Identity Theft / Phishing Scam Being Perpetuated Under The Human Capital Consultants Brand




Contact:  Mike Astringer, Founder and CEO

                   Human Capital Consultants, Inc.

                   738 Main Street, #211

                   Waltham, MA 02451

                   800-378-0847 x805



Potential Identity Theft Scam Being Perpetuated Under the Human Capital Consultants Name


Waltham, Massachusetts March 8, 2013 – It has come to the attention of Human Capital Consultants, Inc. that what appears to be an entity outside of the United States is attempting to use Human Capital Consultants identity to perpetuate an identity theft scam.   This entity has created a web site at claiming to be Human Capital Consultants and using a previous Human Capital Consultants, Inc. office address in Cambridge, MA.   An individual named Maria Scott using a Hotmail e-mail address is contacting individuals who have their resumes and contact information posted on the Internet and offering them a position as a “Financial Services Officer”.   One of the qualifications of the position is that the applicant has a “regular bank account”.   The e-mail directs the applicant to a web site where they are asked to provide personal information.


This entity is not affiliated in any way with Human Capital Consultants, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation with business locations in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and a web site address at  Human Capital Consultants, Inc. is not offering any position as a “Financial Services Officer” nor would the company direct any applicant to any web site asking for personal information.   Additionally, no Human Capital Consultants, Inc. employee or contractor uses any free e-mail provider (such as Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) for business communications.  All legitimate Human Capital Consultants, Inc. employee or contractor communications come from the domain.


Federal law enforcement has been made aware of this situation.  Anyone who is contacted by any entity or individual who claims to be representing Human Capital Consultants offering a position as a “Financial Services Officer” or directing an applicant to a web site to provide personal details is asked to contact their local FBI office or notify the FBI via the Internet at


Anyone who would like to verify the identity of any Human Capital Consultants, Inc. employee or contractor or verify that a communication from Human Capital Consultants, Inc. is legitimate is invited to contact Human Capital Consultants, Inc. CEO Mike Astringer by e-mail or telephone 800-378-0847 extension 805.




Human Capital Consultants, Inc. and its subsidiary Marea are professional services consulting organizations serving startups, near startups growing mid-market and vertical leading firms across the United States. From locations in Boston and Philadelphia Human Capital Consultants and Marea offer proven, customizable and metrics driven solutions for clients Human Resources and Recruitment consulting and outsourcing needs.

Optimism: The tool for success in the office and out

Optimism is the key to success in one’s personal life as well as in their professional life. By looking at the glass half full, we tend to see things in a more positive light and avoid sabotaging our own success. With that being said, it is essential to be an optimist vs. a pessimist at work as well as outside the office. The way you chose to look at life has an impact on your achievements.

I was recently reading a great article in the NY Times, click here to read, that discussed the belief of the importance of optimism. I firmly agree with this assertion and can honestly say that I try to live by this golden rule on a daily basis.

There are a few simple things you can do to help avoid being your own worst enemy in every aspect of your life.

  • You      must concentrate on situations      that you can easily regulate and learn to move on from ones you are not      capable of controlling. The article also suggests using all of your talents      and power. For example – money or communication skills, to promote an ultimate      goal of yours that you think is potentially beyond your control.
  • It is also necessary to surround      yourself with people who are positive and confident; this in turn will      make your path of optimism easier to follow. If you are constantly around      people who are bringing you down then eventually you will find yourself in      the same dark hole.
  • One of the most important pieces of      the optimist puzzle is avoiding negative self-talk. Focusing on      predictions of failure and negativities will hurt you in the long run;      attempt to put more of an emphasis on the positives. Regardless of what      your workplace environment really is, you should try to identify some      traits of it that are personally satisfying. You can apply this tactic to      any job.

Of course there will always be little things that are just down right negative but it can’t hurt to try this new approach and you will see results in every aspect of your life. Start thinking how lucky you are to have a job and look at the good in your co-workers. There is always a positive spin on everything in life it is just up to you to look at it that way. Ultimately, you have to look on the bright side.

Employment Branding and Recruiting Videos: 3 Companies That Do It Right. Guest blog by Jennifer King

Employment Branding and Recruiting Videos: 3 Companies That Do It Right 

View the original article by Jennifer King, HR Analyst for Software Advice, on her HR blog

According to CareerBuilder, customers receive a 34% greater application rate when they add video to their job postings. But what do those videos convey about the company’s employment brand?

I’ve seen plenty of recruiting videos, and there’s one thing that makes one stand out from the rest: a strong employment brand.

A recruiting video is a great tool to establish and strengthen your employment brand, or the way prospective applicants, candidates and employees perceive you as an employer, as Gallup defines the phrase.

Companies that effectively use video to promote their employment brand do so by showcasing their employees and work environment in the most realistic way possible. If job seekers can visualize what it would be like working at your company, you’re likely to attract a pool of enthusiastic applicants who truly know what they’d be getting into.

