3 People Who Landed On My Naughty List in 2018

The recruiting industry, by and large, is full of exceptional people who ultimately help provide a very noble service, bringing employers and people together. Dare I say, the whole machine comes to a grinding halt without the recruitment industry.

That said, there are a few bad apples. Scam artists, scoundrels, and rascals that bring down an otherwise positive influence on the world. And with that, here’s my shortlist for those who ended up on my naughty list in 2018.

    1. Isaac Choi, CEO of WrkRiot. The infractions at WrkRiot weren’t brought to light by any initial legal disputes, rather being reported in a Medium article entitled, “I Got Scammed by a Silicon Valley Startup.” Choi is facing charges in federal court for defrauding investors and employees and could receive 20 years in prison for his crimes. Choi and his partners were borrowing money from employees in the company and falsely claiming to investors and other employees that they were putting their own money into the company, when they, in fact, were not. February 2018, Choi pleaded guilty in court. He faced a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
    2. Yoni Assouline, co-founder and CEO of ConnectJob. Riding the crypt-craze that began to take hold in 2017, ConnectJob.io raised over $1 million through their initial coin offering (ICO). On May 1, 2018, the company bragged about hitting its goal of $10 million raised. By Oct. 2018, however, Assouline’s company looked more like a crypto-scam than a viable business. Today, there’s no iPhone app. No Android app. The website is gone. Promises have been broken. No one’s home. It looks like a lot of people got suckered by this company promising to be bigger than Uber.
    3. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. The online retail giant isn’t very nice to its employees, according to a variety of incidents reported last year. Amazon’s warehouse working conditions were revealed in an undercover investigation saying employees were urinating in bottles and trashcans for fear of taking a bathroom break. Employees were also falling asleep on the job due to exhaustion. Ten percent of Amazon workers in Ohio were reportedly on food stamps. Employees in Europe organized a Black Friday strike over working conditions and the company’s image wasn’t helped thanks to the leak of an internal company video that instructed managers to spot and intimidate employees with an affinity for unionization. It gets even more interesting when, in October, Amazon had to shutdown its AI-powered recruitment tool because it discriminated against female candidates, and an accident in Dec. led to the hospitalization of 24 Amazon warehouse employees, thanks to a robot damaging a can of bear repellent.

There were others, for sure. StartJobs was a major scam uncovered in 2018, although no name has been connected to the organization, for instance. Those highlighted above were especially naughty in 2018, however. Boo! Hiss!

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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 Jobing.com. 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.

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