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September 24, 2015

Lack of ethics at DHR International: information & comments from our readers

Update September 24, 2015: newest posts from our readers at the top.

The following posts are all submitted by readers either via email or comments.

Where necessary, they have been edited in order to meet our guidelines and to protect the anonymity of sources. If you have any information, please email us at unofficial.dhr(at) We will continue to update this.

First of all, thank you for bringing DHR’s bad behavior into the light.  I enjoy now knowing their M.O. is firing consultants before they are paid out - I wasn’t the only one and wish your blog had been around at that time so I’d had the courage to sue them for my $50K+ commissions they owed me.  It still makes me mad all these years later.

I left JobPlex in July 2003 after working there just over a year and left to start my own firm.  I was doing all the BD, research, project management and candidate development all on my own at JobPlex anyway - I had nothing to lose.   They lied to me too about a number of things and are truly unscrupulous.

I would greatly appreciate you removing my name from the list please.   I’m thoroughly embarrassed about the JobPlex/DHR connection and want to distance myself from all things DHR.   Would you please remove my name?   It was a long time ago and when I realized what was going on, I got out.

Thank you.
I worked for a DHR for a short while in the [deleted] office. The lack of ethics of the owners is incredible. They lie to clients. They lie to staff. Once the curtain was pulled back, I could see the nature of the Wizard and left immediately. 
What leaves me dumfounded is the people that stay there despite the transparency of what's going on given this blog and the press on DHR. Do they not realize if they don't leave soon, they will be unemployable when the house of cards topples? 
Certainly, the SHREK firm I joined after DHR sees DHR as a laughable place. It is worse than that but, unless you worked there, you wouldn't know how bad it really is. 
Thanks for the work you put into your blog. You are doing a great favor to DHR's potential hires and prospective clients. But I suspect those already at DHR must hate you - they should be grateful as you have given them fair warning, but they probably want to shoot the messenger for revealing what they already suspected!
I came across your blog about DHR recently and was extremely shocked to see all of the awful litigation claims and stories of former employees.  I was shocked but not surprised at all based on my experience there! I do also appreciate you posting this blog so that current, former, and potential employees and clients can see how corrupt they are at DHR.  I would have never worked for DHR if I had known this information.    
I never want to be affiliated with them again!  Feel free to use the examples below but please do not use my name as a source.  I hope you understand that I want nothing to do with them now that I know how horrible they are!  
I am now in a high level position at [details deleted] and feel so thankful that I got out of DHR.  I worked in the [deleted] office for one year.  A few weeks after starting, I knew something was wrong and vowed to do my best and get out of there as soon as I graduated from grad school that year.  I know alot about employment law and was sickened at the discriminatory practices I saw happen there every day.  My office and consultants were not involved in that but I saw it across the board in other locations.  I actually really liked my consultants and coworkers/interns in our office.  I also worked for a top consultant in the insurance and pharma industry who both were top notch, above board, and who I learned alot from during my year there.  I was lucky and was assigned there searches exclusively throughout the year I was there which doesn't happen often.  However, for those 2-3 that were great, there were 100 who would do anything to place a candidate without a care about who they were or if they were the right fit.
Consultants were treated as gods and abuse of staff was common including degradation and harassment.  All night emails, phone calls, etc.   
