Would you buy a new job from this man?

Date November 19, 2009

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Image credit: © Felix Mizioznikov

I saw an article recently that made my blood boil. It describes a job search firm that is being charged with taking advantage of job seekers.

The Minneapolis job search firm has been accused of “deceiving desperate job seekers who paid the company hefty fees in hopes of landing interviews for lucrative jobs that never materialized,” writes Michael Luo of the New York Times.

It’s tough enough to be a job seeker in a down economy, but being asked to fork over money you’re hoping will last until the next job – just to find the next job – is downright despicable. Unfortunately, asking job seekers to pay for dubious services is not an isolated phenomenon. I see it all the time.

Let it be said that not all of those services are worthless. There can be great value in having a resume spruced up by a professional, or getting a tip on wardrobe or interviewing skills. The point is that many of we job search professionals see that as part of the job.

At Dynamo Recruiting, we are paid by the firm that does the hiring. Period. If we suggest taking another crack at a resume or buying a new jacket, it’s because we think our candidate needs it. We don’t get paid for that advice, because we think our role is to match great people to great jobs they’re perfectly suited for – not to extract cash from both sides.

In the case of the Minneapolis firm, the firm’s clients were allegedly fooled by a promise that they would gain access to a “hidden job market” – a marketing phrase you should always examine carefully – and were asked to pay as much as $4,500 for access. Apparently, there was no such access, and no such hidden job market.

To be frank, in tough times like these, there are jobs that go underground, in the sense that they don’t ever make it to public sites. For example, some of my clients ask me to conduct searches among a smaller set of qualified candidates. I don’t post those jobs on my website, because the client has requested me not to.

But I don’t ask anyone to pay for access to those jobs. Be very dubious of anyone who suggests that you must pay for services you may not in fact need – and which may not in fact exist.

Submitted by Gina Peckman

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