Through 3 mailings arranged by Career Bridge Inc. dating from October 2014 and involving approximately 70 companies I received no positive results.
Career Bridge's assignment was to A. Produce a Career Letter B. Produce a list of key contacts at companies relevant to my job search C. Mail letters to the contact list.
Part A was easy because CB simply reconfigured my existing resume by eliminating names of previous employers, dates of employment and reformat copy into bullet points. CB did insert an original lead paragraph about the target company in only the 1st round of letters.
Part B was only partly effective because about one-half of the key contacts identified by CB were not related in any way to my job search for "editorial and communication projects" requiring an editor/writer/researcher. Letters were sent to CFOs, financial/marketing analysts, PR managers, etc. I pointed out these deficiencies in several emails to my Client Support Manager, ************** (email Dec 16). There was a very "distorted" response to my concerns (emails Jan 13, 16)), and then I never heard from him after the 3rd group of letters were sent in February. Once, I telephoned the CB office in March 2015 inquiring about billing. I identified myself but ******* did not, although he certainly had the opportunity.
Part C was a disaster! No more than 10% of the contacts that I telephoned acknowledged even receiving a letter, and two letters were "returned to addressee, undeliverable." This required me to send emails to the majority of the contacts, repeating the contents of the letters. This is when I discovered that the contacts identified by CB were often inappropriate to my job search.
There were other significant failures of service. A client relations representative, *****************, was assigned to work with me throughout the process beginning with a November 2014 email. I received ONE telephone call from her during the whole period, and then only after I raised my concerns in February 2015. Even then, she failed to convey my request for a callback from the Client Support Manager.
As previously mentioned, CB attempts to find fault with the client for any lack of results. I followed suggested procedures regarding followup calls and kept meticulous notes on the CB web site. These notes were somtimes transcribed to the site from written notes after the initial calls were made, but CB did not acknowledge this, claiming that I was not keeping good notes.
I also contact CB's designated Career Coach, ************. She basically repeated the same career points highlighte by *************** in her original sales pitch. There was nothing she said that I had not heard before.
As noted in an email to CB, I am not a novice at the job search process. I continued to conduct research apart from CB and conducted several in-depth discussions with candidate companies, again apart from CB. I had far more success with these independent initiatives than anything that CB provided.
In summary, CB has a flawed process. The client is encouraged to "engage" the designated contact in an "8-minute" conversation but not reveal that he is looking for a job. Well, you don't get off home plate if you are not even talking to the right person, or that person says he has not received your letter. CB also has an expressed disdain for HR departments, even though companies have upgraded their web sites with online job boards and career counseling.
I have already made an initial payment of $600 in October 2014 and two installments payments in April, May 2015 totalling $490. I want any remaining payments cancelled and the total owed zeroed out.
I estimate that I invested 90 hours of personal time in the CB process. At my editing billing rate of $30/hour, that's equivalent to $2,700.
By my estimate, CB staff likely spent about 15-20 hours total in their research. I base this on the actual turnaround time developing contact lists and the easy web accessibility of this information.(I emphasize "actual" time because there were periods of a week or more when my telephone calls were not returned). That did not prevent CB from providing online followup links unrelated to the companies in question. For example, the links to Impact Communication Partners, Inc. and Strategy& produced an incoherent jumble of web sites with no relevance to the companies identified by CB. There were several other examples of this sloppy process.
Contact Name and Title: Monica Barr General Mgr.
Contact Phone: 407-551-6667 x ***
Contact Email: ***********@careerbridge.com
We are committed to our clients' success. Our contract (see attached) guarantees that we will supply specific job search materials along with career coaching and guidance. We work with each client, for a specified period of time, until they accept a position of their choice, provided the client performs their follow-up, adheres to the program guidelines, and utilizes each of the tools we offer. Our products and services are designed to put the job seeker in a very proactive position during their job search. Our process hinges not only on tangible deliverables and coaching, but also on client participation and execution of specific guidelines, which is clearly communicated during the initial consultation.
