Why Dealing with Indian Recruiters is Futile for Domestic Workers

Last Updated on July 25, 2021 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • Indian recruiters have taken over the US IT recruiting market. However, they are doing little for domestic workers.
  • Indian recruiters primarily parasitize domestic IT work information to substitute Indian workers.

Introduction to Indian Recruiters

Indian recruiters have developed a terrible reputation in the US in a concise time. But one issue that is little discussed is what Indian recruiters tend to do with domestic workers’ resumes. Indian recruiters solicit these resumes under the false impression that the individual will be considered for a potential role, when in fact, this is often an information-gathering exercise. The most common feature, as explained by numerous accounts and first-hand experience, is that the resumes are mined for information, and the experience from the resume is grafted onto the resume of Indian candidates.

This article will learn why it is pointless for US domestic workers to interact with Indian recruiters.

Our References for This Article

If you want to see our references for this article and other Brightwork related articles, see this link.

Resume Harvesting

These are several anonymous quotes from people that have reached out to share their experiences in Indian recruiters.

I have been warned for years that Indian recruiters harvest resumes and that one should not to put too much verbiage online. I was told that they had several reasons for asking us to send a resume and a signed right to represent ASAP: one, the resumes were supposedly used to as a source of verbiage for “spicing” the resumes of Indian resources. I’ve only heard of this being caught once, in an example of a Chinese national. This would be hard to catch. And it makes it hard for us to use online platforms like LinkedIn.

Spicing the resume is the term Indians use for adding fake experience or credentials. A very large percentage of Indians that work in IT have spiced resumes. There is no concept in Indian culture of not lying, so spicing is considered entirely normal.

Using Domestic Resources for Credibility

Why Indians need resumes of non-Indians to hire their discriminatory behavior is covered in the following quotation.

Another reason for getting you in their database was to increase their credibility as a sourcing partner (look at all this talent we have access to!): most of these outfits sub to larger outfits. When I worked at one company, they used a field in our Outlook profile to indicate the subcontracting relationship: most of us were shown as “XYZ” even though that’s not the outfit who’d placed us there. Mine showed XYZ, but I’d actually been placed by another company.

The right to represent has the effect of reserving your candidacy for that one requisition exclusively to the agency that signed you.

Here’s where it got really strange. One recruiter in particular was submitting me for requirement after requirement, often with more than one seat per requirement, for jobs I could do in my sleep, and I never heard back. I never even received a client phone screen.

He was working for a domestic company that had successfully placed me at for a different company six years previously. But he himself was from India, and turned out to be operating one of those “train and place” outfits for Indian visa people on the side.

I became very suspicious: what did my submission to the client look like, coming from his hands, and who got the jobs instead?

My guess was that once they had the right to represent, they could present us in a lackluster way (if at all) and their guy’s odds would improve. You never see what they send in about you.

This presentation is standard practice in Indian recruiters. The idea is to add a non-Indian to the mix and direct the client to hire the Indian. However, if the Indian recruiter only presented Indians, this tactic would be too easy to catch. Hence the addition of resumes they never intend to place.

Shifting the Role to an Indian Resource

There are basically 5 steps to getting hired for a contract slot: 1) initial contact, 2) right to represent and submission, 3) client phone screen, 4) interview by hiring manager(s), 5) I-9 and contract. My experience is that if you give in and work with foreign recruiters, 9 times out of 10 or more, you will never get past stage 2. Maybe you will sometimes get to stage 3. The only exception to this for me was one firm, where I got to stage 4.

Getting Nowhere With Indian Recruiters

Feedback from many sources is that Indian recruiters very rarely place domestic workers on jobs. This is a clue that Indian recruiters are not honest when they ask for the resumes of US domestic IT workers.

I’ve been in this field for 20+ years and being a consultant changed jobs quite a bit. In that time, I must have spoken to 100+ Indian recruiters and not one conversation led to even a single interview, let alone offer.

