A few days ago I received an e-mail from a Nicolas Martin from Martin Agencies asking if he could send my resume over to some people he knew that could help me in my job search. I was skeptical at first but thought "what the hell" let's see what it turns up. I was then contacted by a Susan Maxwell who said she received my resume and that RD Group felt they could help me in my job search and that a Director Richard Bastasich wanted to meet with me to evaluate me for a candidate of a few positions they were interested in me for that matched my qualifications. Today I spent $22.00 on parking and another $25.00 on a lunch prior to my meeting downtown, in addition to time spent getting ready for this meeting.
While I was in the waiting room Richard opened the door for a man who was very disabled in a wheelchair who was leaving. To be honest, I was a little surprised to see him leave their "high caliber" executive search firm. A few minutes later I met Richard. He asked me some questions and wanted to me to tell him who I was from the beginning. We went over my resume asking typical questions. He asked me how many interviews I had and how many resumes I had sent out. Also asked me what salary I was looking for and criticized me that what I was asking for in one instance was something that could be had for "a dime a dozen" saying I should be seeking renumeration much higher for my qualifications. He asked me to fill out some paper work that would take 7 or 8 minutes as a minor assessment, saying open the door when you are done so I know you are finished. In one column it was area to tick off about what I didn't like about my past job, another was a column indicating areas I thought I needed help another about what I am looking for. Page 2 for me to indicate in detail what I felt was obstructing my job search, he even offered up an example like "doesn't have an MBA" about myself. I have done numerous personality tests and other skills test and this one was very vague in comparison. When he returned he honed in on 3 point I ticked off on the need-help catagory. Totally ignoring what I didn't like about past jobs even not mentioning that I had a personality conflict which I thought he would ask me about. Then he asked me to read out my 5 points from page 2, so I did. Upon completetion he seem satisfied that I had good answers and insight. Then he told me some random stats, which seemed viable. Then he said they were very selective and had 3-400 people come in weekly and told me that only 1 in 7 get asked back for a second interview. (Trying to make me feel like their company was high-powered and important). He empasized that he worked with numerous candiates and was very successful in placing them. He said it was now time for his team to do their job and do some market research and asked told me I he would like to assist me and that essentially I was underemployed my whole life. That was my main issue - that I never reached my potential and cited some past jobs as evidence. I agreed because I have spent 20 years raising my family and putting their interests ahead of my own even driving buses for a living so I could make money and be with them at the same time. He then honed in and asked my husbands name, which I gave. He said he thought he could work with me, making me feel like I was a chosen one and asked when I could come back for a second interview with my husband. When I enqured about why he was needed he mentioned that it is a "family decision that impacts the whole family and their circumstances" so it was best to bring him in a make sure he was supportive, although I said he was even when I told him I could travel upto 50%. I finally reached my husband and we agreed on a time for this friday.
I am not one to move forward when I have some suspicions, I research. So I called a reputable head-hunter that my family has employed and she said she had never heard of them. I mentioned that he said they were the largest placement firm in the world. She told me to be careful that they may want to charge fees. He mentioned fees in the same breath as getting together to discuss my plan of action as my husband. I should have delved deeper which is my nature, but I let it go because I felt good about myself at the end of the meeting. Thank goodness I got the straight goods from someone who has been in the industry for 30 years. She mentioned this Brent Haldane scam from a few years ago and told me implicitly not to pay any fees, if asked. I told her my husband's suspicions were in-line with hers ask he had been a headhunter in 20 years prior for a few years. She said she had never heard of anyone in her industry asking to bring their spouse in. My husband said the same. I came home and started reseaching online. To my astonishment everything she said and my husband said was right almost exactly to the tee of my experience...Nicolas Martin contacting me through e-mail, then Susan calling, whom I never met but indicated would be interviewing me as well.
The building on Bay street looks legit outside with the company name on the side of the building. The offices were dated and they had plastered all over the waiting room names of cities where they operate and analogue clocks with times of other major cities behind the receptionist to appear like they are an international company. The bottom line is don't fall for these people and their slick talk. I haven't and tommorrow they will be hearing from my husband who has a few choice words to say to them. Thank goodness for websites like this. Always remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it is. I learned today that it is against the law in Canada for head-hunters to charge fees to their clients as they work on contingency fees from the companies seeking to hire. Don't fall for the smoke and mirrors routine these scumbags employ no matter how desperate you are. Go see an employment advisor at the YMCA for job assistance programs and career councelling that are all federally funded in Canada. Above all ask questions and get references before ou drop $5000 dollars.
Eyes wide open ~