Nepotism - you cover this a lot in your blog.  After a month, you find out who is related to who and that several key people reported to their relatives and had jobs way above their experience level with no explanation.   
Consultants would recycle resumes to put on candidate reports to show they were generating candidate lists.  However, most of the time, those candidates had no idea they were on the list! I knew several consultants who were guilty of doing this and it made me ill.  Candidates and clients had no idea this was occurring.   
Discrimination practices - Consultants would tell associates not to include candidates in a slate because the client was discriminating on age, gender, race, etc.  Happened all the time and many employees would put notes in the system to document this occurring. 
The Manager of all associates had to have a conference call instructing us to continue the behaviors but not put the notes in our database so we wouldn't get caught.  As an HR professional and Employment Law expert, my stomach churned when I heard this information.   
HR did not exist.  I had to take a medical leave because of a surgery and I found out we had no STD or LTD at the company! Also, the HR person (former admin to Geoff Hoffmann with no HR experience) did not know what benefits or leave I was entitled to and the Manager of the Associates did not either.  It took me four days of looking into the HR policies to direct my manager to the right procedure.  I was able to use vacation time fortunately but I was definitely not welcomed back after my leave.   
We had a game at one point of how many associates would leave the company in a given week or month! It was a horribly stressful environment.   
I appreciate you putting this information at the fingertips of those who may work there.  I found a large number of individuals at DHR didn't know how bad it was because it was their first job.  I was older when I joined at 30 (one of maybe 5 associates over the age of 30) so I knew better.  
Thank you again and keep up the good work! 
I was an EVP in the [deleted] office a couple of years ago. When I was at DHR, they used to put together what they called "rep lists" or lists of representative assignments in an industry or market. These were portrait documents with company logos and search details.
Once an email went around the [deleted] practice group asking for consultants' experience in the [sub-industry] and I replied with my experience from my previous firm, [top-five firm deleted]. Next thing I know, the searches were added permanently to the "rep list". 
I think it is fine for a consultant to clearly label in a proposal that they've worked on a search at a previous firm. I was dumbfounded that DHR would claim this as their own experience in a permanent list and then share this with prospective clients. 
When I took issue with this approach with the Head of Research, I was told that it was David Hoffmann's policy to build these lists like this and they would not remove it. I promptly resigned as I did not want to be party to such brazen deception.  It was consistent with so many issues that I saw at DHR that I wish I knew existed before I joined.
I am sure however that if a potential client from that industry goes to DHR today, they will be sent a "rep list" that has my searches on it, even though they were nothing to do with DHR.
NY is a mess. [EVP name deleted] is head of [practice group deleted] practice who refuses to speak with the global head [name deleted]. No one likes [EVP] but she's not been fired for whatever reason. 
There is no financial services practice at DHR and so CTP will lead in this area. But the men mentioned in the NY Post no less will be among the leadership. CTP was banned from Guggenheim, BNP, Blackrock, Wellington, BONY and I believe Wells. But at least one of those clients have said this ban will carry over to DHR. 
DHR cut people's pay without warning by 50% if you're not at quota. Then, they just stop paying you all together which happened to me. They want you to quit so they don't have to pay unemployment. No warning. Nothing.  
[EVP] moved the Head of Natixis HR while actively working on a banking search for the Bank. So clearly, they have no boundaries. 
Thank you so much for designing and maintaining the site. It was a real eye opener to see all of the things that DHR has done and will be continuing to do. Clearly a bunch of unscrupulous individuals.

