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Catching Up with Michael Shafrir, ‘The Ladders’

Posted on March 31, 2008
Filed Under Michael Shafrir | 2 Comments

By Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth, Affiliate Partner, JobMachine Inc.
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Meet my friend and colleague, Michael Shafrir, Sr. Manager, Business Development, at He was perhaps the youngest among the featured presenters during the afternoon session regarding Meaningful Connections at the Talent Unconference last Fall, and for good reason, he has quickly risen to become a familiar face as a supporter of the most cutting edge recruitment technologies and initiatives. I am constantly bumping into Michael at every industry event I attend and a warm welcome always follows.

Michael enjoys working for causes bigger than himself, – he can quickly identify a value proposition. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2002, Michael spent a year working as a teacher’s aide for autistic children (first-graders). He then moved to Philadelphia where he worked in Marketing for a non-profit.

Michael joined as employee #11 in April 2004 and helped the company grow into the world’s largest online service catering exclusively to the $100k+ career marketplace.


It provides Executive Recruiters with the toolset to Find and recruit $100k+ talent from their database of 1.7 million $100k+ job seekers. Located in New York and London, the company strives to make the global search for senior talent and senior positions quick and effective. They provide professionals the most senior-level job leads in one place and organize them by function for more efficient searching. Through and our UK site,, they provide their members the tools they need to take their next career step. Top recruiters value the ability to quickly and easily connect with qualified talent. Founded in 2003, has grown into the largest specialty employment website with over 1,700,000 members and 35,000 recruiters. To learn more about, please visit or

RecruitLadder Description:

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 Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) are seamlessly integrated into the talent sourcing process. In addition to its advanced functionality, RecruitLadder Premium allows companies to showcase their brands with customizable profile pages. also provides live support to recruiters who use the system.’s Professional Recruiter Relations Team will help the recruiter through each step of the process and is available by email or phone. For additional information, please go to

Q & A with Michael Shafrir

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world Michael.

Michael Shafrir: “I’m a single, 27-year-old in New York City with an eye on ‘Fantasy basketball’ If you ask a friend, they will tell you that I know more about the NBA than any person should be allowed to know. I’m also passionate about music, creating lasting impressions on people, and having a good time at work and in life.”

Six Degrees: How many years of you career have involved the online recruiting industry?

Michael Shafrir: “I am coming up on 4 years at which is my first experience in online recruiting.”

Six Degrees: How did you get started at

Michael Shafrir: “I answered a very, very vague ad on Craigslist. I was living in Philadelphia at the time, and I had a fuzzy instinct that I wanted to a) move to New York City and b) work in the Internet industry. I had interned at in college (back in the first boom) so I was tangentially qualified for a job at an online recruiting startup.”

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Michael Shafrir: “Probably the first Kennedy conference I ever went to in November 2004. Up until that time, I had been very nose-to-the-grindstone, inwardly focused at my job – which was easy when you are working 14 hour days, 6 days a week. The Kennedy conference was the first time I realized how many different vendors there were in our space – both competitors and potential partners. It opened up my eyes and I began forcing myself to find time to educate myself more about the industry we work in. I think that really accelerated my growth at TheLadders. I really recommend anyone new to the industry to attend one of the major conferences as quickly as possible!”

Six Degrees: Tell us about your responsibilities at ‘The Ladders.”

Michael Shafrir: “I started at in April 2004. At the time we were just 11 people, we hadn’t raised money, and I’m not sure I really knew what I had gotten myself into (in a great way). Today we’re 210 people and growing like crazy.

I started in what is now our “Community” group – a team solely dedicated to job-seeker success on As far as I know, we’re the only online career site to have anything like this team. In July of 2004 we realized we better start letting recruiters know about our site so Dave Carvajal (now our VP, People and a co-founder at HotJobs) and I sat in a room a few times a week. Eventually, we got over 35,000 recruiters signed up for I grew that team to 14 people and helped evolve our business model from only charging a membership fee to jobseekers to eventually charging recruiters for access to the site also.

In December 2007 I moved full-time into my new role as an Account Executive selling our RecruitLadder product to companies and executive search firms.”

Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?

Michael Shafrir: “We focus exclusively on the $100k+ job market. Traditionally, the online market focused on entry and mid-level jobs. Companies found other sources of hire far more effective than sifting through 1000’s of resumes. And executive search firms were very protective of their clients and their firm’s brand. We changed all that by charging the jobseeker a membership fee and providing an incredibly safe and monitored environment. $100k+ jobseekers started coming online in a way the industry had never seen before, and, of course, the recruiters and companies followed.”

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2 Responses to “Catching Up with Michael Shafrir, ‘The Ladders’”

  1. Sarah Beasley on April 2nd, 2008 11:39 am

    Great article! It is inspiring to see people so passionate about online recruiting!

  2. Alan on April 4th, 2008 1:11 am

    Hi Michael Shafrir,
    Great work! It is so useful for the peoples in recruiting line.I aspect your experience, effort and all info you offered.Thank you.