That is when they actually manage to match the job and location…

It’s hard not to be completely disincentivized as a result and which is why I no longer take them seriously.

I’m just curious – has anyone here had a positive experience with Indian “recruiters” (not the ones working in-house for actual employer)? – Reddit

Indian Scams When a Domestic Worker is Placed

Indian recruiters are constantly wasting the time of US domestic IT workers and think nothing of doing this.

I know, right? I’ve been in tech for 15 years and every single call I’ve had from an Indian recruiter has been an utter waste of time. But a few months ago I was out of work and desperate so when they called, I picked up.

The job sounds… okay, actually. And it matches my experience. And it’s permanent? Is this Reverso Monday?

Then we get to the details. The highest they could go was $8K less than my last job and oh, it’s a 2.5hr commute each way? No, sorry, no can do.

Then I looked at my bank balance and realised that I had run out of time to be picky so I said, fine, put me forward. I can last a year and then move on.

I had two phone interviews and there were clues that they were struggling to find someone with my skills and experience, so I told the manager I needed to match my last salary with a bit extra for the commute. She said tell the recruiter the figure and we will review it. Also, do you want the job? Because we want you to start next week.

So, I’m still in the Upside Down. A world where an Indian recruiter gets me a job interview and we move to the offer stage in 5 days. Huh.

I gave my number, they said yes, I started about a month ago. And I love it, but that’s not the twist!

When I got my offer letter the salary was slightly different than I was expecting. As in, $30k more. I checked and yup, this is correct. And I won’t be needed at the office a million miles away, I’ll be at the office a 15 minute train ride away.

Still not believing anyone would suddenly decide to pay me $30k more than I’d originally agreed to I opened my payslip today with baited breath. Yup, all there. And it’s more money than I’ve ever earned before.

Now, the twist!

I just got a frantic call from the recruiter. He fucked up the exchange rate and gave them the wrong number. Even though they agreed, his boss is going to take the difference out of his pay.

An Indian recruiter accidentally got me a $30K hike. Then he wanted $20K back. As in, he wanted me to send him $20K. This doesn’t even make sense because they didn’t lose $20K on getting me hired. Admittedly, the line was bad and I couldn’t really understand him but I got that he wanted me to fix his mistake. With my money. – Reddit

And the explanation

This sounds like a scam to me. Inflate the candidate’s salary then collect from the candidate. The candidate still feels they come out ahead and the recruiter gets 20k + their regular commission (which was more valuable already thanks to your salary hike). There’s no reason a recruiter’s boss would be mad that the recruiter made them more money. – Reddit

Obtaining the Right to Represent

Anyone who has dealt with Indian recruiters will observe that they are normally keen to obtain a right to represent. This means that the prospect is agreeing to be exclusively represented by the recruiter in question. However, after this, often the Indian recruiter will disappear. But the while the Indian will not try to place the candidate, the right to represent stops the candidate from using a recruiter interested in placing them for the role.

This has been noted many times by US domestic IT workers who have shared their stories with us.

This is explained in the following quotation.

I’ve heard of the resume verbiage stealing. I’ve also wondered about having us sign a “Right to Represent.” All it seemed to do was tie up my candidacy with one recruiter for one opening, That recruiter showed no evidence of portraying me in any kind of good light in his submission packet. This was for jobs I should have AT LEAST gotten a phone screen for, but nada. So I think they were just trying to hogtie me in a stall in their “barn” of consultants while sending out one of their countrymen to actually compete for the job. The worst one was working for a firm that had placed me successfully a few years earlier, but he couldn’t even get me a phone screen for 4-seat requisitions. AND it turned out, he was involved with one of those “train-and-place” outfits on the side.

That is exactly what happens. The right to represent neutralizes the US domestic IT resource. So they have a recruiter who is only pretending to represent them, while the Indian steals information from their resume and will transport it to an Indian resume. When the prospect follows up after not hearing anything, the Indian recruiter will normally like, by saying something like.

