Folks, if you thought that US structural engineering firms were the only ones that treat their prospective employees badly, then you will be in for a shock. This blog will present the first Canadian structural engineering firm that treats their applicants badly. The name of this firm is Aspect Structural Engineers, located in Vancouver, BC.
Ironically, this firm stated they were forward-thinking. After you read this blog, you will learn this is not true at all. Think of their promises as those of a crooked car salesman.
Here is where the story begins. Back in July 2016, a prospective employee applied for a Senior Structural Engineer position they had posted on Craigslist. This person was really excited about working in Canada. That person received an email that they wanted to have an interview with this up and coming structural engineering firm.
The person had a phone interview with mass timber expert Bernhard Gafner. We were with this person during the interview. We could tell from the excitement of that person’s voice that they were excited for being a part of this new firm.
Guess what happens next? After the interview, the applicant was sent an email stating that there were no full time jobs. Don’t believe it? Then check out the email this person received from Bernhard Gafner and crew.
This is quite different from the firm’s LinkedIn page where they have stated they have procured plenty of work. Just look at what their LinkedIn page says:
Bernhard Gafner insisted these jobs would materialize. Gafner is a great last name for him because he makes mistakes constantly like how to hire employees. It has been nearly five months and this is not true at all.
Ask yourselves: why would a firm lie about having plenty of work and then tell a potential employee they wanted to hire that person on a project only basis? There are many reasons for it:
- They want to show the competition they are busy by posting fake ads.
- They want to raise the engineering fees on their projects by falsely stating they are busy.
- They are planning on firing one or more of their employees secretly.
- They were using the job ads to get free design ideas without having to pay employees.
- They practice age discrimination against people over 40.
Bernhard Gafner and his staff have a natural talent for wrong answers and unethical behavior you just can’t teach. We can only imagine what his dating or married life is like, but we don’t have to imagine: Bernhard Gafner would cheat on his wife because of the encounter where he demonstrated to the potential employee he would lie like a rug. Bernhard Gafner is a mass-hole!
As painful as this situation is, it’s actually a blessing in disguise, and anyone who wants to work as a Structural Engineer at Aspect Structural Engineers should think twice before doing so. Because when Aspect Structural Engineers used a bait-and-switch tactic, it means at least one of the following:
* The company is unethical.
* The founders, including one named Bernhard Gafner, are unethical.
* The environment is chaotic.
* The company is going through a reorganization.
* The corporate culture is abusive.
* Aspect Structural Engineers may be designing structures that violate the local and national building codes.
* The job is different from what you were told it would be. In this case, the job went from full time to project based/part time.
* Aspect Structural Engineers will rescind other things it offered you, such as bonuses, benefits, or vacation time.
We would like to ask Aspect Structural Engineers how pulling a bait-and-switch is good. Aspect Structural Engineers claimed they valued transparency, but if this is true, how do they explain hiring employees for specific projects instead of full time positions like they advertised on Craigslist? Their ethical behavior is like Stevie Wonder on a hunting trip – they missed everything.
Also, you may wonder whether they truly know how to design buildings for earthquakes in Vancouver, BC, and in the province of BC. We say they cannot do this because they admitted to lying to potential employees.
People are asking what they can do about it. It is as simple as boycotting their clients. And here they are:
Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) – UNBC
Prince George, BC – Client name is Stantec
D’arcy Jones Architecture
Copper Spirit Distillery
Bowen Island, BC
Client name is Rafael Santa Ana Architecture Workshop