Minneapolis Headhunting Firm Investigated For Misleading Claims

A headhunting firm in Minneapolis is under investigation from the state Better Business Bureau and possibly the attorney general’s office after complaints from jobseekers put it under scrutiny, but Arthur Group Executive Search has possibly beaten the regulators by closing its doors, the Star Tribune reports.

Jobseekers paid as much as $3,000 for assistance with job interviews, resume work, and job leads but say the search firm didn’t deliver the goods.

Though owner Barry Trimble told the Strib that he was doing nothing wrong, one former employee said clients were misled “without a doubt.”

The way it worked: Get potential customers in the door and make sure they had money, then rip apart their résumé and their skills in a “mock interview” situation. Have them sign up and pay for the services with promises that the Arthur Group had relationships with dozens of prestigious companies and could help them get a job.

“There were a few jobs. There were a few relationships,” said [the former employee], who quit in November 2008 after nearly a year. “It was certainly not what he was telling people.”

By Minnesota law, headhunting firms are not allowed to charge applicants a fee, making Arthur Group technically an outplacement firm. But the distinction is cloudy and either way, jobseekers are unhappy.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is; if a search firm’s asking for that much money, do your research before writing the check.