Habush Habush and Rottier

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Consulting Firms to Avoid

I'm tired of getting spam from certain firms, so I'm going to start calling them out in public.The list so far:
  • Med Career Advisors
  • Patriot Consulting (mentioned in the comments)
  • Profero/Advantage Consulting (see comments)

Med Career Advisors (www.medcareeradvisors.com--not a hyperlink because I don't wish to drive traffic their way. If you want to check out their website, copy and paste.)

Here's why I recommend against them: I received an email from them a couple weeks ago, on my work email account. (Strike 1--it's bad form to poach, and really bad form to email a potential person on their current employer's email address.) I respond, saying that I'm not looking for new consulting gigs. I rather like where I am right now. The email says I was referred to them by someone, so I ask for the name of the referrer--it's got to be someone I work with, I assume, since who else would know my current work email address? They avoid the question saying they don't give out that information. Policy is policy, so it's an answer I can live with. (We can call that a foul ball. Strike 2. I would like to know who's tossing my name out there so I can correct their behavior; I don't want my boss to mistakenly think I'm looking for new jobs.) I don't respond, because I've said what I need to say.

One week later: same form email, same sender, to my same work email address.Strike 3, and they're out. This time, my work's email flagged the sender as junk email.

Share your own bad experiences in the comments.

This is something that just bothers me about the industry as a whole: the constant pushing for referrals. I still get calls from consulting firms that go like this: 
Consulting Firm: "Hi Anonymous, I ran across your resume in our database and I'm wondering if you're interested in a new position."
Me: "No, I'm in a full time position. I'm not seeking a change right now."
CF: "Do you know anyone who is?" 

It reminds me of how the D.A.R.E. classes we had to take in elementary school described drug pushers. The dealer would get a hold of you, and before too long you'd be trying to get all your friends hooked, doing the dealer's work for him.

It stands to reason that the only people I know in the industry are my current coworkers. By definition, they're currently employed. Furthermore, it's just not good to talk about seeking other employment while on the clock. The only time I find out that my coworkers are seeking new employment is after they announce their two week's notice. At that point, they almost always have plans for their next engagement.

It just bothers me when consulting firms want me to do their recruitment for them. I don't work for these companies, so what's in it for me?


  1. I’ve never worked for Epic, but I am an Epic consultant who has been having a lot fun reading your blog!

    I just wanted to post that I would not recommend Patriot Consulting. A recruiter there contacted me on Linked-in for an 18 month ICD-10 contract. I was already working with a recruiter on a similar contract, so I asked him if theirs was with the same hospital. He said "yes", but if I went through him he'd give me an extra $10/hour.

    I had not been officially submitted for the position yet, so I figured I would hear him out. We eventually talked on the phone, and I found that Patriot Consulting typically provides Oracle and SQL consultants to customers, and they were trying to branch out into Epic. He wasn’t particularly familiar with Epic, nor the work or modules that I would end up supporting. In the end, I felt more comfortable with the original recruiter and told Patriot thanks but no thanks. The recruiter then sends me a sarcastic email with “yeah, whatever” connotations, and then sends me a nasty text message about he knows that he contacted me first, that I'm a total unprofessional, and that my greed will slow me down.

    I think he thought I was trying to shake him down for more money, when the reality is that I decided to go with the recruiter who offered less…simply because they were more familiar with Epic. Regardless of the situation, I was very disappointed with his text message. I understand that the recruiting industry can be very competitive, but there’s a certain level of professionalism that we should expect from both parties. Anyway, that’s my experience with them…for what it’s worth.

  2. Do not ever work for Profero or what is known as Advantage Consulting now. They are horribly mismanaged and have been known to not pay consultants for expenses, time worked etc. They had such a bad name they had to rebrand themselves. Be wary.

  3. Hi,

    I happened upon your blog while assisting my husband who is looking for consulting positions in Epic. He's got a damn good skillset but this is a new field for him (transitioning from software PM) and we're trying to find the good recruiters in a sea of...not so good ones.

    These posts are great and good to know. Could you recommend some good headhunters/consulting companies? We're in Seattle, want to move to Detroit (I know, I know), and he's open to road warrior.

  4. Hi,

    I do not have an EPIC background but do you know of a site what would list bad and good consulting firms to work for. Worked with a firm as a W2 and when the client manager found out that I was gay let me go. When I try to file for unemployment my consulting firm told them that they fire me for non performance so I am now denied unemployment.

    Is this common in Consulting firms?