Fly-by-night IT firms fleece gullible job-seekers

Fly-by-night IT firms fleece gullible job-seekers

Employment

A BTech graduate from a reputable engineering institution in Chennai, Mosin was under pressure to find employment after his peers landed jobs in the IT sector while he worked for a non-IT firm. So much so Mosin did not hesitate to pay Rs 90,000 to an unknown recruitment consultant to secure a job with a Bangalore-based company, learning later that the consultants had shared the money with the company.

“They assured me they would train us in JAVA-J2EE, PHP and other web development programming languages,” said Mosin, 23, son of a shoe seller in Chennai, who was among 27 employees cheated by the bogus firm.

They had paid between Rs 50,000 and Rs two lakh to get the job with the company, which is also said to have fired several employees and gone for fresh recruitments.

“The offer letter mentioned Rs 1.50 lakh as our CTC (cost to the company) and we would have a take-home of Rs 11,000. We worked with them for two months, when they had no trainers and seemed to have no projects.”

Keeping Mosin and others for just two months without training, work, or the agreed salary, the company shut shop this week when frustrated employees demanded their salaries. Assuring the employees that their salaries would be paid soon, the managing director of the company employed goons to chase away the obstinate recruits who occupied the company premises sensing the management was buying time to flee.

Even more frustrating for the staff was the fact that the company was holding onto their qualification certificate, the only valuable they had with them. Attempt by the police to work out a compromise between the employees and the management came to nothing as the management failed to turn up for the meeting last Thursday.

“This’s the second such incident in recent times, where unemployed graduates from the economically disadvantaged backgrounds had been cheated of their deposit money,” said a member of the IT and ITES Employees Centre (ITEC), an IT professional support group.
150 people cheated

In all, nearly 150 unemployed technical graduates and freshers from engineering colleges have been cheated in recent scams.

“They have technical qualification, are mostly from rural or semi-urban background, have little or no communication skills and are under enormous pressure from family and friends to find a job. To them, promise of a job often sounds attractive,” said another ITEC member.

“Fraudsters conveniently point to the ‘industry practice’ of signing bonds (for a deposit) by IT firms recruiting students from campuses. So most of them don’t hesitate to pay up smaller amounts to join the so-called start-ups. Companies also don’t follow due diligence in hiring and firing people, which unfortunately become a precedence for fraudsters,” an ITEC member said.

“We’ve been telling fresh graduates to find out more about the companies and those posing as recruiters,” the member said. “It’s helpful sometimes to ask for the credentials of the supposed HR executive who hands them offer letters. Students and unemployed graduates should not hastily hand over qualification certificates and depo­sits and must realise it would only make a bad situation worse,” ITEC members said.

On the other hand, they also feel that the government and industry body NASSCOM must ensure unemployed technical graduates are not cheated by frauds. “There has to be standard processes and procedures in campus recruitments,” they said.

”The government must also ensure stricter laws and justice for the victims so that the mostly lower middle-class and rural-based technical graduates do not suffer this way.”

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