TheLadders Logo
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6 User Reviews
Ladders “flipped the rule book” of recruitment services in 2003 by founding a company that offers a free, unrestricted platform for high-paying employers to post jobs and find recruits. Meanwhile, job seekers pay for job search services, which include inside leads, company statistics, and competitive analysis. The company headquarters is in New York City.  

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The Good

  • Reach
  • Resources and learning materials
  • Special features
  • Experience
  • Customer support
  • Only high-paying jobs are posted
  • Top trending jobs nationwide
  • Where top jobs are located
  • Top jobs by major
  • Career search tools
Ladders makes over 1 million hires each year out of the 3 million jobs posted each year. There are over 5 million professionals seeking jobs from the 100,000 employers on the site.
Resources and Learning Materials
Ladders features a salary search tool that lets users check job titles in any city to see how much they can expect to be paid there, as well as where the markets are the strongest for each job title. Updated ranking lists and maps show the demand for various jobs throughout the U.S. All information is based on current job listings and salary data from Ladders members. CEO and founder Marc Cenedella has written much of the content on the company blog, which seems to be almost exclusively for job seekers. Ladders also runs a blog specifically for developers and programmers called Ladders Engineering: Making Engineering Awesome. The most compelling topics found amongst the main blog's learning materials are about personal branding, negotiation, goal setting, and changing careers. There is also a fair amount of "motivation and inspiration" in the form of memes. Though memes may not impart the nitty-gritty practical knowledge evident in the rest of the blog, they provide an easy way to quickly share concepts that resonate with goal-oriented professionals.
Special Features
Ladders' Scout feature is a competitive analysis tool that compares the potential applicant's credentials with those of any current applicants to a particular position. For example, if most applicants to a certain job posting have a bachelor's degree and the potential applicant has a master's degree, Scout highlights the difference so the applicant knows to emphasize that strength. On the contrary, if someone has several years less experience than the majority of current applicants, the user is alerted to that so he or she can move on to a different job posting where the experience level is in their favor. This tool is active any time at least one person has applied to a position on Ladders. Free account members can upload their resumes, get feedback and tips, get job alerts, and apply for positions emailed directly to them from recruiters. But in order to apply for a posted position they have not been contacted about, they need to upgrade to a premium membership. The job seeker's premium membership includes these features:
  • Inside leads: Alerts about roles recruiters are actively trying to fill but have not yet posted publicly
  • Company search: Get the scoop on companies' pertinent stats, recent news, and paycheck information
  • Email updates: Any time an application is sent, the applicant gets an email update five days later for recruiter activity updates on the position
Ladders was founded in 2003 with the aim of helping job seekers fill jobs that pay over $100,000. The company opened its services to professionals of all salary brackets in 2011.
Customer Support
Company representatives are available to chat live during business hours, Monday-Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST. Customer support is also responsive to emails and Facebook messages.
Only High-Paying Jobs are Posted
Of course "high-paying" can be a relative term, but rest assured, when you go to TheLadders, you won't find entry-level or junior-level jobs. TheLadders only post jobs that pay on the higher end of the scale. If these are the figures you are worth or expect to earn, don't worry: TheLadders won't waste your time with salaries too low for your needs. Cut through unnecessary job posts and go straight to the jobs and salaries you are looking for. Originally, the company posted only $100,000 jobs. It has since expanded to include others, but they are still jobs that have higher pay scales.
Top Trending Jobs Nationwide
TheLadders displays popular jobs from industries across the U.S. that are particularly popular and jobs in which employers are heavily hiring. The site will even show you the exact number of jobs that are available in the U.S. in a given category.
Where Top Jobs are Located
Want to know where high demand is congruent with high pay? TheLadders will show you what U.S. cities have the biggest need for higher-paying jobs. This allows you to see if your city has high or low demand, perhaps helping you make the decision whether to relocate.
Top Jobs by Major
On the site, you can click on your college major, and you'll soon see what jobs within that major pay the most and how many jobs are available in that category.
Career Search Tools
Making an appointment with a career counselor is nice, but if time is of the essence and you simply want some useful advice and tips delivered to the comfort of you own home, simply visit where you can see myriad tools and resources to help in your search. Here, you can read articles and blogs to help you improve your cover letter and resume, to help you learn how to network and interview more effectively. Whether it's been awhile since you've hunted for a job or whether you've been down this road many times before, these tools will be valuable.

The Bad

  • Price range
  • Pay required to apply
  • No quick apply
  • Browsing limitations
  • Not for the newbie
Price Range
Ladders has a unique system in that it is the job seekers primarily paying for services, instead of the employers. The company offers free job seeker accounts, too, but they're not very useful when it comes to applying for jobs (that feature is locked if the job seeker has not been directly contacted about a particular job posting). So regardless of the outcome, the individuals seeking employment are the ones funding the company. But this is great news for recruiters who want to take a break from paying for expensive-and perhaps unfruitful-job postings on other sites. For job seekers, a premium membership can be purchased within one of these commitment increments:
  • 1 month for $25
  • 3 months for $49
  • 6 months for $89
  • 1 year for $99
Pay Required to Apply
Sure, anyone can browse for jobs of their choice or curiosity. Sure, anyone can spend time on the site looking at all the neat tips and advice and compilation of data and numbers. But if you want to actually apply for a job (which, after all is the general and ultimate purpose of visiting the site), you have to pay $25 a month. Yes, even if you apply for a single job, you'll have to fork out $25, regardless of the job. So even if you just want to throw your resume out to an employer that may be a long shot, it'll cost you $25. You can, of course, pay for three, six- and 12-month memberships, which will give you a better rate. But you still have to pay to apply, which isn't the case with other sites. This can be a huge source of frustration if you are desperate for a job.
No Quick Apply
Applying for a job at TheLadders can be time consuming. Unlike competitor sites, there is no quick-apply function for jobs. Instead, you have to go through a lengthy process. This can be especially annoying if you want to apply for multiple jobs.
Browsing Limitations
TheLadders does indeed have some nice search tools, but you can't search by company. Often, you might have a desired place of employment in mind where you want to search for jobs. TheLadders won't allow you to do this on its site; you'll have to visit the company's site directly. You also can't exclude job posting based on specific criteria.
Not for the Newbie
If you're fresh out of college or new to a particular industry, TheLadders probably isn't for you. For the most part, TheLadders only displays executive- or management-level positions. You'll want to try another site if you aren't a more experienced professional.

The Bottom Line

Though Ladders was initially established for higher-paying job search assistance, they now provides reliable tools, services, and insights that can help job seekers at any stage of their career. Some potential customers might be deterred by Ladders' business model, but the company's unique role in the industry is probably responsible for its success.
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6 Reviews

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Steve Ashby Portland, OR

I get emails with job openings based on my search criteria. Fortunately I haven't had to apply for the jobs but it has helped me know where I stand in my own company.

6 months ago


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Tomas Miranda Orlando, FL

TheLadders It’s not a company I would recommend to friends and family as in order to find out about premium opportunities there is a monthly fee required. I have also applied through their free opportunities listed but have never been contacted for an interview or even email communication.

11 months ago


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Pat Lunsford Cumming, GA

not enough applicable positions available

1 month ago


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Dorothea Grimes-Farrow Athens, GA

A useful tool with good information, sources, and recommendations. I'd use the service again if job searching.

6 months ago


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Ron Durfey Pleasant Grove, UT

Pay for their services for the past year and have not received one interview through this site. Way too expensive for the poor output from their company. Will cancel my service right away!

2 years ago


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jaci finch Corpus Christi, TX

TheLadders was confusing for me to use. I gave up shortly after starting to use it.

8 months ago

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