I am utterly shocked how they usually get away with this.

I will most definitely not be joining DHR and actually already have something new lined up. I feel particularly bad for all of the support staff and administrative employees who have been totally blind-sided by this.
Unbelievable some of the court documents that you have on the site.  My Partners and I get calls from these guys all the time.  I shared the site with them too! 
DHR just acquired a company in the UK Veni Partners.  Interestingly one of the Veni Partners team, a respected guy called John Purkiss has already left! 
Keep up the good work.  I sounds to me that [CTPartners] and the Hoffmanns were made for each other!  Both their models are horrible.
My company was acquired by DHR several years ago. How I wish all this information had been in the public domain then. You have heard most of this before - but take my advice and stay well clear. Consultants trampling through off limits agreements with impunity, a remuneration structure which seems generous but in which you effectively run your own desk as a self employed consultant with every cost deducted from your top line- even travel expenses; "the Draw" a scheme by which the salary payments of any below target consultant can be "suspended", and as previously mentioned a litigious and vindictive approach to any consultant to challenge the way they operate.
Anyone who worked for DHR appreciates this blog and knows that everything on here is 100% factual. They are doing the world a service by exposing these issues bc DHR is extremely secretive and conducts unethical business. Not all consultants or employees are unethical but the company as a whole operates under unethical practices as I experienced daily. Keep up the good work.
I was a Senior Associate with DHR for a number of years. I left when Spencer Stuart reached out to me and offered double my salary at DHR. No training, no real upward mobility and very poor compensation [at DHR].
Today is Tuesday, 7/7 a week after CTPartners shut down and ceased operations due to the acquisition by DHR who decided that the New York Hub office did not need to be taken care of. We spent the last 4 days before closing - working for our clients and for what? No one had answers for us, no one to take a moment and speak to us as human beings. To blame CTPartners for this is only half the truth. DHR came in assuming to be the "knight" in shinning armour but what a lie. We were all left out in the cold, with no compensation and no severance. The only thing we walked away with was an extension of our medical benefits until end of July. Even if the remaining consultants in New York office would have gone with DHR at least we would have had an opportunity to be working, however, we are now with no employment. The support staff would be the ones to suffer the most as they do not make the monthly salaries that consultants, partners, etc.. take in. 
What a sad existence for a well known firm that its leaders would have played with their own lives and the lives of their own employees - our relationships were long term. Now we have to go and proof to the outside world and to search agencies while we look for work that this was not our doing. What bothers me the most is that the people and consultants and partners that we worked with do not even reach out to us probably because they do not know what to say to us. Instead of providing a helping hand they hide in their new positions. Very disappointed in my colleagues, but more in what DHR did to provoke and cause the fast and furious downfall of our firm.
[DHR and CTPartners]: This is the scariest paring of 2 highly dishonest companies. DHR are master manipulators and CTP scam artists. Hopefully the markets will know these truths... I hope they spare Caldwell which is a good group.
Firstly, thank you for creating this site and providing a much needed conduit for the truth. 
It is a sad indictment of corporate governance and regulations that DHR is able to get away with what many people would consider (at best) borderline-illegal behavior. I wonder if DHR’s clients share their (lack of) values? I doubt it. 
It will be interesting to see if the recruitment industry (including media) is just going to stand by and watch DHR’s actions from the sidelines or whether are there people who care enough about the reputation of the industry to step forward now and actively engage in the debate that is unfolding on this blog?
A huge thank you to the writer(s) of this blog! 
During the course of the CTPartners saga, this has been the only source of accurate information on DHR International and its MO. The mainstream business media have not bothered to investigate DHR. This blog has. 
When I first saw the blog, I thought all this information about DHR International could not be true. But the blog is well written and supports the stories with verifiable details.
Having now seen DHR operating firsthand, I can see the incredible lack of ethics of the company. Thank you for opening my eyes to the ways of DHR and for saving me from making the worst career mistake possible. 
Please keep it up.
DHR thinks they were magically get all of this new business (~$75M) because of these new people and offices in E. Europe and way...DHR has done themselves a severe disservice by playing nasty with this acquisition, treating their own employees horribly and helping to destroy CTP which was once a good firm....word is now getting around in the client universe about them. 
I would not be surprised if clients didn't start blackballing DHR from work because of their unscrupulous and highly unethical behavior.
They are about to do to Caldwell Partners what they just got done doing to CTPartners. If you are at Caldwell or CT, please read this site carefully. I wish I did before joining the company. The CEO will convince you, if you are a Partner level hire, that he is in the process of consolidating the market and poising the company to take on Heidrick and Spencer Stuart. This company is not fit to carry those two organizations' trash. 
