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June 14, 2015

Hoffmannitis: "embellishing" one's resume

A syndrome where one embellishes one's resume while simultaneously pointing out others doing the same, saying "There is no room for embellishment" even if  "The consequences are unbelievably significant" and “As tempting as those things are to do, it will always come back to haunt you”.
The quotes in this definition come directly from David H. Hoffmann himself in the Chicago Tribune.

Examples of Hoffmannitis include:
  1. David Hoffmann's own bio and LinkedIn profile, where he has claimed for many years to have been on Boards that he no longer (or possibly ever?) served on. See this post.
  2. David Hoffmann, DHR International and many employees claiming DHR International have "55 offices" or"more than 50 offices" when they really only have 42 - beyond all belief, even their website only lists 49, right under saying there are "more than 50 offices" See this post.
  3. DHR International and many DHR employees claiming DHR International are "ranked #1 in geographic coverage" when they are really only ranked #23See this post.
  4. David Hoffmann, DHR International and many DHR employees claiming DHR International are the "fifth largest executive search firm in the United States" or even "the world", pointing to a source (Executive Search Review) that doesn't support this and which is based on bogus data. See this post.
  5. DHR International and many DHR employees claiming DHR are "one of the fastest growing search firms" when DHR International have been shrinking. See this post.
  6. DHR and their consultants bulking up offices by lying about which offices they are in. See this post.
  7. DHR claiming they were established in 1989, when their own legal filings refer to 2001. See this post.
  8. DHR International on its letterhead claiming they operate in Africa, where they have no offices, and Australia, where they have "hidden" consultants who lie about their location as if they are based in Singapore. See this post.
  9. DHR International giving many employees highfalutin titles so that an inordinate number of consultants are "Leaders", "Chairmen", "Vice-Chairmen", "MDs", etc. See this post.
  10. David Hoffmann claiming a "roster" of prospective Board Directors is "Blue Chip" when some on the roster do not meet the definition. See this post.
The DHR leadership are audacious and brazen in their behavior and Hoffmanitis. Despite us pointing our the many lies they tell, they generally don't stop saying them. The one exception was then they removed David Hoffmann's profile from the web site of the firm he founded rather than correcting the lies.

Some might argue each lie on its own does not mean much, but when taken as a whole it is clear there is a pattern of behavior with an utter disregard for the truth.

And yet many DHR employees continue to spread the same lies e.g. claiming in their LinkedIn profiles or bios that they work for the fifth largest search firm in the world or saying DHR is ranked #1 in geographic coverage. It might have initially been OK for these employees to repeat these lies, but now they know these are lies, why don't they stop spreading them?

We expect there will be more examples of Hoffmannitis to add soon. Stay tuned!


  1. Love the term!

  2. Brilliant! This pull together the significant number of lies that DHR International makes.

  3. How can someone say: "There is no room for embellishment" and then run a company that lies through its teeth? Hypocrites!