(c) 2010 Ardfern (CC BY-SA 3.0)

NY Times on Unscrupulous Job Search Firms

Forrest ChristianCareers 3 Comments

If you have to pay for placement, it’s a ripoff.

Job Search Firms: Big Pitches and Fees, Few Jobs“, New York Times, 2009 Aug 17.

I meant to post something more on this, but you should read it if you are using job search firms or thinking about it.

I don’t do job placement. I don’t even promise people with whom I work will get a better job. I can only promise that they will understand what will work and what will not. If I know some people who can use you, then, sure, I’m going to want to try and connect you with them. High potentials are hard for other people to find, so connecting you may help my reputation with these other people.

Which is always good.

Of course, many of you also have some wickedly weird coping mechanisms that we have to disable so that you can do the work at the level you are capable. It’s just a matter of giving you new techniques that work when you are working at the right level, and helping you identify the situations where those old techniques are still useful.

Don’t ever give money to anyone who says that they can get you work. It’s almost always a ripoff. Where it’s not, it’s usually just luck that you get the work.

Besides, most job placement people do not have any idea to help hidden high potentials find work in good times, much less when the economy is a mess and unemployment is still rising. Because being unemployed means that you will be more unemployed these days, you can’t do things they way that you have been doing them. Or the way that everyone else is doing them.

Maybe I can convince Alan, our resident recruiter, to chime in on this.

You probably can’t really look for a job. You have to meet people while seeming to be gainfully employed.

I’ll talk more about this later. It’s a trick that many of you can deploy.

Image credit: DANGER sign in Talbot Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland. © 2010 Ardfern (CC BY-SA 3.0). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Comments 3

  1. Finding a good job can be pretty troublesome. Especially when you have high expectations.

    Here are some tips that helped me land the job of my dreams:

    * Plan out your CV, if you’ve never done a CV before, this is the time to learn.
    * Think about all the jobs you are qualified for. This may lead to discovering additional jobs you could land.
    * Look for jobs in every possible source : internet, newspaper, radio and other media. Ask your friends that have similar jobs if there may be an opening in their company.
    * You need to be proactive about this. Don’t just email them, make sure to call the HR department to have them confirm your resume.

    Finding a job is pretty much a job in itself and it’s all about how well can you market your abilities.

  2. Well, Forest, based on about 10 years of experience with recruiting and a fair amount of career counseling, I can confirm that paying large sums to a firm to “find you a job” is a fools errand for many reasons. A reasonable fee for resume editing and suggestions on useful job search tactics is worth it for those needing the help, but you’re better off sharing your resume with a reputable staffing firm that gets its fees from the company where they make a successful placement. Just be sure to be clear that they do not forward your resume anywhere without your permission. If you find that an agency ever do that, that would not be a reputable agency. More often than not, you’re better off getting your resume to a hiring manager through a contact you have within the company.

  3. Post

    For those you don’t know the difference, recruiters work for the hiring company and normally are paid a percentage of the annual salary for successfully filling a position, usually in payments over several months to ensure that the hiree works out.

    I should also point out that my old business model was to charge a percentage of my coaching clients’ increase in salary. Since people were doubling their salaries after talking to me, that seemed reasonable. Clients don’t like it, for whatever reason, but it’s still very different than saying “pay me up front”. “I’ll pay only when you succeed for me” is better.

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