RecruitingBlogs.com’s Jason Davis, the founder of Recruiting.com and prolific online recruiting blogger, is perhaps too good at what he does.
That’s one way to analyze why Jobster CEO Jason Goldberg is now threatening legal action to make Davis shut down his latest online invention, RecruitingBlogs.com.
When Davis left his post as executive editor of Recruiting.com in May, Goldberg called Davis a “shining light” in the recruiting industry and someone who “introduced recruiting to blogs and built a global community of blogging recruiters.”
In his absence, Goldberg appointed John Sumser to assume editorial control of Recruiting.com.
(Sumser has previously said Davis has a “gift for unearthing the value that stands right in front of you,” and is the “master” of the win-win offer.)
Davis, who had earlier developed RecruitingBlogs.com, quickly grew the site to include more than 200 online bloggers.
Now, lawyers representing Jobster have told Davis to shut down RecruitingBlogs.com immediately or Jobster will take legal action.
Of course, there’s Goldberg’s side. His legal counsel allegedly cites damage to his business and also that Davis is in violation of a non-compete agreement.
Goldberg was not immediately available for direct comment.
For now, Davis notes that Goldberg is willing to extend the deadline for seven days in order to prove how RecruitingBlogs.com is not a threat and how both websites could exist in virtual harmony.
Blog-Bashing to Blame
According to industry analyst Jim Durbin, it’s not easy to understand why Goldberg is pursuing such actions. While he admits Recruiting.com’s traffic has fallen since January, he alleges it is due to a new editorial direction at Recruiting.com, not because Jason Davis created an alleged “competing” site.
“John Sumser [now working on Recruiting.com] bashed some bloggers in the past, and certain bloggers have decided they didn’t want to play in that sandbox while Sumser is there. Our time is valuable, so why give it to someone who doesn’t think much of it?” says Durbin.
“They’ve [Jobster] failed to turn Recruiting.com into an asset, and they don’t want anyone else to be successful,” says Durbin. “Now, they are claiming Davis is to blame. They’re threatening to sue someone who has only done his best to build up the community, rather than taking a look at their own mistakes. They are clearly in the wrong. You don’t push people around when it’s your own fault.”
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Durbin also notes that recruiting websites are a “community thing” and that healthy online involvement will ultimately translate into more traffic for Recruiting.com.
However, Sumser retorts that he was not “bashing” anyone but rather claiming there is too much information floating around online and no one can read it all.
“What that means is that you need editorial voices to discern for an audience some point of view. That’s not bashing, but it implicitly says as an editor, I’m going to pick the stuff that is good,” says Sumser.
Sumser views the world of blogging as “early, primitive, and transitional” and explains that this dispute is a “strange little nuisance in the world between a well-financed startup and people who have been the beneficiaries of those well-financed largess.”
Sumser notes that Jobster has been good about financing the recruiting community without asking for much back.
“I have some bias, but I have talked with Jason Davis 15 times since he got that legal letter. It’s been my suggestion to Jason Davis that if he has a non-compete clause and he signed it, he should be a gentleman and honor it. It shouldn’t take a lawyer. If he is going to deviate from it, he needs to figure out whether he is going to honor it,” says Sumser.
It’s still too early to determine whether this business disagreement will produce a winning outcome for either side. However, Davis claims he will not “willingly” shutter RecruitingBlogs.com any time soon.
*This article originally incorrectly stated Sumser had talked with Jason Goldberg 15 times.