“Don’t worry, I will find you a job.”

And then, once again, the prospect never hears from the recruiter again. The entire intent is to placate the candidate and keep up the trust while stabbing them back.

Massive Margins

Indians usually have a dismissive attitude towards labor, which comes from growing up in one of the most unequal countries where anyone not at the top is exploited. This explains why the margins of Indian recruiters typically are quite high.

If I had a dollar for everytime a 3rd party recruiter was low balling me, I would have enough money to start my own recruiting firm.

Nonetheless, at my last contract I found out that my recruiter was making a commission equal to what I was getting paid as salary.

Furthermore, most Indians do not place directly with the end client but instead to consulting companies. This means that the amount left over to the contractor usually is quite low. The end client may end up paying 2.5 to 3x what the resource receives in compensation. In Indian culture, there is no level of exploitation that is too high. In one case, an Indian company violated the B-1 laws to obtain a 98.6% margin on workers, as I cover in the article How Infosys Violated B-1 Visa Law and Charge Clients a 98.6% Margin. The reality is that most Indians favor this type of exploitation if they can be on the winning side of it.

Credential Fraud Enabled or Arranged by Indian Recruiters

Credential fraud is another big problem: they are out there blatantly selling cheap black market certification courses and cheap exam vouchers. A domestic worker would have to pay in the thousands and take one or more courses from a registered training partner, to get that same certification. I was approached back about 15 years ago by an Indian guy running a SAP school. He’d only charge me $1000 but his people had to sign on to his company and work for him for a time to pay off their online training. It’s a feeding frenzy out there. I’m collecting screen shots. “Train and place” shadow outfits are definitely a part of the equation.

This is just another example of Indians cheating. It is difficult to keep up with the scams run by Indians. This article only focuses on recruiters (and hence Indian recruiting scams); however, Indians behave this way in any business that they go into. Lying is considered standard practice and just being good at business, this is covered in the article Why There is No Concept of Not Lying In Indian Culture.

Indian Versus Domestic Recruiters

It’s as if I’d gone to convenience store A and bought 100 lottery tickets, and only got 2 or 3 $3 winners, and then I went to convenience store B and bought 15 tickets, and gotten 7 $3 winners and 2 jackpots. That’s the difference I’ve experienced between dealing with foreign vs. domestic staffing companies. It’s that stark a difference. I am not exaggerating.

Here is a listing of resources assigned to roles. Notice how nearly all of the names are Indian. 

Victimization of Indians by Indian Recruiters

It is not only domestic workers who disdain Indian recruiters but Indians as well. This is a comment offered on the website.

Absolutely agree 100% with everything claimed here!!

Indian recruiters are SCUM pure and simple, never ever make the mistake of dealing with them.

Over the years, I blocked 600+ email addresses in my Yahoo a/c almost all of the Indian IT recruiters.(emphasis added) Another way is to summarily not answer the phone when any of these offshore scumbags call. Harder to do but just as effective. The POS low-price garbage dumps in India claiming to be “IT outfits” are bottom barrel body shops and haven’t been able to improve their wares in 25 years of peddling this.

Sadly, I’m Indian myself, having become a US citizen many years ago. And hate to say this, but these $^%$@#$ from south India have given that entire country a bad name. Horrible, just plain horrible…. the lying cheating, resume faking, imposter for interviews, visa frauds (100s are in jail from one Indian state – Andhra Pradesh / Teleangana for visa fraud). Just a totally disgusting bunch of people, one that I’ve somehow managed to erase from my memory that ever existed, or that I had some past association with.

Ask any Indian why they hate fellow Indians so much, and the worse part, that you’ll easily observe should you be in a flight going to or flying out of India, or happen to visit country, is that the Indians treat their fellow Indians the worst!! Psychologically a very screwed up and low-esteem bunch of folks, not to mention their so-called “ancient culture” and social norms (or lack of) that keep the entire country so backward even in this modern age.

