issue. We could easily implement a reporting tool. The problem is from hearsay. Unless they are using our platform tools to spam, in this case they weren't, we have no "proof". Who's to say they even say even saw the listing on our site? There's dozens of job scrapers that display our job listing on their site. – Juice May 29 '14 at 13:49
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    @SeanKilleen Does your company make it very clear on the page where they put their contact information that they don't accept applications or solicitation from agencies? That's really all you can do, those folks are desperate for a commission-driven paycheck so .. it's just noise that comes with wanting to hire people. Warn that it's sent straight to junk, some of them will respect that, because they don't want to have other email blocked. – Tim Post May 29 '14 at 13:54
  • @TimPost both of those suggestions are good and I'll forward them on to management. – SeanKilleen May 29 '14 at 13:59
  • @Juice I was attempting to think creatively. Lots of non-technical issues can have technical solutions and I was mostly looking to brainstorm. It is not Careers responsibility to fix this, but I trust the brand to attempt to make things better anyway. Management avoided job posting sites for this reason, and I expect they'll just avoid it in the future if it bugs them. – SeanKilleen May 29 '14 at 14:00

I think there are tons of solutions for this situation. I also found a recruiter through stack overflow careers website. He posted the job under the company's name and made it like he is an employee of that company. This is so unprofessional, misleading and time wasting for job seekers. These are my solutions in my mind, even you like it or not. But I don't accept "there is nothing we can do about it" as a solution.

  1. E-mail verification
    If company is a real company, e-mail verification can be sent under that domain name. If he is a recruiter then he cannot post underneath a real company's name.

  2. Job voting or marked as spam
    If a job seeker finds out that job listing is under a fake name, he or she should be able to report to Stack Overflow staff in private by giving specific comments about the job list.

  3. Job posting agreement
    I am not sure this is available for Careers, but before posting a job an agreement can be shown at the end of the job poster side. If he or she is not playing fair then his or her account can be banned forever. That will force the recruiter to think twice before posting a job.

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