To convey an authentic employee experience, companies should focus on showing their true colors in their recruiting videos. Here are three videos that do it well:

Zendesk provides a complete view of the company to give the audience a realistic yet entertaining look at the organization. The video highlights some of the small details, like the elevator, the door greeter or the company mural, to add some rich color to the personality and culture of Zendesk.

The Rackspace video also gives potential candidates an authentic view of the company by letting employees tell their story in a less scripted way.

HubSpot’s recruiting video also showcases its employees and work environment to shape the employment brand. This video also shines more light on the people who work at HubSpot as they’re filmed talking about the tools they use and the projects they’re working on.

What do you think of these examples? Hopefully they will help you think about your own employment brand and how you can use video to convey the employee experience.

Jennifer King is an HR Analyst for Software Advice, a company that compares and reviews HR software. She blogs about trends, technology, and best practices in human resources.

3 Reasons to Let Employees Use Social Media at Work

3 Reasons to Let Employees Use Social Media at Work

Whether you like it or not, social media has taken over society by storm. Most people have social profiles and are constantly checking or updating them, but the question is; should this be allowed during work hours at the office?

My personal take on this debate is, yes, employees should be allowed access to social sites at the workplace. Is it necessary to prohibit activity on these sites in an attempt to increase productivity?

Of course if permitting access starts to have a negative impact then it may be something to reconsider, however there are positive outcomes from allowing employees to actively update their sites. With that being said, here are a few reasons why social media may not be so detrimental in the workplace…

  1. Increased Networking. While yes, the common conception is that social profiles are used solely for personal interactions and mindless entertainment, there is still an aspect of professional networking that can be benefitted from – especially LinkedIn. Most have hundreds of followers, friends, and connections – therefore why not take advantage and use social sites as a platform to leverage employees’ networks. It is important to promote the use of social networks sites in a professional manner in the workplace. Granting your employees access to social media sites while at work has the potential to gain exposure for your business.

  2. Increased Happiness. The purpose of social media is fun. If you permit the usage of these sites during work then job satisfaction will increase. Ultimately you want your employees to be happy at work and with their job, if a few minutes here and there on their favorite social profile can promote that then so be it. Offering your employees the ability to tweet during the day essentially is a tiny perk that they will appreciate.
  3. Increased Effectiveness. Employees who stay connected during the day actually become more effective. Working in isolation makes it hard for anybody to be productive and access to social media sites will increase motivation. It has been proven little breaks actually enable people to work more, and what employer doesn’t want that? When employees take a step back, recharge their batteries, and plug in to their world for a bit they end up returning to their work with newly found motivation.

While we all understand there will be a few people who abuse this privilege, and prohibiting access could eliminate certain risks, there is a place for social media in the workplace. It is important to keep your employees happy and energized, and I certainly see no harm in networking.

Getting a job in a startup

I recently became aware of an interesting web site  The site’s owner Kathy Ver Eecke has worked for several startups in her career including Inc. 500 and E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award winners.  With her unique perspective on working with entrepreneurs and a bit of humor Kathy provides a great informational resource for those who wish to work in the startup world.

Yesterday Kathy quoted me in an article on her site “Need a job?  32 top Entrepreneurs tell you how to get one in a startup (& they’re hiring)”.

“Mike Astringer – Founder and CEO, Human Capital Consultants, Inc.

Prove that you get the culture. Most Founders and people working in startups can see right through someone who is just talking. You have to fully commit that you want to work in a startup, that you understand both the sacrifices and potential long-term rewards and that this is what you really want in your career. You have to be willing and able to live it and express that passion to the Founder and his/her team.  Even if your technical skills are not right on target prove to the Founder that you get it, that you are the right cultural fit for a startup and that you are committed and chances are you will be successful landing a job in a startup.”

The article in its entirety is here:

With our experience and expertise providing Recruitment and HR consulting and outsourcing services to startups and near startups since we launched Human Capital Consultants in 2005 we could have provided enough data for an entire article but this article was not about us (Hey Kathy, why wasn’t this article about us?!).

I want to thank Kathy for including me in her article.  I’m proud to be included in her list of 32 Top Entrepreneurs!  You can follow Kathy Ver Eecke on Twitter @workingforwonka.

Congratulations to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Very rarely if ever will my blog postings be political.  However being a New Jersey native I was proud of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie yesterday who, after the New Jersey State Senate passed a gay marriage bill (Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act), quickly said he would veto the measure.  Governor Christie and other New Jersey Republican lawmakers believe the decision to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey should be left up to the voters.  Governor Christie has been quoted as saying that the issue “should not be decided by 121 people in the Statehouse in Trenton”.   Democratic opponents in New Jersey argue that a referendum shouldn’t be used to decide civil rights issues, citing legislative and judicial decisions regarding the rights of woman and African-Americans.

