I was in IT for several years before being laid off several years ago. I was laid off right before September 11, 2001 and was working on my MBA in eCommerce at the time. I found myself in a very difficult situation as many other people did during that time. Because I was working on my MBA and was almost finished, companies I interviewed with considered me ‘over-qualified’ for most positions I applied and interviewed for.
I stumbled into IT Consulting sales and account management mostly because I wanted to use my IT background for something and what a better way than to find the best people for Dallas IT Clients and at the same time put people to work. It seemed to me like the best of both worlds. Having been a Dallas IT project leader, programmer, and production support engineer, I knew what Dallas IT clients were looking for and the type of people they needed. Also, having been out of work myself, I loved putting Dallas IT candidates and consultants to work.
My first position was with a company that had provided consultants for the last Dallas IT project team I was on. The company only had one client and it was the company from which I had been laid off. When they set up my voice mail, the pass code they used was 911. I was appalled that they would use that pass code considering what had just happen with September 11. The owner would never tell me what nationality he was, but told me to tell everyone they were an Indian company. I later found out that he was from Syria. My wife was worried because she thought I was working for a company that was funneling money to terrorists! Still not sure why they would use that pass code.
I also later found out that they had consultants that built the code of one of the systems I had supported at my former company and had stolen it. They were selling the code to other companies in the same industry! I spoke to the IT Development Manager who was over the systems I had supported and she said that although upper IT management knew this company had stolen their code, they were still doing business with them!
Anyway, there is more. When I started working for this company they only had one client; the company from which I had been laid off. The CEO gave me a list of clients to “show off” potential clients. I mentioned that they only had one client and he said “I know, but this is what I want you to tell the potential clients.” I told him I would not lie for him or anyone else. I found that he lied to clients, consultants, candidates, and his own employees all the time. He lied to his VP of Marketing, and the VP of Marketing would lie to him and ask me to cover his lies. I told him no way!
I was there for two months before the final straw. Having never been in a sales role in my life, and in a horrible economy, I made my first placement as an account manager. I placed a consultant with a downtown Dallas company. In violation to our contract, they hired our consultant away from us. The CEO of our company became so enraged that he threatened to kill the CEO of the new client company for violating the contract! The CEO of the client company was totally blind sided because he was not even aware that his manager had violated the terms of our consulting agreement.
I immediately went to the parking lot, called the client CEO and apologized then went back to my office and packed all my stuff. I decided that I could not work at a company that operated without honesty and integrity and especially a company headed by someone that threatened people’s lives!
Although my first experience with Dallas IT Consulting/Recruiting firms was a pretty bad one, I felt like I really found something that I loved to do – find the right fit between Dallas IT Clients and Dallas IT candidates and consultants. I decided that I would find a Dallas IT Consulting/Recruiting firm to work for that operated with honesty and integrity.
Because of some of the unethical practices I discovered in some IT consulting and recruiting firms I have worked with, I started a Linkedin group, Integrity in Recruiting and website www.integrityinrecruiting.com, in order to start a discussion regarding incorporating sound and honest business practices in the recruiting field in our prospective companies. I invite you to join the group.
I will share more about what I have found in my search later…