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Lee Hecht Harrison rips off Ask The Headhunter

respectWhat does an expensive, big-name corporate outplacement firm like Lee Hecht Harrison deliver to its clients and “alumni” for the big bucks they pay?

Ripped-off Ask The Headhunter articles.

Michael Schumacher, Senior Vice President at Lee Hecht Harrison, published an article under his name, titled “Sure Thing?? Hardly!!!”, three months ago. You can click the link, but you can’t read it unless you’re a paying member of LHH’s “Client & Alumni Group,” which has over 2,600 members.

Thanks to some of Lee Hecht Harrison’s clients, I’ve got a screen shot of the article — and I was even able to see it “live” on LinkedIn. (Click image to enlarge.)

lhh

I wrote and published that article over 15 years ago, and it’s titled There is no sure thing.

It’s also copyright protected and Schumacher and Lee Hecht Harrison are in violation of U.S. Copyright Law. Schumacher’s petty edits underscore his rip-off.

Ask The Headhunter is a for-profit content licensing business that generates revenue from its protected works.

It’s no surprise, however, that Schumacher’s clients loved the advice in my article. LHH distributed it to over 2,680 people without permission or attribution. Here are the comments it garnered on his LinkedIn page: (Click image to enlarge.)

lhh-comments

Ask The Headhunter is all about helping people get good jobs and keep them — but Michael Schumacher should be fired. His clients, who ratted him out to me and sent me his “work,” are wondering what Lee Hecht Harrison delivers for the fees it charges.

Schumacher must have never read the material LHH publishes about a person’s social media presence — and how anything you post online can and will expose and haunt you forever. Forever is serious stuff. So’s U.S. Copyright Law.

Special Note: If you belong to the Lee Hecht Harrison LinkedIn Group mentioned above, please drop me an e-mail.

Update: November 24, 2015

Peter Alcide, President and COO of Lee Hecht Harrison, called me and did the right thing. In a tweet and a posting on the LHH website, he issued a public apology for violating Ask The Headhunter copyright, made restitution for misuse of the content, and the matter is resolved.

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13 Comments
  1. Busted! How silly to do this, when a copy and paste into google will quickly reveal where an article originated from

  2. Please tell me you are going to sue this little crook.

  3. @Catherine: Lee Hecht Harrison is one of the biggest corporate outplacement firms in the world. They publish a free report about how to leverage the Internet for job seekers. It advises in a Q&A sort of format:

    “Should I blog, tweet, pin, or post? How often? What should I say? Will I say something
    wrong and damage my reputation? I don’t have the time. I don’t understand the technology.”

    “Google yourself and remove any content not consistent with the online brand you want to project… Do not undermine your career by posting inappropriate material on the Internet—including text, photos and video. Keep your online activity professional and positive…”

  4. Its 15 years old. So they published it. Makes them look bad. Yes, its not right. You made it known. Happens all the time. You sound bitter. Let it go. Let your readers contact them and give them hell.

  5. Telling you that you sound bitter is blaming the victim. You sound angry, and rightfully so.

    Corporate outplacement has become a commodity. LHH is a low-cost producer. Plagiarized content is cheaper (in dollars) than original content. I have no problem with you extracting a reputational cost for their intellectual property theft.

  6. Nick,

    Great catch. I cannot stomach any of the outplacement firms. LHH and Right Management have attempted to parrot me on many occasions here in K.C.

    As I believe you are aware, part of my business is career management, quoting you, encouraging individuals to purchase your materials and to participate in your blog has only helped grow my business. Actually, I was recently engaged by the military at Ft. Leavenworth in KS to provide instruction on transitioning from the military to the private sector; they are about to order many ATH books.

    I have never understood those who are not willing to give credit for the work of others. Thanks for all that you do!

  7. I caught a headhunter with two years’ experience (after a progressively more responsible career as a hairdresser) in England passing off Paul Hawkenson’s classic article on counteroffers as the “road to career ruin”… He collected 3500 views and great praise for his work… Happily, it’s been taken down now.

  8. 1 – the original post is still in Google cache at bit.ly/1Qa2XbX
    2 – M. Schumacher has a career “in transition”, which may be related to your story, or not, but I like to say it is.
    3 – Most important is the lack of integrity and guts of LHH leadership. The “damage control” comment, the lack of guilty feeling or apologies, is not worthy.
    You are so right to make the connection with corporate HR behavior.
    Thank you so much Nick!

  9. At the very least, it was a very tacky thing to do. Like stealing a comedian’s material, it displays lack of talent on his part and obviously the need to steal others (writing).

    On another note, these outplacement firms rarely are responsible for actually “placing” anyone. Companies contract those services to show they care about the employees they’ve downsized/laid-off. I think these outplacement firms are statistically insignificant in actually helping people find new positions.

  10. I looks like his career at LHH ended November 2015, so that was one month after this was posted. So maybe he got busted after all.

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