Friday, April 13, 2007

I had an interview with J.L. Kirk & Associates last year...

And I couldn't believe the scam job they were trying to pull over on me. It was a beautifully polished, nice setting, with well-groomed and dressed "counselors" and slick pamphlets. But no matter how hard I tried, they wouldn't tell me what their fees were to "network" me into a new job. That was yet another flag popping up in my view, and I felt like going into my professional interrogator role with the guy at that very moment. It would've been fun, too.

However, I didn't have time for his silliness, nor did I bother to attend his second interview where I was supposed to bring the wife along. For a while I wondered how that would've gone.

Not any more. The rest of the story is out there to view in BlogLand, and has caused J.L. Kirk to threaten a lawsuit, as well as shut down their email service. I knew it was a scam, but didn't know how expensive a scam because I walked (ran) away before I could be described as a victim. Here's what goes on, and I hope the Better Business Bureau gets an even bigger earful of what they're doing.

Just Another Pretty Farce

Note that it's also been green-lighted on, so that'll be a thorn in J.L. Kirk's side for some time to come. They may very well have to re-name their business again, like they did a few years ago when they were called Bernard Haldane & Associates.


krazykat said...

When I first went to JL Kirk Associates, I had never heard of any company like them. My story is probably pretty common; I was downsized from an automobile maker in Michigan. My wife and I researched many cities and thought Nashville would be a good place to settle with our two high school-aged kids. We were right and wrong.

I had contacted every headhunter and recruiter in the area and had widened my search as far as Birmingham, Alabama and Memphis - and still unsuccessful. This is not to say that I didn’t have interviews, I did. I was interviewed by companies who were not prepared to pay even HALF my former salary, and given I possess a masters degree and twenty plus years management experience, the entire situation was demoralizing to say the least. One company I interviewed with was a referral from one of the recruiting/headhunter firms. When I got to the interview the HR person told me that indeed they were interviewing to hire an operations manager but they had not budgeted or agreed to pay ANY placement fees and if hired, I would have to “settle” with the placement firm myself. THE FEE WOULD HAVE BEEN $26,000!!!!! The HR representative told me that she had received a “cold call” from the headhunter who had nearly begged her to interview me! I was floored and angry! Under no circumstances could I accept their position, which was considerably below my skill sets and salary range, and I was not prepared to pay $26k!

In March of ’06 I was contacted by JL Kirk Associates and went to the interview. In one hour I found out more about myself, and why my miserable job search wasn’t working than I had ever considered. The interviewer was a nice lady and given my experience with the headhunter I was very gun-shy.

When we arrived for our second meeting, the office staff was lively and we were made to feel welcome. We spent almost 2 hours meeting with a Vice President who went into detail about their marketing services and answered all our questions. About 30 minutes into the meeting I asked if there was a fee and our representative answered that there WAS and offered to discuss it at that point.

What we found interesting about the entire concept is that JL Kirk was offering to represent ME, not a company. They were prepared to work with me to make me look better to a potential employer. The most astonishing thing was they would help me find out exactly what I wanted to do. It never occurred to me (since I was with the same company for over 20 years) that in this new city the world as my oyster. I REALLY HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WANTED TO DO! The fee for their services…$5100.00. In retrospect given what these people have done for me, I should have paid much more. I can’t imagine why anyone in the job market would undertake the task without someone in THEIR corner. All the sage advice to the contrary seems to come from people who haven’t a clue.

In less than 5 weeks I was already considering 3 offers! My career advisor helped me “find” exactly what I wanted to do, and it was a 180 from where I had been. Since I had never really negotiated a compensation package, I was clueless. I ended up with a very nice signing bonus AND a starting salary $11,200 over my former salary! I might add, Kirk Leipzig himself took me to meet the CEO of my new company over lunch at a local country club. The job was designed specifically for me. Without that meeting, I would have been just like everyone else…sending my resume for review for a job that didn’t exist.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you get what you pay for! I paid for a service and resources I didn’t have. Over several months I’ve gone back to review and tweak my plan for the future. The people at JL Kirk Associates ROCK, and anyone who says different, simply can’t see the forest for the trees!

BTW – I’m Jewish and wasn’t the least bit offended by the Christian atmosphere as it is truly genuine!

Roger Mccollum said...

Hi Gewehr98 I have been trying to get a hold of you. I would like to talk to you about one of your post on a revolving rifle. Thanks for your time.

Gewehr98 said...

You should NEVER have to pay a recruiter/headhunter to place you in a job. They get their fees from the potential employers, taking money from you is what we call double-dipping.

If you're willing to pay somebody for the privilege, by all means, do so. It's your money, your washcloth, and your bar of soap. You can wash as hard and fast as you want to, nobody's going to stop you.

I'll save my money, there are many placement firms/agencies/headhunters who somehow do just fine without charging the hapless job hunter.