- We compiled the worst SAP recruiter list from our experiences in the contract market.
- Why the list was created and what is our criteria.
Introduction to the Worst SAP Recruiters List
It is no secret that that SAP space, as with most other technology spaces is filled to the brim with dodgy SAP recruiters. It is also no secret that there has been a proliferation of bad SAP recruiters over the past ten years.
Some SAP recruiters are contacting US resources from outside of the country – using what looks like US email addresses and using US offices. By using very low-cost resources, it costs little to send out emails to scores of contacts. Interestingly as the SAP recruiters has degraded, the number of accolades at the bottom of recruiter emails (which show all the faux awards they have won) continues to climb. It is curious that it seems to be the worst the recruiter, the more awards they seem to have won and the more icons they seem to place at the bottom of their emails.
Why This List Was Created
With so many s recruiters it becomes important or both candidates and hiring companies to separate the good from the bad. This list is essentially quality control for both hiring companies and consultants.
- Wasting Time: Bad SAP recruiters are consuming large amounts of other people’s time and are interfering with buyers (hiring companies) and sellers (consultants) from meeting in a clean marketplace. I performed an analysis of my previous projects and it turns out that most of the projects came from a small percentage of the recruiters I interact with. Secondly, there are some recruiters I worked with that I would never want to work with again. It is important to note these bad recruiters, so I do not work with them again. That was part of the motivation for writing this article.
- The Numbers Game: Most recruiters fall into the bad category. This means that by a relatively high percentage the best response for a recruiting inquiry is to ignore the email or ask to be removed from their distribution list.
- Controlling Representation: Bad recruiters are often the first to communicate a new role — being bad — they have to be first. The favorites word of a bad recruiter is “urgent.” In fact, it is rare for a good recruiter to use this term when describing a role. This puts a time pressure on the role, speeding up the process and putting the recruiter in the driver’s seat. However, if a consultant submits a resume to a recruiter, they sign an exclusive representation agreement (usually just an email confirmation) which means if a better recruiter comes by later, the consultant is stuck with the bad recruiter.
- Keeping Bad Company: Bad recruiters make candidates look bad because recruiters gain credibility from the candidates that they can provide to clients. However, if the recruiter is not taken seriously by the hiring firm, this does no good for the consultant. Someone who is staring off in contracting may be willing to work with anyone for the opportunity to get work — however, the longer a person contracts, the less it makes sense to be associated with marginal recruiters.
- Surviving The Blitzkrieg: Bad recruiters come out of nowhere and come on very strong asking for a variety of information. Many bad recruiters take advantage of this element of surprise to control the relationship and the shadier the recruiters, the more they will tend to do this. With shady recruiters, time is always of incredible importance – and everything is on their schedule. They also talk fast. Meanwhile, when the candidate needs feedback, all of that urgency seems to disappear. This is why its good to have a list of the shady operators before you get in too deep with them.
However, the SAP recruiters on this list don’t deserve to have qualified candidates to provide because they either lack ethics, lack knowledge or are otherwise unable to add value to the process. These recruiters want the money without being able to ensure the competency. Recruiters are very focused on getting qualified candidates, but most of them are utterly incompetent themselves.
This list is not comprehensive. There are so many bad recruiters that its is not possible to list them all. This list will grow in the future as new horrible recruiters emerge and as those currently on the list change their names.
The Criteria for Making The List
Bad recruiters can end up on the list for a variety of reasons from not understanding much about the software (beyond what it is called) for the positions they are attempting to place, too bad contracts, to unprofessional-ism. These ratings come from direct experiences with each of the recruiters listed. Each of the reasons the recruiter ended up on the list is explained below:
(this list is in no particular order, the first recruiter listed is not the worst — they are simply all bad)
1. RJT Compuquest
Providing Misleading Information on the Rate
This recruiter consistently offers lower rates to consultants – when the same position is available at a higher rate through other recruiters. RJT Compuquest constantly cries poormouth and uses the excuse that the “client will not pay more,” but RJT Compuquest’s statements do not add up. Why are RJT Compuquest’s rates so much lower than all other positions in the same area? It seems most likely that RJT Compuquest is merely intent on keeping an unusually high percentage of the rate. Either that or RJT Compuquest has no idea how to position skills and is simply coming in as the low bidder on every single project. Furthermore, RJT Compuquest is actively decreasing the perceived value of SAP contractors by publishing such low rates, rates that are lower than if the consultant took permanent work. RJT Compuquest also quotes many all inclusive rates. All-inclusive rates are a scam to make any rate look expensive, and then as an excuse to beat the rate down.
