THE imposing London offices of the Department for Education and Employment are sending all the wrong signals to job-hunters, according to a new book.
And the plant-filled eight-storey atrium at Sanctuary Buildings, also known as the hanging gardens of SW1, could be making would-be civil servants suspicious.
A lavish HQ hints at a company more concerned with status than commerce, says John Courtis, head-hunter, former director of Reed Executive and author of Getting a Better Job.
"Beware especially of those with flagpoles, fountains and statues," he advises.
A spokesperson for the department confirmed that there was a water feature in the building, but insisted it was not a fountain.
Cheylesmore House, home of the Further Education Funding Council, boasts an atrium, a duck pond and floodlighting.
"It is quite swish," a spokesperson admitted. "But the nearest we get to a fountain is a drinking fountain."
The book, published by the Institute of Personnel and Development, says other danger signals include key directors who wear bow ties, gold medallions, toupees and dark glasses. Several college principals are thought to be considering legal action.
Admiral House, home of this newspaper, is a dumpy, red-brick building on a congested major road, which must guarantee model employer status.
IPD books can be ordered from Plymbridge Distributors, 01752 202301, or via the website www.ipd.co.uk