Unfortunately, the acquired consultants will be forced to work for commission only. if you are an Admin or an Associate, prepare yourself for a huge payout. They only pay those folks between $50,000 and $70,000, no matter what market you are in. This company is a sweatshop, pure and simple. if you are a partner who generates more than $2M in revenue, they will fire you, keep your money, and sue you if you legally challenge them for your wages. They are the business version of the Chicago Mafia, pure and simple.
Thanks for building this first I thought you were just some angry slighted individual trying to be a pest in DHRs side....Now having seen how DHR operates first hand I am aghast with incredulity. 
DHR International as an organization has demonstrated themselves to be about as sleazy an entity as you could imagine in modern day professional services. I am actually surprised that any clients would do business with them given their secretive an nepotistic structure, inexperienced and arrogant CEO/senior leaders, track record of aggressive litigation and complete lack of things that are actually important to the client.
Good slant on this mess on seekingalpha ( This guy’s nailed it in the comments: 
“This is the strangest and slimiest deal making I've ever seen. An employee leaves CTP for DHR, files a discrimination lawsuit and then it gets planted in the NY Post. Why would the Post dig into court documents without reason into a company so small and inconsequential?
Then DHR buys 5% of the stock and makes a $7 bid. Then DHR sells some stock for "liquidity" reasons?” 
And this. 
“Alternatively they could pull in just a few people, kill CTP and avoid acquiring CTP and its debt. 
Watch house of lies 2nd and 3rd season, I could swear this is a real life re-enactment. They even called it with a sexual harassment suit.”
As an employee of CTPartners, I can tell you that DHR have been dishonest from the start. 
We had a firm wide call with Geoff Hoffman at the start who was sunshine and positivity. He assured CTPartners employees that DHR were excited about the partnership and knew the two firms were a 'great fit'. 
We've had no communication since then. After Monday's press release, CTP employees are only slowly realising that DHR are not acquiring CTPartners as a whole, not even specific CTP offices. They are cherry picking the individual consultants - and leaving the rest of the staff with nothing. Leaving DHR off the hook for payment of notice period or redundancy. 
I'd like to reiterate that CTPartners employees have been told nothing - only that 30th June is 'probably' their last day. No communication on next steps. No notice period, no redundancy, just a final payslip. Whether or not this is legal in countries outside of the US is surely questionable. I can only hope that staff are seeking legal counsel and or reaching out to the press.
DHR are the laughing stock of the search industry. This blog provides some much needed transparency to these Chicago mobsters and shows the world who they really are.
As a DHR employee I can tell you that this website is treated like Voldemort in the Harry Potter series: He-who-must-not-be-named.
I am a female ex DHR EVP. It is worse than a boys club: it is a nepotistic boys club. The current CEO is the Founder's son and had no commercial experience outside DHR. He also had very limited search experience. 
As a woman, I was a second-class citizen. The women in the firm all knew that David Hoffmann favored male consultants. David's daughter worked in the firm for a while, but David thought she should raise children like his wife and Geoff's wife. That's the approach.
This is an outstanding blog. A colleague at my new firm saw it and he finally understood why I hated my time at DHR and I left
Unofficial DHR Monitor, good on you for welcoming these kinds of comments. When someone refers to a "dung heap of a blog", you know you have hit a raw nerve. 
When they don't support their inflammatory label with any contrary information, you know you are dealing with someone without the power of logical debate. The commenter in this case has shown how weak the argument in support of DHR is. 
The strength of this blog is that it is fact-based. You do an astounding job of tracking down the information and supporting your posts with evidence. 
Don't let the turkeys get you down! Keep up the good work.
I think the average US DHR consultant would do $300,000 to $400,000 in billings. There would be only a small number who do the claimed average $1.8 million!
Thanks for the response. Glad to see you guys on on top of things. I've been amazed by the information you've managed to unearth on DHR. The company is definitely not a model citizen in the business world. Keep up the great work.
I used to be at DHR. It is not a place where there are 'open' communications.  
The Hoffmanns are private and there is almost no performance information shared with senior consultants. They take the attitude that it is a 'private' business and information should remain 'private'. I have also been at a partnership which is private. There the Partners even shared information with junior staff. That's not the DHR way. 
Even worse, DHR don't share much about the people. Consultants would leave and there would be no communications. You'd simply notice the name removed from the website.
DHR is not an open place.
Greed is greed.  
Evil is evil.  
How disgraceful. I hope no clients in Australia or anywhere else that matter would be stupid enough to work with an unethical firm like DHR International. 
You are only as ethical as the company you keep!
How can the Australian government allow this? They allow DHR with their hundreds of millions of dollars to leave the country and not pay their employees, taking lots of cash and property with them? To add insult to injury, the government then picks up the tab! Then DHR acquires CTPartners and re-enters the Australian market. 

