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July 2, 2015

DHR International's bald-faced lie that they have "more than 70 offices"

Update July 2, 2015: updated to reflect a recent DHR press release which claims they have 70 offices despite the fact they only list 50 on their web site, including many offices with zero consultants.

If DHR lie about something verifiable such as the number of offices they have, then how can clients, consultants or candidates trust anything they say? DHR continually pull a number out of the air. It is false advertising.

For some years and as a minimum, DHR International have claimed to have "more than 50 offices". In fact, it is an integral part of the way DHR International describe themselves - it is part of the opening line on their homepage:
"Established in 1989, DHR International is one of the largest retained executive search firms in the world, with more than 50 offices around the globe."
But "more than 50" is not a bold enough lie for DHR. A recent DHR press release dated July 2, 2015 announcing they bought shares in Caldwell Partners International says:
"For more than 25 years DHR International has been a leading, privately held provider of executive search solutions with more than 70 wholly-owned offices spanning the globe."
We suspect the "70" comes from the bogus 53 offices they have recently been claiming plus the 17 they "expect" will join them from CTPartners - but there is no evidence that 17 offices have joined DHR International.

In other words, 'we are one of the world's best and largest retained executive search firms as we have over 70 offices around the world. Russell Reynolds Associates has a mere 44 offices...'

DHR International use this "fact" just about everywhere they can: client proposals, job ads, press releases, etc.

For example, on the "Message from the CEO" page, Geoff Hoffmann makes the same claim:

"With over 50 offices positioned across the globe, we are large enough to understand the complexities of operating in a global marketplace".

As of July 2, 2015 the DHR International website currently lists only 50 offices. Guess what? 50 is not "more than 50 offices" (only 51 would be). And 50 is well below the 70 claimed in the recent press release.

Even worse, many of these 50 offices are not real.

Some DHR International offices have NO consultants. The Cleveland and Indianapolis have zero consultants. Neither has an address and Cleveland has no phone number. Similarly, for many months, DHR listed Princeton and Seattle offices (although these have recently been removed from the web site as others like Stockholm have come online). Seattle didn't have an address and the listed phone number was in California! We are not sure how having a phone number in a non-adjacent State on a web site could have been considered to be operating an office...

Have a look at the profile for Michael Getchell. It turns out he is based in five offices simultaneously. Guess what? In three of those offices, he is the only consultant: Bogota, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. And he doesn't even live in any of these places! He lives in Sao Paulo.

The Europeans are even worse and most of them are listed in multiple offices to "bulk up". For profile for Frank Smeekes has him listed in six offices across two continents. Not sure how one person can simultaneously serve clients in so many cities across multiple time zones.

Another example: Manuel Corsino is the only consultant in Mexico City, but he lives in Miami, where he is also listed on the DHR International web site.

There are many more examples but you get the idea.

At least seven DHR International offices have just one consultant: for example, BeijingNashville, Palm Beach, PhoenixStamford, Stockholm and Taipei. Perhaps these offices are just one person, a phone and laptop? Or are these lone consultants working from home?

DHR have two offices in London and count them both. The St. Albans office is about 20 miles away from the London office. All three people in St. Albans are also listed in London and one of these is Frank "six office" Smeekes.

DHR International can pay Regus a small amount each month for a virtual office and get an address and phone number to list on the DHR International web site. Given Regus have 3,000 locations in 900 cities in 120 countries, we know DHR International have plenty of room to grow.

So, the real number of staffed, physical DHR International offices is well under the "more than 70" or even the "more than 50" claimed by DHR International. Arguably, there is nothing with a company having satellite or virtual offices. But it is unethical to do this just so that you can try to brag to have "more than 50 offices" and appear as substantive as a top firm. Remember, the "fact" is part of DHR International's defining description.

DHR International are once again misleading their clients and recruits. This is another example of "Hoffmannitis". How can we trust anything they claim?


  1. Boy! These DHR International clowns will say anything to make them sound bigger and better than they really are. I feel sorry for their clients who they seem to like to mislead.

  2. Great stuff.

    This is getting to be a fun game, called 'What will DHR International do to respond to the post'?

    1. Will they change the list of offices and perhaps, for example, delete Seattle and then say "almost 50 offices" or "over 40 offices"?
    2. Will they "bulk up" offices and, for example, get a Regus virtual office in Seattle and list others in the one-person offices?
    3. Will they hire some more people in far-off places or small US cities so they can maintain the "over 50 offices" claim?
    4. Will they continue to try to get Google to delete this blog?
    5. Will they actually acquire CTPartners and then really be able to say they have "more than 50 offices"?

  3. This is clearly false advertising. Why don't the FTC stop them?

  4. Agreed. It is nothing but fraud.