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October 25, 2015

How successful was the DHR International "acquisition" of CTPartners?

Update October 25, 2015: updated to reflect further departures in London

116 days after DHR's "acquisition" of CTPartners, how successful has it been?

Well, according to David Hoffmann, sometime Chairman of DHR:
"The integration of our recent additions of CTPartners’ personnel from around the world has gone smoothly".
We beg to differ.

The following infographic shows DHR's track record as at October 25, 2015. 116 days into the "acquisition" and only ~16% of CTPartners consultants are still at DHR International. This is hardly an "addition" having "gone smoothly".


Would a competent executive search consultant join DHR International?

Update October 25, 2015: DHR have hired a new Partner in Vienna: Peter Novotny, ex theXecutives. The number of consultants (apart from those who were at CTPartners) joining DHR in 2015 and leaving in 2015 is a staggering 40%.


A competent executive search consultant operates with an appropriate degree of thoroughness. This includes doing the appropriate due diligence on candidates and clients. For example, an executive search consultant should conduct basic media searches, web searches, litigation searches and take thorough references.

This web site:
Given this, we would expect any decent search consultant would do their homework before joining DHR International. Did those who joined DHR International over the last little while do their due diligence or did they simply believe the spin made by DHR International?

We will continue to keep a running tally of those that join DHR International since the creation of this web site. Actually in case some missed this web site in its early days, we have only listed those who have joined since January 1, 2015.

We encourage potential clients of DHR International to ask those on this list what checks they did before joining DHR. Perhaps they might ask them whether they have seen this web site and the many relevant press articles on DHR...

We are less critical of those that have been at DHR before this web site was started although we do question why they would hang around given the potential impact on their personal reputations.

Consultants to join DHR International since January 1, 2015 
Excludes those who joined directly from CTPartners after July 1, 2015
* denotes has not updated LinkedIn to show joining DHR or removed DHR from profile

Andrew Ross, Principal, Minneapolis
Anna Marietta, EVP, London (through Veni Partners acquisition)
Arjun Srivastava, MD India, New Delhi (and claimed Singapore) - left within six months of joining DHR
Ben Burrell, EVP, Sydney (hidden), claimed to be in Singapore and Hong Kong - left left for Calibre One within six months of joining DHR
Conrad Lee, Partner, Miami (but lives in Tampa)
Danny Cheung, Principal, Hong Kong
*Eva Kaufman, EVP Toronto
Fernando Boldrini, EVP São Paulo - according to his LinkedIn, he left within nine months of joining DHR, although he is still listed on the DHR web site
Fernando Prestes Cesar, EVP, São Paulo - left for Pedersen & Partners within nine months of joining DHR
James DiFilippo, EVP, New York (ex CTPartners who joined before DHR's move on CTP)
*James Gathercole, EVP, Melbourne (hidden), claimed to be in Singapore and Hong Kong - left for Calibre One within six months of joining DHR
*John Purkiss, London (through Veni Partners acquisition) - left within weeks of joining DHR
*Karin Legein, Associate Partner, Dubai (an Associate Partner, a whole new title for DHR
Keith Labbett, Partner, Toronto
*Peter Novotny, Partner, Vienna
Michaela Rosbrook, EVP, London (through Veni Partners acquisition)
*(Name removed on request), Consultant, Melbourne - left within six months of joining DHR
Robert Fong, EVP, San Francisco
Stéphane Rambosson, Managing Director/Managing Partner, London (through Veni Partners acquisition) (and still simultaneously at Veni on his LinkedIn)
Thomas Drewry, Advisor, London (through Veni Partners acquisition) - has been removed from the DHR web site, but his LinkedIn still has him at DHR

October 9, 2015

DHR continue to lie about CTPartners people and offices joining

Update October 9, 2015: 100 days into DHR's "acquisition" of CTPartners and not only are DHR nowhere near their claimed numbers, the numbers are DROPPING; and Geoff Hoffmann has reduced the numbers he now claims: 250 employees is now 210 (when we believe there are only 48). Instead of saying 17 offices, DHR now say 14 (when it is actually only 10). They never achieved any of the levels they continue to claim.