On the recruiting part, if you ever work for any of the Indian IT giants, beware. they are known for stiffing employees / consultants alike. I have met several US citizens who had to go to court (and spend heavily on lawyer fees) to claim back wages from the likes of TCS, INfosys, Cognizant, HCL, Wipro and the whole stinking lot. Not sure why US firms (i.e. the CIO/CXO crowd) in their greed to save $$$ even do business with them, look at the quality of their work. It is third rate, compared to IT programmers and techs from Ukraine, Malaysia, S. Korea, or anywhere else. Indian IT will always remain 3rd class and low quality.

How the H1-B Program Converted into an Indian Takeover of Recruiting

When the H1-B program began to import large numbers of Indian workers, it was not understood that Indians would come to dominate IT recruiting. This is curious, as Indians are so bad at recruiting. They lack every characteristic that would make a good recruiter (communication, English ability, follow-up, conscientiousness, etc.), yet they have come to dominate US IT recruiting anyway. They would also interfere with US domestic workers getting jobs or lower the labor standards for US domestic workers. The behavior is the exact way that Indians behave back in India. It is considered entirely normal in Indian culture. Indians are causing mental health problems in all of the countries to which they immigrate. To see an explanation of Indian recruiting did to on IT worker see the article A Fantastic and Must-Read Email on Horrible Indian Recruiters. 

How to Deal With Indian Recruiters

The following was sent to us from a person very experienced in dealing with Indian recruiters.

What happens to your resume when you submit it in response to an Indian recruiter’s request:
It could be a fake job advertisement. The recruiters are simply collecting resumes to build their database of resumes for future use

Since your resume has a high degree of relevancy to the requirements in the job posting. The recruiter will copy-paste information from your resume onto someone’s resume from India and submit it to his client. The next step could be setting up a fake candidate for job interview.

The recruiter may not submit it to the client, so effectively denying you the opportunity altogether and at the same time by eliminating competition and maximizing chances of selection of his/her candidate
Some Indian companies may be using your resume to glean information from your resume to collect information about companies, systems being used in order to market their services to those companies.
The recruiter or the US-based Indian company may be using your resume (along with others) to justify an H1B visa by proving to the US Department of Labor that required skills were not available despite their advertisements.

You could be giving away too much personal information that could lead to identity theft and cause unpredictable harm to you in the future.

So what is the remedy?

SIMPLE.

1). Do not respond to the job ad.
2). Flag the email as a “phishing scam”
3. Block their numbers on the phone

Conclusion

The interaction of many domestic IT workers with Indian recruiters is that Indian recruiters do not intend to staff domestic workers. Instead, they contact domestic workers in bad faith to extract information from them, which can be grafted onto other resumes, or use the local resource to gain credibility with the account. But in each case, the Indian recruiters work to undermine the domestic resource and shift the staffing to the Indian resource. This is part of a broader issue, which discusses if non-Indians should speak to Indians, which I cover in the article Should to Talk to Indians?

The idea that one can continually face exploitation by bad Indians to meet one’s “PC quota” and meet good Indians is something many domestic IT workers do. Still, the problems with this strategy are covered in the article Should You Try to Find Good Indians While Risking Bad Indians?

In this way, obtaining domestic resources amounts to a “con” where the domestic resource is deceived into providing what amounts to information but not exchanging for a real opportunity.

The Serious Implications for Domestic IT Workers

While domestic workers get the run-around and have their experience used for credibility building for Indian recruiters, the issue is that because Indians have come to dominate the US recruiting market, the point is being reached where domestic workers have a problem working in the contract market as well as the permanent market. The objective of Indian recruiters and Indian IT workers is to entirely take over the employment in the market, bar US workers from getting jobs, and push US workers out of IT jobs to be given to Indians. Indians are far along in their goal of conquering the US IT market. Few jobs now go to non-Indians, and many of the jobs held in IT are held by domestic IT workers who have had that job for some time. When that worker is eventually replaced, the odds are that person will be Indian.