Consultants’ Controversy: Blatant Fakery, or an Intern Gone Awry?

A
controversy is brewing between one recruiting consultant, Jeremy
Eskenazi, and another, H. Martin de’Campo, who Eskenazi says took his
work on a significant corporate recruiting project and passed it off as
his own. De’Campo says this was merely a mistake by an intern.

First,
a rundown of who’s who here. De’Campo is the endearing executive
searcher, passionate diversity speaker, and consultant whose company is
called Humanatek. He has written and spoken
for ERE and commented on the ERE.net site. On LinkedIn,
he is “connected” to many of the big names in the recruiting field.

The
uber-networked Eskenazi, of Riviera Advisors, is a regular ERE speaker
and writer, and advisor to ERE’s print publication, the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership.
He advises corporate recruiting departments on issues such as how to
structure their departments, what to outsource or not outsource, and
how to upgrade recruiters’ skills.

Eskenazi gave a conference
presentation in June of 2009, in Las Vegas, to a group called the
National Association of Colleges and Employers, or NACE, explaining the
work he has done for Edwards Lifesciences, the well-regarded Orange
County, California, medical device company.

In conjunction with that presentation, Eskenazi posted on the NACE website an outline of the work he did for Edwards.

What Unfolded

On December 11, 2009, a
posting went out to a group of 300-400 people, including Eskenazi, who
are involved in an Orange County group called OCEMA.

 

—- Original Message —-

From:

To: ocema@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [OCEMA] College Recruitment Program needed

Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 18:05:27 -0000

Hi Everyone!

I was wondering if anyone had a corporate college recruitment program that they could share with me.  Please send email to

Lisa@…

Thank you,

 

de’Campo responded, and actually attached his document to the response for all to see:

— In ocema@yahoogroups.com, “H. Martin de’Campo” wrote:

Lisa:

Attached is a presentation I made in Northern California on what we did for college recruiting at Pfizer. I led this project and could assist you on a consultative basis if you’d like.

My firm is Humanatek. I hope the information is helpful. You’ll note that there are all sorts of areas that we benchmarked as “best-practices” for Pfizer, that should be informative.

Kind regards.

 

“That
looks like something I’ve done,” Eskenazi thought to himself with
regard to the PDF de’Campo had attached, which was a summary of work that had been done for
Edwards Lifesciences, with the company name changed to Pfizer.

 

Indeed,
de’Campo had posted a file looking much like
Eskenazi’s
, saying that it’s an example of his work.

In fact, Eskenazi referred in his document to
“EW” (a shorthand for Edwards Lifesciences using its ticker symbol) and
whoever made that second document must not have known what the “EW”
stood for, because they accidentally left the reference in, even though
they’d changed the document to be about Pfizer.

The
PDF was available through the National Association of Colleges and
Employers as part of a $195 bundle of all presentations; or free on the
website (though NACE hadn’t intended for the presentations to be
downloadable free).

The Bay Area
BioScientific Consortium you see in de’Campo’s presentation does not
exist. Also, Eskenazi says Pfizer’s college recruiting teams in New
York and San Francisco have not heard of de’Campo. De’Campo also had an
ERE logo on the presentation, but ERE had nothing to do with de’Campo’s
file.

“This was a guy who was trying to gain credibility by using other people’s work,” Eskenazi says.

Not
so fast, de’Campo says. He says he was shocked to hear about all of
this, and that a paid intern put together that document a couple of
years ago. De’Campo says that the intern (who didn’t leave on good
terms), must have drawn up that file without de’Campo realizing it, and
perhaps it began from a template made by someone else.

“But,” I asked him, “didn’t you pass the document around, as shown in your email?”

De’Campo says
that when he attached the file to the OCEMA group mentioned above, he
just grabbed a file from his “university recruiting” folder without
checking what he was grabbing. He meant to hit “reply” and not “reply
all” to the whole group. “I just grabbed it with the only motive to
assist a fellow OCEMA person,” he says.

Then I
asked de’Campo why he posted the response that he did –- the one saying
“You’ll note that there are all sorts of areas that we benchmarked as
best-practices for Pfizer” and “attached is a presentation I made in
Northern California on what we did for college recruiting at Pfizer.” I
asked him if he actually made the presentation.

“That one I actually did not specifically,” he said. “But I have made presentations in Northern California.”

I
also asked him about the timeline – how the intern made the file a
couple of years ago, before Eskenazi’s file existed. His original
timeline must have been off, he said.

De’Campo
says he has not profited from the file, and will destroy it. “It will
die there,” he says. “I’m actually glad it happened because this has
alerted to me to other things, that have left me with a major question
about things that happened when she (the intern) was here.”

Eskenazi
is considering legal action, he says, partly because “I want to
communicate to buyers of HR consulting services that you have to do
your due diligence, even if it has an ERE logo or a client logo on it.
You have to make sure what they say is real.”

Indeed, it’s hard to tell what’s real at this point. At the top of de’Campo’s website, for example, it lists a leadership team, including “Jeff
Venanzi, Principal & Vice President of MindArchitects3™ &
Training.” Venanzi says he is indeed still involved with Humanatek, but
that he’s never heard of the company for which he’s the VP. I told him
it’s a subsidiary of Humanatek. This was news to him.

I spoke with one of these board of advisors listed on de’Campo’s site: Dr. John Schinnerer, CEO of InfiNet Assessment, a
psychological testing company. Schinnerer says that he and de’Campo
parted ways more than a year ago, over an ethical issue. “It was
something I thought was black and white,” Schinnerer says. “He thought
it was gray.”