One requirement of the program is a 45-minute session with a Certified Career Coach regarding proper follow-up protocol. Two of my staff members tried on several occasions to schedule a coaching appointment for Mr. ******, but he refused, stating that he is a reporter and knows the follow-up process from that perspective. Based on follow-up notes and conversations with support staff, protocol was not maintained until the start of a third campaign in February 2015, when Mr. ****** did finally speak to a coach about follow-up. At that time, he conveyed that he did not think our call guidelines would be effective, that he should instead call with the express intent of asking for a job. This is not how the program is designed. We can supply the written copy of the follow up procedures, Mr. ****** received, as well as the notes from Mr. ******, which will show the differences.
In reviewing Mr. ******'s follow-up notes, I saw that he did have contact, and was invited to meet, with companies that received his letters. (These companies had been selected by him and the recipients were approved by him before the letters were customized; post-customization, Mr. ****** approved all letters before they were mailed.) There was no further documentation about the results of those meetings. We provide career coaching for interviews, but Mr. ****** did not take advantage of this service either.
Our client relations representatives conduct weekly calls with each client to monitor their activity and assist them in their search. This representative contacted Mr. ****** via email after his initial letters were mailed, and later by phone, but Mr. ****** did not respond for weeks; he stated then that he no longer needed someone to call him and check in with him regarding the follow-up process.
We have done three mailings for Mr. ****** since October 2014 and offer to do another, despite the fact that Mr. ****** has not fully complied with program protocol, because we believe he can be successful in securing a new position if he works with our team to refine his follow-up and interviewing skills. I would be happy to discuss the next steps with Mr. ****** to assist him further in his job search.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This business response is riddled with errors, and is not responsive to teh details of my complaint. I followed the protocol defined in the contract, including adherence to the program guidelines, detailed follow-up notes, resume postings and a 45-minute coaching session with ************. I never stated that my callls were made with "the express interest of asking for a job," as respondent claims. I was never "invited to meet" or interview with any company contacted through Career Bridge. I challenge respondent to identify any such meetings, that is why there is no documentation about any results of such non-existent meetings in the follow-up notes. I received one email (Nov 18, 2014) from a client relations representative, *****************, and one telephone call (Jan 13, 2015)from her in response to an email sent that same day to client support manager, **************. And then she did not relay my request for a call-back from him. As detailed in my complaint, there were no weekly follow-up calls from the date of the first mailing on Oct 31, 2014; that's simply a lie. Respondent is simply distorting my actions and their own actions to avoid any reponsibility for the complete failure of the suggested protocol, which resulted in zero interviews or meetings from approximately 70 companies contacted.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Let me correct the distortions in the Career Bridge reply.
A) No meeting was requested by *****************, simply a telephone call with HR Associate ************** for a general discussion. This is clear in the Notes (see below)
tel msg ****************** Nov 11,12,13. email Nov 13 ******************@bm.com. email reply from ************** HR Nov 13. tel talk Nov 19 (10 minutes). ** is part of *******************, also on contact list.
B) Emails were sent only when the contact said no letter had been received (about 80% of Round 1 contacts), and the email was a facsimile of the original letter. After all, the letter is the starting point for any discussion. Also, in a number of cases, I was told to send the email to a different person since the name on the CB list was not the appropriate contact.
C) Some respondents made reference to an "editor" position because that is my career title as outlined in the letter. I did not apply or reference any specific job, as CB falsely claims.
Career Bridge offers more of the same nonsense and has clearly not read the details of my complaint, or chooses to ignore facts. That is not an acceptable resolution of my complaint. I want the remaining balance of $665 cancelled.
Final Business Response
We have read the details of Mr. ******'s complaint, and his follow notes he entered in our system, and disagree with his statement, regarding the follow up calls and the emails he sent. The notes clearly state that he left a voice mail, and that he sent an email immediately after leaving the voice mail.
Since Monday, we have had 7 clients accept a new position, in less than 90 days of registering for our services, by following our exact guidelines. Each year hiring slows down in the summer months; however our clients are seeing excellent results. We remain confident in our approach to the job market. Our client's success is our number one priority.
In the interest of good client relations, and putting this behind all of us, we will waive the remaining balance on his account. We sincerely hope that Mr. ****** meets with success in the job market. Please have Mr. ****** contact his Client Support Manager to complete the necessary paperwork.