TheLadders.com Steps Up Enhanced Features, New Pricing Structure

If you love TheLadders.com but found the basic search functionality limiting, here’s some good news.

The company is launching exciting changes, including enhanced searching options for multiple keyword searches and radius searches, among other new features.

The company spent a lot of time making such changes, and it clearly thinks these changes are good enough that it can start charging for the premium service. But for some of you, that might be the bad news.

After an automatic two-week free trial to RecruitLadder Premium for all new and existing members, The Ladders is implementing a new fee, charging $6,000 per named user per year, which breaks down to $500 per month.

For job seekers, however, the price will remain $30 per month, with a sliding scale for longer engagements.

Currently, the company is still in its trial phase and says it is offering several early-adopter promotions. Quantity and corporate (enterprise-wide) licenses are also available.

According to the $100K+ job market board, the impetus behind these changes was to address the needs of active recruiters and to be able to be OFCCP compliant.

“However, from a marketing standpoint, there’s no such thing as accessing a database of 1.4 million for free,” explains Maria Schiller, director of corporate marketing at TheLadders.com.

“We used to have 400,000, but now we’re at 1.4 million. Because our database has been growing so much, we have an obligation that we don’t subject job seekers to spamming. We’re concerned about not exposing them to something that could potentially be harmful,” says Schiller.

To make the site better for corporate and executive-search recruiters, she says the company made a “substantial investment” into building a product with search filtering, OFCCP compliance, and other features of the premium product.

RecruitLadder Premium allows recruiters to manage multiple searches, search by ZIP code and radius from job location, correspond with multiple candidates, and save candidates for future positions. The solution also offers one-click compliance to ensure that OFCCP materials are integrated into the talent-sourcing process.

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Another new item is known as “structured team accounts,” which essentially is a multi-user functionality that lets recruiters mold RecruitLadder Premium to their company or team’s structure. As the company explains, “lose a recruiter from your office and the contacts no longer walk out the door with them.”

In addition, RecruitLadder Premium will allow companies to showcase their brands with customizable profile pages.

“We had a very basic product on the recruiter side. Because it was a very limited product, it was offered for free. Then, of course, we made improvements to that site and made the product much better for posting, but searching was still limited,” she says.

The premium product had a soft launch in May, which the company tested through a targeted program of users. By June, any new recruiters who signed up were going right into a two-week free trial of the premium product.

Schiller explains that the company’s plans, while still being fine-tuned, include making adjustments to the product so the free searching will become more limited. Eventually that will migrate away, she says.

“Right now, you can do limited searching for free and single posts for free. Searching the entire database will be going away within the next quarter and become a more limited type of searching. Free single job posting won’t go away,” she says.

Schiller says the company is still listening to feedback from recruiters and is getting closer to a formal breakdown of the changes ahead.

“That’s why we didn’t launch an official ‘here is what everyone has to do’ type of thing. During focus groups, recruiters were forthcoming with what features they wanted,” she says. “The biggest obstacle we see is that it was a completely free product, but anyone who is using and trialing the premium product sees its value.”

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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