I will not share my views on gay marriage as this is not the point of this post.  I do however agree with Governor Christie that this is an issue that should be decided by the voters.  There are strong opinions on both side of the gay marriage issue and I believe that ultimately the voters of New Jersey should decide.   According to a Quinnipiac University poll 52% of New Jersey voters approve of the bill.  This promises to be a highly debated issue in New Jersey.

Too often our elected representatives make decisions based on political gain and seem to forget that they represent the people who elected them.  Governor Christie has proven himself once again to be a Governor who has the fortitude to stand up for what he believes is best for the people of New Jersey.  If I still lived in New Jersey I would be proud to call Governor Christie my Governor.  Rumors have swirled for years that Governor Christie has aspirations for higher office.  I hope that Christie does run for higher office in the future as I believe that we need a man like him in Washington.  Chris Christie is the kind of leader our forefathers envisioned who will bring our government back to a government for the people by the people.

Congratulations Governor Christie for again standing up for what you believe in and working hard every day for the people of New Jersey.

My Appearance on DriveThruHR

Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of being the guest on the Blog Talk Radio show DriveThruHR with hosts Bryan Wempen and William Tincup.  Given the positive comments on Twitter I guess the show went pretty well although the challenge with a live radio interview is that you can always go back and think about how you might have answered questions differently.

Bryan and William’s standard question to their guests is “What keeps you up at night”.  For me that is the national staffing firms watering down the term “RPO” by placing Contract Recruiters with clients and calling it an “RPO”.  Placing a Contract Recruiter with a client (something we also do but do not call it RPO) is just that.  Recruitment Process Outsourcing is what the name implies: An outsourced business function.   We have several successful Recruitment and Human Resources outsourcing engagements under our belts yet I almost never use the terms RPO or HRO anymore.  The national staffing firms have bastardized those terms to the point where I don’t want to be associated with the terms.  Also, chances are good that if a potential client of ours has had some interaction with a national staffing firms “RPO Division” that interaction has been negative.

You may think that I am splitting hairs but I am proud of the work that we’ve done and the delivery model we’ve developed.  The last thing I want anyone to do is associate what we do to the “RPO Divisions” of most national staffing firms.  It’s apples and oranges.

The other thing that keeps me up at night is how the national staffing firms have considerably pushed down rates for Contract Recruiters.  Bill rates for Contract Recruiters today approach half of what we were seeing in the mid to late 90’s.  I see Contract Recruiter job postings by national staffing firms with pay rates of $20 to $25 per hour.  That is considerably less than half of what we pay Contract Recruiters throughout the United States.   I have been in this industry for almost 19 years and can say with confidence that you will not find a competent, experienced and professional Contract Recruiter at a $20 or $25 per hour pay rate.  The national staffing firms strive to put “butts in seats” rather than provide a professional and more importantly effective service.  More often than not the Contract Recruiters they are providing come from their traditional clerical and industrial staffing divisions, have no internal corporate recruiting experience and no experience recruiting for professional or technical level positions.

I shared a story on the show about a client that we had previously worked with.  This client was a large national company who’s brand is a household name in most parts of the U.S.  This company is a large user of Contract Recruiters – having hundreds of Contract Recruiters on-site at their various locations.  We worked with this company for 3 years locally in Philadelphia providing contract recruitment services and were starting to make inroads to other geographic locations.  Suddenly we found out that they had signed a contract with a national staffing firm to provide all of their Contract Recruiters across the U.S.  While we understood why they were doing so (they thought they would experience a cost savings and standardization of service) we knew it would be a disaster.  All we could do was sit back and wait in hopes the company would realize their mistake and come back to us.  Several months later they did come back to us but it was to TRAIN this national staffing firms Recruiters.  We respectfully declined.

I’d like to correct a couple of things said on the show.

I said that on one engagement that we were involved in (we were developing an internal recruitment function for a company and working with recruiting firms on the front end) 7 out of 10 candidates that were submitted by staffing and recruiting firms had never been talked to by telephone or met in person.   Based on the feedback on Twitter my comment was mistakenly interpreted that this is something I see all of the time.  I want to be clear that while I do see this often I was using just one example.  This was a Las Vegas based gaming company who had a large staffing vendor list and no controls around the vendors they worked with.  This was the worst example I’ve encountered not the standard.

The other item I’d like to correct is around our national delivery capability.  While using a specific example of a company that uses hundreds of Contract Recruiters across the U.S. I said that we could not deliver nationally.  We certainly can and have delivered projects across the U.S. from Tampa to Atlanta,  Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Des Moines, Chicago, Las Vegas, Costa Mesa, the Silicone Valley and everywhere in between.  In that example what I had intended to express was that we are not large enough to have executed hundreds of Contract Recruiters in various locations across the U.S. all at the same time.  I apologize for the confusing message.

Thank you to Bryan Wempen and William Tincup for having me on the show and thank you to those who follow DriveThruHR on Twitter for your positive feedback.  If you have additional comments please feel free to contact me on Twitter @MikeAstringer or by e-mail

Here is a link to the audio from yesterday’s show:

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