Regular readers of this web site will know that DHR love to assert numbers as facts and we love to check the veracity of these numbers. They also repeat them, repeat them, repeat them and hope that everyone actually believes them.

The latest numbers DHR are spouting are to support the "success" they had in acquiring certain assets of former competitor CTPartners. Well, we continue to monitor DHR's accuracy with a running tally.

DHR's progress acquiring CTPartners' assets as at October 9, 2015 compared to their claimed results

                   European              EVPs/          Non empty
Employees         employees            Partners         offices 
                                   
    48               31                   22                 10    
    250              175                   75                 17    

Where do these numbers come from (color coded)?

In a press release, Geoff Hoffmann of DHR International boldly claimed DHR had done a deal to "add 17 offices and 250 employees worldwide". We originally saw this as a clever ploy by DHR to normalize the behavior of a CTPartners employee joining DHR. DHR were trying to suggest: 'hundreds of others are joining and so you would be stupid if you didn't join'. Others might argue you would be stupid if you did join DHR, particularly already having the scandal-ridden CTPartners on your resume (but it seems some consultants have been quickly dropping CTPartners from their resumes).

In an August 8, 2015 article in Crain's, Geoff Hoffmann reduced the numbers to "14 offices and 210 of CTPartners' employees". How come 17 became 14 (when there are really only 10)? How did 250 become 210 (when there are really only 48)? Rubbery figures!

David Hoffmann, Geoff's father and the founder and sole owner (and occasional Chairman) of DHR, claimed on July 6, 2015 that DHR finished signing up around 175 from CTPartners just in Europe. It was clearly framed as an unambiguous statement of past fact. This was in an exclusive interview with his favorite "media outlet"/PR apparatchiks, Hunt Scanlon.
""CTPartners was great because we've ended up with around 175 people in Europe and that's really where we wanted to accelerate our growth," David Hoffmann said, noting the significant position the company gained in Eastern Europe."
DHR's favorite media outlet/PR apparatchik Hunt Scanlon claimed on July 14, 2015 in an article mysteriously since deleted by them, although the same article is still published on LinkedIn (for now).
"Just last month, DHR struck a deal to acquire 17 offices and 75 recruiters from beleaguered New York search rival CTPartners"
In a comment to that story, former bankrupt Christopher W. Hunt, President and Co-Founder, Hunt Scanlon Media repeated that claim:
"With all due respect, 75 recruiters joined DHR when they acquired the selected assets of CTPartners, so they saw value in joining DHR."
Hunt Scanlon repeated this claim on July 24, 2015:
"DHR ultimately settled for the biggest chunk of CTPartners ‘selected assets’ which included some 75 recruiters located among some 17 worldwide locations. “In my mind, DHR was the clear winner,” said Mr. Scanlon. “The firm made good on a plan set out several years ago by its CEO, Geoffrey Hoffmann, to put a full court press on expanding its global capabilities.”
(We love the way Scanlon quotes himself quoting his client, Geoff Hoffmann. We also love the way that this implies Geoff Hoffmann has been CEO for DHR for "several years" when his dad only elevated him to this role less than three years ago.)

And then Hunt Scanlon once again repeated most of the claim on July 31, 2015, although all of a sudden - and without explanation - 250 employees had dropped to 200 employees:
"DHR struck a deal to acquire 17 offices and about 200 employees of embattled New York rival CTPartners. That deal, which handed DHR -- the sixth largest U.S. search firm [where's the evidence, Hunt Scanlon] -- a core group of about 75 European and U.S.-based search professionals, is estimated to have added $75 million in revenue to DHR, according to an analysis by Hunt Scanlon Media."
Of course, Hunt Scanlon have a certain reputation. And who would believe that each of the poor performers (mostly researchers) from CTPartners who had no choice but to join DHR are doing over $2 million in billings each, with many of them in Eastern Europe were salaries are lower. It is not believable, especially as there are only 22 transferring Partners.

According to DHR's web site, they haved added 10 new offices - all from the CTPartners Neumann business in Eastern Europe. These are the offices in Bucharest, Budapest, Cologne, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Munich, Salzburg, Sofia, Stuttgart and Vienna.

DHR know so little about this part of the world and were so keen to show the offices they acquired that for the first few days they misspelled Heidelberg as "Heidelburg", as you can see in this screenshot. D'oh!

