I had my first interview with the so-called VP on 1/14/01. At this time, they talked about how they would help me dramatically and that I was being paid well under what i was worth. One of the first things that really got my notice during this meeting is that they told me of their relationship with the Texas Attorney-General and that everything they did was valid and acceptable. Now I don't know about you, but I've never been hit by a recruiter that told me of a relationship with the Attorney General to prove their business ethics! The next step was to come in for the second interview the next day. This was a very interesting meeting for me as I followed Kristen Grant's sales pitch in the Dallas office.
After pumping me up for a while I started asking questions. I knew at this point that there was going to be a fee, but I would get to that later at the end of this "interview". I asked how they could have such great insider information of positions when they only had the same access I did to the internet job boards. She claimed that they would call companies and ask them what types of need they had in order for a position to be created! Now how ridiculous is this? The next question I had was if they could offer me some actual statistics on their letterhead that showed how many people were accepted as clients, and how many of these found jobs, and the time frame, and so on, and so on.... She claimed that due to company privacy that she couldn't turn actual figures out, but she verbally assured me that over 95% of their clients found work to their satisfaction.
Now comes the money part and the most interesting part.
She hands me the contract and it reads as follows:
"A retainer of $5400 is due immediately with the balance of $2600 due and payable 1 year after acceptance of Career Position provided that new position has a base income of at least $85,000. If the base income is less than $84,000, no additional balance will be come due and the retainer of the $5,400 will be considered payment in full. If the employer agrees to reimburse, $8,000 will be invoiced to that employer regardless of the income package client accepts. Bernard Haldane Associates will return to the clinet the retainer of $5,400 upon receipt of $8,000 from the employer with which client has accepted the Career Position."
Now, my immediate reaction was to ask her how an unemployed person living off saving and unemployment could afford to take such a risk. She replied that it would be no big deal and that it would be paid in 45-60 days after I was unemployed. I asked her if the employer is used to being asked by a candidate for $8,000 by a BH client when interviewing and she replied that they should be happy to pay that instead of $35,000 or so to a regular recruiting firm.
I told her that I had not way to come up with money such as that, but she told me that she's had clients use either credit cards, borrow from friends/family, or even take a second mortgage out on their homes! OUCH!!
Well, she wanted to know why I had such hesitancy and I told her that I used to be in a multi-level marketing group. (Pyramid Scam), with a company called Equinox selling water filters and that I lost all my money and lost a lot of friends that way. She told me she TOO was in Equinox and that she had been successful to a degree. Now the story unfolded for my completely. To be in her position now was just a natural progression from the scam tactics taken from another money making scam.
My only thought at this time was: HOW CAN SOMEONE ETHICALLY TAKE A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF MONEY FROM PRIMARILY UNEMPLOYED CLIENTS? terrible, just terrible......