RJT Compuquest is quick to ask for a resume, however, if you ask for a copy of the consulting contract – this will be enough to terminate the discussion. This happened to me with Nikhil at RJT Compuquest. After a furious rate negotiation, a request for a consulting contract review made him decide not to respond again. One wonders what is actually in that contract. The next bad recruiter provides a possible glimpse into what is likely there. (both RJT Computers and Systechi are Indian run. Interestingly I have yet to find a competent or ethical Indian recruiting firm and the complaints about Indian recruiting firms are discussed in my articles on the Internet, with Indians themselves complaining about Indian recruiters.)
Disrespect for the Employment Laws and Norms of the Country of Placement
Systechi’s consulting contract is in violation of employment norms of the US, and a full analysis of their contract is at this link. Systechi an India run company. Apparently the owners like the US, they like the money that US companies will pay for contractors, they like the cut of that money that they can receive. But they don’t much care for how US employees are treated and would like to deploy Indian employment norms – where the workers have no rights – onto the US. It’s difficult to see why the Indian owners believe they have this right – perhaps they are of the Brahman caste and are so used to abusing caste’s below them that they think they have carried their Brahman status to the US.
When questioned on their appalling contract terms they state “We have many consultants working under the same contract.” The recruiters and the owners go beyond unethical into the utterly despicable category. Systechi will push its candidates to the wall, cheat them in legal contracts, but if the candidate uses a swear word in return — Systechi will use the word “unprofessional.” In Systechi’s world being compliant while being taken advantage of is called being “professional.”
3. GROM Associates
Gartner needs to wake up because they provided GROM with a “Cool Vendor” designation – or at least GROM says they did. GROM is an essentially a sausage factory. They hire new recruiters who “blast” roles out to large lists of candidates. They then respond to just a few candidates that provide them with the answers they want – and they leave all of the other emails unanswered. GROM considers this professional – most would consider it inconsiderate and unprofessional. Why respond to an email if there is some probability calculation, which one must perform to determine the likelihood of a response to the email? I have explained to GROM recruiters that if they are going to be “blasting” emails to candidates, they should produce an application that can email out to candidates that the role is filled or they are not included in the next round – but GROM couldn’t care less. After all, how does being polite or professional maximized one’s profits?
GROM recruiters do not have even a minimal understanding of the software products for the roles they are trying to fill. Every conversation seems to involve the candidate explaining what acronyms Meanwhile the GROM recruiter states they are new to the area.
ALKU has no central control over how roles are distributed to its recruiters. If I am contacted by four different recruiters from the same company on one day – that is no doubt ALKU. ALKU already needs to change its name because of its reputation, but this is a name that is seriously confusing. Is it AKLU? UKLA? ACLU? What is the best acronym for terrible recruiting?
As with GROM recruiters, ALKU recruiters do not have even a minimal understanding of the software products for the roles they are trying to fill. The vast majority of ALKU recruiters I have interacted with are clearly inexperienced.
Credibility Problems & Lack of Exclusivity
Going forward with ALKU is a bit of a waste of time for candidates because with alarming frequency, indicating ALKU is getting its leads, not from relationship-based sales by from some database that many other recruiters have access to as well. Recruiters that cannot generate unique requirements from interacting with clients have a very low value in the market. A good recruiter works with the client to hone the requirement based on their knowledge – however, ALKU are simply ordered fillers.
5. Oxford International
Credibility Problems & Lack of Exclusivity
Oxford International is in the same boat as ALKU in that it never seems to have particular requirements. I do not know if Oxford International employs a sales team, but if they do, they are very poor producers. Oxford’s approach – much like ALKU is to use some database and then beat other recruiters to the punch by declaring the need for speed or urgency. The reason for speed is not actually due to the client but is because another email could come in from any other recruiters because they have no exclusivity. That is what happens when you add zero value and simply flip requirements out.
Volt is not a major SAP recruiter, but they dabble in the SAP market and bring very little to the table. They require an enormous amount of effort on the part of candidates to fill out pages and pages of forms – that for some reason other recruiters do not require. Volt recruiters are low paid as is the support staff with most of the hourly rate taken from candidates obviously flowing to the executives in the company. Once in the office of Volt, after filling out Chinese Civil Service Exam type paperwork, the assistance asked me if I would like to go down to the lobby and FedEx the package of mail to another Volt office. Volt employees are so unmotivated the candidate is expected to do everything itself, and Volt does nothing to make anything more efficient.