Who would be stupid enough to work for DHR?

How can someone say: "There is no room for embellishment" and then run a company that lies through its teeth? Hypocrites!
Such an incredible list of lawsuits for a relatively small firm.
DHR are renowned in the market for short-changing their consultants, researchers and other employees. Like others, I was fired them for no reason other than they got to hang onto my bonus. I couldn't afford the attorney's fees to go after them. 
My advice to those at CT Partners about to work for DHR International: resign and go work for a reputable firm. You have been warned.
What's scary is how much money DHR has at its disposal and how they use it to attack anyone who dares challenge their way of "doing business." It reminds me of the aggressive legal tactics used by the Church of Scientology.
I have worked at a number of companies and have personally never seen such a complete lack of ethics and rampant illegal behavior as I did while at DHR. It is so ironic and scary that one "ethically challenged" (to put it kindly) company is attempting to take over another "ethically challenged" company. It's just wrong that DHR not only gets away again and again with such behaviors, but profits enormously from it.
This happened to me too. I once had the misfortune to work for Geoff and David Hoffmann. I was terminated, without cause (in breach of my employment agreement) within four weeks of being due my annual commission. I lost over 60 per cent of my annual salary. DHR are scum. Any self-respecting CTPartners employee would be well advised to walk away, should DHR successfully acquire them.
I have worked at a number of companies and have personally never seen such a complete lack of ethics and rampant illegal behavior as I did while at DHR. In my own opinion, the behavior noted by [name deleted] regarding Pravesh Mehra is just the tip of the iceberg. It is so ironic and scary that one "ethically challenged" (to put it kindly) company is attempting to take over another "ethically challenged" company. It's just wrong that DHR not only gets away again and again with such sleazy behavior, but profits enormously from it.
I am ex DHR, performed very well, but behavior of the leadership was very poor. The consultants at the firm they are trying to acquire need to beware.
How can you be #23 in the world and claim to be #1? Perhaps they are innumerate as well as unethical…  

No, DHR are good at counting and keeping other people's money. 

It is funny that they are watching this blog and not changing their website!
I feel sorry for all the people who made the mistake of joining DHR International.  
I think this is a great blog as it shows the real story of the smoke and mirrors that is DHR International. At least now prospective hires and maybe even clients should be able to find this blog and realize it is not worth jeopardizing their own reputations by joining this poor excuse of a firm. 
Thanks for shining a light on DHR International.
DHR is a house of cards and lies. Always has been and you don't know it until you leave there... I'm embarrassed to say I ever worked there. Disgusting behavior... and for David Hoffmann to publicly chastise Brian Sullivan in the NY Post is hilarious. What a hypocrite! I've witnessed abhorrent behavior inside of DHR. Disgusting. How has he amassed so much wealth? By screwing over the people who helped build the company. Don't know of anyone who's made more enemies.
DHR International are blatant liars! I think I will report them to the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising. They lie about their geographic reach, number of offices, ranking and qualifications of the team. They lie to people about what they will pay them. 
These fact checks prove that DHR lie to clients, lie to consultants and lie to candidates.  
Do they lie about their track record of searches? Do they lie about their candidates' qualifications?
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.
This is not just embarrassing for DHR International, it goes to ethics. How can someone be all over the press telling people they need to be honest and at the same time being highly inaccurate on their own website. It is incredible! 
My guess is that David Hoffmann's bio won't reappear on the site, but they will create a whole new section. 
Btw his LinkedIn profile still has the same lies. It was only created recently.
Interesting. I am currently an Executive Vice President at DHR International and we often note the fanfare of internal emails and external media releases when new consultants join. More often than not, these new consultants disappear in the middle of the night and there's not even an internal email to notify us. 
Thanks for this blog. We are all watching it closely.
It is a bit striking to see so many lawsuits from and against former regional Managing Directors of a major executive search firm - a professional service provider who is in the "people" business - it speaks to either the lack of competency in the firm's own ability to hire leaders for itself, and/or how it treats its team members. Whether they are in the 'right' or in the 'wrong' on these numerous lawsuits, either way - it shows incompetence or mistreatment, and I would be very wary to either join the firm or to retain them as a service provider. A bit of a blight for the executive search sector.


  1. Wow you can't make this stuff up ! Shocking really why would Vince Saunders and others from CTP join them ?

  2. David Hoffmann is a thief and a crook. He owes dozens (maybe hundreds) of consultants commissions. DHR still owes me close to $100K. I will never see it, but I do hope at some point, there is a criminal investigation because this mob boss should be stopped.