- 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 very short time. But one issue that is little discussed is what Indian recruiters tend to do with the resumes of domestic workers. These resumes are solicited by Indian recruiters under the false impression that the individual will be considered for a potential role. However, the most common feature, as explained by numerous accounts and first-hand experience, is that the resumes are mined for information. This issue is described in the following quotation.
See our references for this article and other articles on Indian IT recruiters at this link.
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.
Using Domestic Resources for Credibility
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.
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.
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
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
For anyone that has dealt with Indian recruiters, they will observe that they are normally very keep to obtain a right to represent. This means that the prospect is agreeing to being exclusively represented by the recruiter in question. However, after this, often the Indian recruiter will disappear. This has been noted many times by US domestic IT workers who have shared their story 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.”
Any then once again, the prospect never hears from the recruiter again.
Indians usually have a dismissive attitude towards labor, which comes from growing up in one of the unequal countries. 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 low. The end client may end up paying 2.5 to 3x what the resource receives in compensation.
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.
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
It is not only domestic workers who disdain Indian recruiters, but Indians as well. This is a comment offers on the website.