Volt is similar RJT Compuquest and adds very little to the process and completes exclusively on price. Every rate quoted by Volt is low — with the common excuse that “that is all the client will pay.” Everything from their internal inefficiency to their inability to position consultants is placed upon clients. That is they do not work with clients but transmit requirements that are public to candidates and then get their hourly rate take for doing very close to no work. Volt seems most comfortable dealing with low-level resources placements and probably should exit the SAP market.
7. Red Commerce
If you are a SAP consultant and you receive a phone call at an entirely inappropriate time and on the other end is a hyperventilating Englishmen, there is a good chance this is a recruiter from Red Commerce. Red Commerce recruiters are off the chart in arrogance and in being overbearing.
Delusional Thoughts and Statements
A major problem with Red Commerce is that they are delusional as to what they are. This is apparent from interacting with Red Commerce recruiters — who apparently believe they are the cat’s pajamas — but it is even evident from their website.
- “Pure SAP Staffing Expertise – we are 100% focused on sourcing, selecting and supplying SAP professionals to enterprises like yours
- Global reach, local intelligence – we deliver the best candidates in the world via our global network of 210,000 SAP professionals, stretching across 80 countries.”
The first statement may be true, but how is this different from any other recruiter? Also, some context is required. Most of Red Commerce’s recruiters lack the understanding of the software they are placing to add value to the hiring process. Being focused on something — if you have large staff turnover, have a 100% sales culture and no real hiring company sales ability — is not going to produce a quality output.
As for the second statement, this is completely false. Red Commerce has no advantage over any other recruiter in finding talent — if they did their recruiters would not constantly be asking if “I know someone who does XYZ.” They do not have a global network of 210,000 SAP professionals — this a complete lie — but this type of puffery is extremely common with Red Commerce. Their dishonesty also extends to pretending they have an exclusive client when they primarily use public sources of information and do not have much of a sales force. The entire Red Commerce website is just one ridiculous falsehood after another. At one point they declare how “innovative” they are. Yes, what would happen to innovation if we did not have Red Commerce “slamming the phones.”
The copywriters and management at Red Commerce need to get off the enormous opium pipe they are apparently smoking. They are a low-quality operation and perform absolutely zero innovation. Their website boasts all manner of ridiculous statements such as a SAP competency center that surely are being overstated. Red Commerce finds public roles which its recruiters barely understand, calls people, sets up interviews, and then sends a contract to the hiring company and the consultant. It then collects money from the company, keeps a big chunk — which is mostly distributed to upper management — and then pays the consultant. That is the extent of their innovation. It is nothing like the cancer curing copies that one finds on the Red Commerce website.
Lack of Exclusivity
Red Commerce is big, but they are not the type of recruiter that works with clients or has particular requirements. They are best described as a sausage factory that is based upon lots of young and inexperienced recruiters — that Red Commerce themselves takes advantage of. The difference between Red Commerce and other sausage factories like RJT Compuquest is that Red Commerce does a much better job of posing as a higher quality player. Because of their higher polish, they fooled me for a while. However, over the years, when on analyzes Red Commerce leads they are all duplicates of leads that other recruiters have — so Red Commerce’s “attitude” is really all a bluff. Red Commerce teaches their recruiters that they can make up for inexperience and a lack of knowledge with behaving in a very confident fashion.
The state of SAP recruiters is appalling. The majority of SAP recruiters don’t spend the time even to read up on the most elementary aspects of the software for the roles they are placing.
Too may SAP recruiters are being managed by extremely greedy owners who have no idea how to run a business, and for which the efficiency would be gained if they were put out of business. The owners of these SAP recruiters based their entire business model on labor exploitation — labor exploitation of the consultants they place, and labor exploitation of the recruiters that work for them. They then write things like Red Commerce does about how “innovative” they are, and the economy could not operate without them. These owners are no doubt big readers of Ayn Rand – and seem to think they are creating some great innovation by hiring recent college graduates to “slam the phones.” In Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged, (required reading for all sleazy Donald Trump types), the truly talented – the “makers” leave reality to go to a special place, a smart land, designed just for them. I would suggest that these recruiters on this list go and do that – because they are just too good for us in this dimension. Unfortunately for Any Rand readers, the recruiting marketing proves that a free market does not lead to the growth of good recruiters and elimination of bad recruiters. Just as an unregulated market does not lead to good banks, or good railroads, or good anything actually. That must be disappointing.
Financial Bias Disclosure
Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.
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