Employment opportunity masquerading as Landmark recruitment
Date: October 27, 2006 08:18PM
I've recently had the misfortune of experiencing recruiting techniques of landmark converts firsthand.
I took some sub contract work as an I.T. consultant with a firm in Melbourne, Australia. One of the managers, who initially told me about the job, I know through my housemate. Before meeting the rest of the owners, he had told me that all of the staff at the firm (it's a small consultancy, about 5 people) were involved with Landmark, and that it might come up in the interview.
I guess it comes as no surprise to anyone here that this turned out to be quite an understatement. Good God did they put on a hard sell.
The interview went for two hours and about fifteen minutes of that was about the actual job. The rest of it was a discussion about how great Landmark was, and how it has greatly improved their lives. There were three managers in total at the interview, and they were relentless. One of the managers was midway through telling me that completing the landmark forum was mandatory before I could start work with the company, when one of the others stopped him short. They said that although they were not allowed to "require" me to go, it was "highly recommended."
They kept pressuring me for a yes or no answer, and kept firing story after story about how it had benefited their lives. They attributed everything positive that had happened to them to these education courses.I refused to commit to anything out of hand, and promised to give them my decision after doing a little more research (which led me to this site, by the way). In the meantime, they agreed to let me work on a trial basis with them. The owner told me I would "see firsthand" the benefits of landmark just by working with them.
I was intrigued to see how things would go, because to hear them tell it, Landmark had made them into managerial dynamos. "Our meetings are clear and straight to the point, we cut through the bullshit" one guy said. Well, I've seen how they work, and believe me, it's nothing like that at all. The Monday morning meeting, which was supposedly about the business of the week, started with them "clearing" their baggage by discussing it openly with everyone else. One guy started talking about how the relationship with his father had deteriorated and how his father had disowned him that weekend after he had confronted him. It didn't seem to help the poor guy, as he was visibly distraught after confinding that to the team, and didn't seem to pay much attention to anything else that was discussed. One team member was quite aggressive and insisted I share something with the group, and seemed visibly annoyed when I didn't have anything painful to share. Another guy decided to discuss how another team member had aggravated him for some minor slight the other week, and this spiralled into a 45 minute "discussion" about a completely trivial problem. It was nearly three hours before anyone got around to mentioning anything even closely resembling business.
I don't know how typical this sort of thing is for Landmark graduates, but they certianly didn't seem any happier or wiser, in fact their own training methods seemed to excaberate problems moreso than anything else.
Fortunately I won't be going back to work for them, as I've secured another job. Even if I didn't have another job to go to, I still don't think I'd go back. It was a deeply unsettling place to work.