DHR fixed that and should at least thank us for our pro bono proofreading service. See DHR, we are helping you correct your mistakes. If only you would correct the record on the numerous other egregious lies you continue to tell...

October 8, 2015

The many empty or near-empty offices at DHR International

Update October 8, 2015: updated to show the shrinking offices in Lansing & São Paulo.

Like the Wizard of Oz, DHR International uses smoke and mirrors to pretend they are bigger than they really are. For example, in recent press releases (from July 2015) they claim to have "more than 70 wholly-owned offices spanning the globe". We have seen recent emails to clients where people as senior as DHR International's CFO make the same claim.

But three months after "acquiring certain assets" from DHR there's only 55 offices on their web site and 2 of these have no consultants. In fact, 87% of DHR's listed offices have five or fewer consultants, once you deduplicate the consultants who are based in multiple offices. An astonishing 33% of offices have just one or no consultants. A mere 7 DHR offices have more than 5 consultants: Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and Shanghai, and this is including the consultants that have joined from CTPartners.

DHR international offices size as at October 8, 2015 according to DHR's own web site

Offices with no resident consultants (2 offices)
Mexico City (Manuel Corsino is resident in Miami)
Rio de Janeiro (both listed reside in São Paulo)

Offices with a mere one, lonely resident consultant (16 offices)
Austin
Beijing
Bucharest
Calgary
Charleston
Lansing
Nashville
Palm Beach
Phoenix
Salzburg
São Paulo (Ana Paula Montanha actually works for the mid-level Jobplex recruitment business)
Sofia
Stamford
Stockholm
Stuttgart
Taipei

Offices with two resident consultants (9 offices)
Cologne
Denver
Detroit (Birmingham)
Hamburg
Heidelberg
Milwaukee
Munich
Philadelphia (no address, meaning the consultants work from home)
Santiago

Offices with three resident consultants (16 offices)
Amsterdam (the other three of the six listed are in Frankfurt or London or Paris)
Boston
Budapest
Dallas
Dubai
Frankfurt (the other three are resident in Amsterdam or Paris)
Houston
Los Angeles
Miami
Mumbai (Dipak Gupta is resident in New Delhi)
New Delhi
Paris (Frank Smeekes is resident in Amsterdam)
Pittsburg
Silicon Valley (all but one are resident in San Francisco and listed there as well)
Singapore (six of the nine listed are based in Hong Kong, Melbourne or New Delhi)
St. Louis

Offices with four resident consultants (2 offices)

Offices with five resident consultants (3 offices)

October 6, 2015

The hypocrisy of DHR International

DHR International have started a blog. We are grateful, as it gives us more material.

The latest post is by Scott Sette of the Houston office. His post covers "How leaders build trust". We've extracted some of the headlines and ask you to consider how Geoff Hoffmann measures up as a leader against Scott's benchmark.

"The most important measure of success for new leaders is building trust and credibility with internal and external key stakeholders."

"Here are 7 proven ways for leaders to build trust:

  1. "Get to know the organization and its people before making changes"
  2. "Transparent communication – Nothing destroys trust like a lack of communication." DHR are the least transparent organization out there. The Hoffmanns cite that it is a private company. When people leave and offices close (e.g. Prague recently), there are no announcements.
  3. "Treat people right – Everyone likes to be treated with dignity and respect." DHR have a track record of firing people in order to avoid paying commissions. The proof is the number of lawsuits documented on this web site.
  4. "Provide development opportunities." If you have a look at Glassdoor, you will see the number of former DHR employees complaining there are no development opportunities at DHR.
  5. "Be visible and approachable – A surefire way to build trust as a leader is to be visible and approachable." Geoff Hoffmann hides from staff and gets others to do his dirty work.
  6. "Foster an inclusive culture – A basic desire of practically every person in this world is to feel important." DHR is very hierarchical, and family and friends hold the critical roles.
  7. "Walk the talk – At the end of the day, no leader will gain the trust of his people if he doesn’t set a proper example." The Hoffmanns are good at setting an example. By the way, we note that Sette thinks that leaders have to be men! DHR don't care much for diversity.