Outsourcing–It’s Not Just for Corporations Anymore.

Would you hire someone in India to manage your job search?

Apparently, there are quite a few people who would.  I’m signed up to receive project notices via email from a few freelance sites, and I’m seeing more and more of these lately.  You hire someone at, say, $2-4/hour (no, that’s not a typo) to “assist” in your job search.  Here’s a list of the duties from a posting I received this morning:

  • Research companies in the United States
  • Complete company questionnaire online
  • Search for headhunters in local job market
  • Coordinate communication with prospective employers

This is fairly typical of what these gigs entail.  Interestingly, many of those looking for someone to do this for them seem to be people who are graduating with MBAs.

Really, it’s hard to imagine why this would seem like a good idea.  Why would you want someone else representing you to employers?  If they’re doing the company research, how stupid will you look if you get an interview and don’t have a clue?  How are they going to fill out prescreening questions for you when YOU are, supposedly, the one who knows the industry?  Don’t people get that those prescreening questions are actually a mini-interview?

I especially love the part where these people want to have someone else “coordinate communication with prospective employers.”  If a candidate had someone call me on their behalf, whether they were calling from India or Indiana, I’d laugh them into next week.

In this economy, when there are frequently far more qualified candidates than openings, it’s hard to fathom why some folks would think that they need a Hollywood agent-type setup.  I actually think outsourcing via these types of sites make sense for certain types of tasks.  The quality of the work done is often excellent, and you sure can’t beat the price.  However, finding a job is like finding a spouse–it’s a relationship thing.  You can’t outsource relationships.

Looking like a jerk is a bad way to get a job.

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