HR electronic warfare (long)

Subject: HR electronic warfare (long)
From: "Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 00:29:05 -0500

There is a new level of sophistication in the job recruiter's processes and
technology...Or at least, I have just now become aware of it. Actually, I am
not even using job boards right now, and I am not looking for work (not
today, anyway :-), so most of this doesn't affect me right now. But I was
personally amazed at the new level of intensity I learned about today.

I just wanted to update some of the past threads on this topic, and to just
pass along this info for general awareness. I think we should all make
ourselves aware of the game behind the game. If you are curious about the
technologies recruiters use to contact you and process your resume, read on.

I got a piece of email the other day titled simply 'Resume.' I didn't know
the name of the sender, but it looked vaguely familiar, so I investigated.
No I didn't open it - I looked at the source, and it contained a web bug,
pointing back to the website of a recruiter services firm named MaxHire. The
web bug was embedded in this tag:

<IMG = SRC=3D'http://master.maxhire. net/scripts/GotThereOpen. exe?1550209'>

I admit, I don't understand the "<IMG = SRC=3D...." part. I have never seen
an IMG tag formed like that. And, I didn't know an IMG tag could get an
executable. But clearly, this tag was executing a script, and passing a
number assigned to me. I suppose it returns a 1-pixel gif, or maybe it just
logs me and doesn't even bother with the gif :-)

The email itself didn't credibly describe a real job; it just said "Call
me..." The email was from a legitimate recruiter, but one who was
bulk-mailing me using the MaxHire tools and services.

So I went to the MaxHire web site:
Here are some selected quotes, which confirm what most of us have expected
all along:

> Capture incoming candidate resumes automatically into your
> applicant tracking system and pre-process them for easy screening
> without clogging up your inbox

*Translation - We don't read the email you send us.

> Track your emails with our proprietary email "beacon" which tells
> you if your clients have looked at your emails!

*Translation - We are tracking you with web bugs.

> Send private messages to an unlimited number of recipients with
> powerful bulk-emailing capabilities

*Translation - We are spamming you with fake jobs you will never get.

> Distribute jobs to any job board on the internet that supports batch
> posting like DICE and America's Job Bank.

*Translation - We are spamming the job boards with fake jobs you will never

> the world's most advanced resume parsing engine from ResumeMirror

Now that interested me, so I went to the ResumeMirror web site. And there
was the source technology used to scan and rip your resume. If you have ever
been curious about how your resume is processed, read all 7 steps listed

Here are some highlights:

> The file conversion tool allows you to accept resumes from over
> eighty file formats and converts them to HTML or RTF.

*Translation - We aren't interested in your pretty formats - we just want
greppable source.

> Often a resume document may contain additional information such
> as a cover letter. This additional information is removed from the
> document prior to extraction to reduce inaccurate results.

*Translation - We strip off your cover letter.

> Resume Mirror goes one step further by adding related information not
> included on the resume...For example, if a candidate listed 'Microsoft
> as a skill, Resume Mirror would add the related information 'Word
> Experience'. Without this key step, a client looking for candidates with
> processing experience would have to manually search for each and every
> processing program.

*Translation - We provide job objectives for you.

.. and so on....

Oh, by the way, if you don't want to be tracked by MaxHire, hostfile 'em.
Add this line to your hosts file:

This means any time your computer tries to connect with
(includine when the web bug tries to connect), the connection will fail.

(in Win2k, the hosts file is located at C:\WINNT\system32\drivers\etc\hosts)

Mike O.

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