J.L. Kirk Associates Threatens Blogger, Meets Blogosphere

There’s an old saying that one should never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel. As Bill Hobbs notes, this is more true than ever in the age of the blogs, where thousands of inter-networked sites are able to spread the message in hours.

The latest case in point is Katherine Coble, who is being threatened with frivolous legal action by J.L. Kirk Associates (formerly Bernard Haldane), an executive recruitment firm which, in the opinion of thousands, engages in questionable business practices.

Read Hobbs’ lengthy post for a roundup of the new media implications. See law professor Glenn Reynolds for a discussion of the legal merits.

As to J.L. Kirk Associates, Bob Krumm is right: “never, under any circumstances, ever pay a headhunter or a job placement firm to find you a job.” Indeed, I had two meetings with Haldane during my very brief unemployment in 2003 and laughed at them when they told me how much they wanted me to pay for their services. A week later, I found a job on my own.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Newscoma says:

    Katherine Coble’s story has ended up on the aggregator Memeorandum with these blogs weighing in: Captain’s Quarters The Q and O Blog Patterico’s Pontifications Classical Values Blue Crab Boulevard Outside the Beltway UPDATE: Bob Krumm’s post made it on Fark according to NiT. ALSO: Squirrel Queen has created a photochop in honor of JL Kirk trying to stop KC from having an opinion. There may be a squirrel in the picture, but there is also some thoughtful

  2. The Stupid Stuff I Witness Lavendar Sparkles Blogger Fodder World and Global Politics Blog Right Side of the Rainbow Captain’s Quarters The Q and O Blog Patterico’s Pontifications Classical Values Blue Crab Boulevard Outside the Beltway

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  4. Ballow, and others who think that intimidation is the appropriate way to deal with legitimate complaints about a given company. Or, indeed, if intimidation at all is the approapriate way to get what one wants from a given blogger. As James Joyner rightly notes: There’s an old saying that one should never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel. Technorati Tags: Katherine Coble, J.L. Kirk, JL Kirk and Associates, Kirk

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    As to J.L. Kirk Associates, Bob Krumm is right: “never, under any circumstances, ever pay a headhunter or a job placement firm to find you a job.” Indeed, I had two meetings with Haldane during my very brief unemployment in 2003 and laughed at them when they told me how much they wanted me to pay for their services. A week later, I found a job on my own.

    That’s weird to me. In the Legal field, most reputable headhunters don’t charge the people they place, they charge the hiring firm. I guess I assumed that was the standard, which is what I get for making a broad generalization from a limited set of data.

  6. James Joyner says:

    No, you’re right. Reputable headhunters do precisely that. If they don’t think they can place a client and get paid by the hiring firm, they won’t take them on.

    There are plenty of firms like J.L. Kirk, on the other hand, that charge clients up front for services making impossible to keep promises that they will land a job within a reasonable period.

    When I dealt with Haldane, they did offer a comprehensive package, including resume cleanup, work on interview techniques, and various “coaching” for job seekers. Whether that service was valuable, I couldn’t say. But paying several thousand bucks when out of work in hopes that it will lead to a job–and having no idea whether you’d land the job on your own, anyway–seemed like a dubious risk to take.

  7. Alex Knapp says:

    When I dealt with Haldane, they did offer a comprehensive package, including resume cleanup, work on interview techniques, and various “coaching” for job seekers. Whether that service was valuable, I couldn’t say. But paying several thousand bucks when out of work in hopes that it will lead to a job

    People really pay a lot of money for those services? Heck, you can just go on guru.com or ifreelance.com and put your resume out to bid for cleanup and pay only 50 bucks or less. And at least in this area, there are lots of churches and other community organizations that do networking, help with interviews etc.–for free.

    Well, I’ll give Haldane and JL Kirk some credit–getting people to pay a lot of money for something that’s already widely available for a very low cost is always impressive. Just ask bottled water companies.

  8. […] Outside the Beltway […]

  9. Steph says:

    I went to a headhunting firm and when they asked me for money I got up and walked out.

    ON my way out I saw another placement agency was in the same building. Walked in and they didn’t charge me a penny.

    Heck after they interviewed me by the time I got home there was a message “Joe Schmoo wants to see you at XY company on Thursday. Call me if you can make it”

    I called and scheduled the interview. I met with Mr. Schmoo and was hired about a week later after a background check etc.

    And I’m still there today.

    Mr. Schmoo paid the fee not me.

  10. The Easter Thursday Knucklehead Festival Part Four…

    Our fourth winner today is JL Kirk & Associates, former known as formerly Bernard Haldane….

  11. htom says:

    …ink by the barrel, or pixels by the Google.

  12. […] As James Joyner rightly notes: There’s an old saying that one should never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel. […]