I'll try to be as brief as possible, but I want to make sure I convey the importance that you DO NOT seek employment from this company.
You will notice that Alliance Executive Solutions is in Maitland, FL -- or the Orlando metro area. Well, in April of this year, they were in Tampa. I've been keeping an eye on this company since I interviewed, and when I saw they had relocated to Maitland, "Boiler Room" popped into mind. It's probably an accurate analogy -- only with AES, you're the sucker, not the clients.
I came across the job listing for AES online and checked out the web site. AES looked a little shady from the moment I saw the web site. It seems hastily thrown together, with one employee listed (John Agnew, who's listed as the "president") in the "Meet the Team" button; the website has a FAQ section covering benefits, discusses representation of Fortune 500 clients, lots of pictures of employees having fun. Absent, however, is a thorough explanation of how AES represents those Fortune 500 clients, and in that regard, what exactly they do. I didn't know these things, but they responded to my resume with an interview offer, so I gave it a shot.
I went into the office they had in Westshore (again, over by Tampa) for the first interview and the uneasiness grew. The office was small, had colored walls, with a receptionst blatantly browsing Facebook and playing a local radio station which contained mild profanity. Each wall was a different color, which seemed pretty out of place for a professional environment. The receptionist gave me some forms to fill out and had me wait for the gentlemen who was interviewing me.
After making small talk with the receptionist, I was called in for the interview. The questions mainly focused around my current situation (transportation and whatnot), and the possibilities of making a lot of money with AES. He explained the second interview was an all-day process of shadowing a "successful account executive". Very few questions pertaining to my qualifications were asked. He ended his part of the interview by telling me they'd give me a call if they want to bring me in for a second interview. I told him I'd like to ask him a few questions, and he seemed a little caught off guard. First, I asked him what exactly they did -- he said they had partnered up with Staples to distribute their product through an internet ordering service. I smelled more stink here, but I didn't press -- the next question I asked was compensation related. He told me it would be discussed at the second interview should I be asked to have one. Fair enough. I shook his hand and left.
The shadiness of the office and the interview had me predisposed against taking this job, but when the called me for a second interview, I figured I'd go again and see what it was all about. They put with me a nice guy and the new hire he was training to ride around with them all day. Field sales and no company car = red flag. Field sales, no company car, and no fuel reimbursement = already knew I wasn't taking the job. 30 minutes into an all day interview and I'm already checked out.
It got worse from there. The first visit we did, ALL THREE of us ferried into this small business, the two of us supposed to stand there and watch this guy try to close. He was peddling copier paper, post-it notes, pens....it was just awful. On top of that, I can't imagine how idiotic it must've looked to have me and the trainee standing there with absolutely no purpose. I've been a trainee in field sales before, and even if I didn't have anything of value to add, my mentor would give me some papers to shuffle or other busywork (as opposed to just standing or sitting there). All of this just made the whole company appear unprofessional the job remedial.
In any case, I kept my tongue. I began to ask the gentleman I was shadowing questions -- how the pay structure works, who arranges the partnerships with their Fortune 500 clients, how campaigns are determined, etc. As I dug deeper, I believe he became concerned; but to his credit, he remained open and honest with me. Once I realized AES did not arrange partnerships directly with their Fortune 500 clients, I pressed him to tell me who did -- and it was Cydcor. The pyramid revealed itself. Companies like Cydcor are basically glorified labor brokers -- Staples or AT&T or whoever will contract B2B sales to Cydcor, Cydcor tries to create a reputable office environment and give it an autonomous name and structure, and the labor are the fresh college grads. The labor (making sales) is brokered out to those kids under the deception of a reputable company and office; worse still, the kids don't have an opportunity to negotiate the terms.
At any rate, by this point of the conversation, the guy could plainly tell I was no longer interested in the job. It was only 12:30, and he offered to take me back to the office, but I told him not to worry about it because I know he still had a job to do and I didn't want to interfere with that. I think one thing that struck him was when I brought up the day's transportation. See, I didn't sign any waivers before I got in that car. If he was to get in an accident and I was hurt, AES was probably going to hold him liable for my injury since they don't provide company transportation or insurance; yet they compel guys like him to do day-long shadows. I asked him straight up if he was sure he wanted to work for a company like that and he really didn't have an answer.
When we finally got back (longest day of my life), the gentleman asked me to come back up to the office and fill out some paperwork. I told him I wasn't going to do that, but thank you for your time, and good luck to you. Ran away as fast as possible.
Lo and behold, I do research on Cydcor and find plenty of things, but nothing on AES -- and they suddenly move offices to Maitland after less than a year in Tampa. This is a scam, and the employees are the suckers. Do not do this unless you are absolutely desperate for a job and can't find anything anywhere else -- if you have any kind of college degree you can find better paying and more secure jobs than this.