Here’s Who Made My ‘Naughty List’ In 2017

I’ve made a list. I’ve checked it twice. And here’s my naughty list for 2017. Kick back with an eggnog and enjoy.

  • David Kent. C’mon, man! The former Rigzone founder sold his company to Dice’s parent, DHI Group, for about $50 million, left after a year, started a competitor called Oilpro, stole 700,000 profiles from DHI, got pinched by the Feds, and now he’s in the pokey. Naughty by nature!
  • DHI Group. I ain’t mad at ya’ for the Oilpro thing, but what an awful year. A stock price that started the year at $6 is now hovering around $2, no one wants to buy the company, you’ve only been able to sell one of your job boards, and you’ve been looking for a CEO replacement since November.
  • The Valley. An anti-diversity manifesto at Google, Uber’s brogramming culture that alienates women, gender pay gaps in tech, and even hiring models to attend holiday parties puts Silicon Valley squarely on my naughty list.
  • LinkedIn. The only company to make both lists this year. As nice as the world’s largest professional networking site has been, it has also made some boneheaded moves. Most notably is its cease-and-desist campaign, and lawsuit against hiQ that puts it in a no-win PR battle against an itty-bitty underdog. Even if LinkedIn wins in court, it’s at risk of becoming the poster child for commercial cyber-bullying. Then, touting features like filters for profile pics look weak, and it was really late to the video upload party.
  • Millennials. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone in HR complain about the entitlement mentality of Generation Y, I’d be a rich man. You’re not going to be CEO after a month on the job. Get over it.
  • 84 Lumber. Props for being one of the few companies with the balls to buy airtime on the Super Bowl to promote employment, but what in the world was up with that ad? Depicting a Mexican mother-daughter team hoping to enter America but being blocked by a Trump-approved border wall seemed to say, “Come to America illegally and work for us.” It’s off the air for good reason.
  • Purple Squirrel. Employees from hot companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple can join this service and give advice to job seekers who hope to work with them. Sounds nice, until you peel the onion and find out the job seekers are paying money to speak to said employees. How many employees are making money without their employers knowing. The whole thing just feels icky.
  • Zenefits. Unpaid workers, SEC fines, and a myriad of other legal headaches translate to a tough year for the “people platform” company and a one-way ticket to the naughty list.
  • O’Hire. O’my God! Bad service that thinks recruiters will watch two-minute long video resumes and an even worse name with, yes, an apostrophe in its name. How fun would it be to listen in on one of those sales calls? Retaining was apparently too obvious, so it went with O’y vey!
  • “Tinder for Jobs.” Stop. Just stop.

I could go on, but it’s the holidays. I’ll be nice. Pass the eggnog.

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Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.


2 Comments on “Here’s Who Made My ‘Naughty List’ In 2017

  1. Bah humbug! Haha, no, I actually really enjoy this article. It’s a great twist on end-of-the-year recaps. I mean, we’re all feeling a little S.A.D. anyway this time of year, so you’re just saying what everyone else is thinking! As for the ‘millennials’ bullet point, I think I’m more sick of seeing articles with ‘millennial’ in the title stereotyping the generation. All generations differ. It’s a thing. Thanks for sharing this! Happy almost new year.

  2. Thank you for the 84 Lumber enter. People loved that commercial in my circle on Facebook and I blogged about it the day following with the same sentiment you shared here. A for effort, but jeez.

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