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SAP fake consultant

SAP fake consultant

One of the most pervasive problems with SAP or any other ERP project is the sheer amount of fraud.  It is so rampant with such huge financial effects in any other area it would be seen as organized crime.  I’ve previously written about SAP consulting screening methods and required skills, but there is one key method to filter through the huge number of frauds–, simple experience verification.

Few Staffing Firms Do ANY Type of Skills or Experience Verificaiton

Many organizations that have SAP periodically need experienced consultants to help with specialized requests, requirements, new functionality, or to occasionally backfill employees.  Because contract staffing is not a key portion of their business they turn to staffing firms or recruiters.  Unfortunately too many of the staffing firms and recruiters have only one interest–, to collect a paycheck.  Very few of these recruiters care about how they get that payday so it is up to you as the customer to ensure you are not getting ripped off. 

There is no incentive for them to carefully screen candidates–, no background checks, no former project verifications, nothing.  A recruiter’s goal is to get them through the interview and have your organization hand over the cash.  The cheaper the resource they can find (i.e. read “fake”) the fatter their margin if they can convince you to use them.

The consulting fraud in the SAP arena (and ALL of the business application space) is widespread and out of control.  For more background and information on some of my experiences with this you may wish to see some of the following posts:

Think I’m joking about the fraud and the negative impacts on you comapny?  Take a look at an actual timeline of consulting horror stories at a real company where an internal employee periodically posts some of the horror stories http://sapmesideways.blogspot.com/.  Although the employee at that company does not say they are dealing with frauds, con artists, fakes or “SAP freshers,” I’ve seen this so many times that if that company checked these “con”sultant’s backgrounds I could guarantee a very high percentage of SAP fakes or “freshers.”

There is no incentive for staffing firms to carefully screen candidates–, no background checks, no former project verifications, nothing.

Protecting Your Organization from the SAP Fakes and SAP Frauds

You can do at least one small thing to protect yourself.  AFTER a staffing or recruiting firm has submitted a candidate demand they include references, from the last 3 projects listed on that consultant’s resume.  The ONLY references I accept are client resources, still at those organizations, and on an e-mail address that is clearly at that organization If they cannot provide these then my immediate assumption is they are a fake.  If the staffing firm doesn’t get the message you will not accept fakes then do not do business with them EVER!

The ONLY references I accept are client resources, still at those organizations, and on an e-mail address that is clearly at the organization.

Think about that a minute, even if you miss out on someone who has the actual experience you are looking for, do you really want to pay those kinds of rates for someone who was so uninspiring that no one even remembers them?  What about their consulting skills?  Were they a bump on a log that hid in the background and made little or no contribution to the direction or success of the SAP project?

Step by Step to Find the Real SAP Consultants

If you decide to use a staffing or recruiting firm, make it a hard requirement that they provide ONLY candidates who can provide an e-mail reference STILL EMPLOYED at each of that consultant’s last 3 clients.  This is basic employment verification stuff but few if any of the staffing firms do this unless you insist it is a requirement.  And nothing less than a direct verification from someone who is still at that organization will work.  I have heard many “stories” about how they have some other reference, or the person left and are now working at “XYZ” company instead.  Would you accept that from a permanent employee candidate?

The next step, AFTER the 3 prior project references still at those companies (on the company e-mail address / domain) is copy that portion of the resume listing that consultant’s experience at that company into an e-mail message to their reference.  Send the message with a notice they used this information on their resume to indicate their experience and you would like to know if they can verify that the candidate’s experience is consistent with what is listed.  If they can not, or will not, then that is the end of the screen for that person.  I do not bother to waste any time with a phone screen until that verification step is complete.

What are some of your thoughts or suggestions for screening out the fakes, frauds, charlatans and con artists?

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Contact me today through our site contact form ( http://www.r3now.com/contact ), phone, or e-mail.

Bill Wood
+1 (704) 905 – 5175
Bill Wood contact

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18 Responses to “Protecting Yourself from SAP Consulting Fraud”

  1. Good advice for a real problem.

    Unfortunatley the fakes are not usually dressed like or are as easily spotted as the balaclava dressed person in the photo.

    Phil G.

    • Sadly Phil your observation is certainly on target. Unfortunately few clients ensure that they are not ripped off by so many of the frauds, fakes, and cons both on the consulting side and on the staffing side as well.

  2. zahidyasar says:

    It’s really important to identify real ones and the fake ones. People are faking not just in SAP world but other areas as well.

    People are exaggerating their resumés and experiences because companies fail to give a chance to starters. It’s really hard for a fresher to get a job.

    • Bill Wood says:

      Zahid, from what I understand, what you really mean is it is really hard for “freshers” to get exactly what they want, when they want it. In other words, they do NOT want to “pay their dues” and work their way up. They believe that somehow it is owed to them or that it is okay to lie, steal, cheat, and wreck projects or companies.

      That is theft, plain and simple. And I’m not just talking about exaggerated resumes either. The SAP consulting fraud is completely FAKE resumes with companies and skills they have never even been exposed to.

      I wonder how many of them would feel comfortable going to doctors, or lawyers, or dentists, or others who lied, cheated, stole and committed FRAUD the way they do?

  3. Bill Wood says:

    I frequently get personal messages like these sent to me. Although I don’t generally publish them, I thought this one was quite candid and interesting. So, I have removed their name to protect the guilty:

    ================

    Hi Bill,

    I was reading your articles…especially about Fraud consultants ..I
    am SAP BW trainee ..I too have my fake resume ready:)…thats why I
    came across your article….i dont see any sap entry level positions
    ..you need 5+ exp to get a job..most guys fake their resume and land
    up in good job thats true..you ve been so long in industry can you
    just see the other side of the coin and tell me what other options do
    an entry level job seeking SAP (BI or any mod ) candidate can have

    Regards,
    [NAME DELETED]

    ================

    THIS my friends is INCREDIBLY common. And it is widespread and RAMPANT throughout the SAP space. Caveat emptor… You WILL get what you pay for …

  4. While all that you have written is true and needs to be addressed, it will be really interesting to know how many freshers you have recruited in your projects or company. As the person in the above letter rightly pointed out, first create a situation for a fresh guy to get into this field easily without being thrown out saying that he doesn’t have 5 years experience. While i don’t condone the unscrupulous means adopted, i feel that the onus is also on the project manager/recuritment head to give a chance to new comers and groom them. Otherwise what is your contribution to the ecosystem??

    • Bill Wood says:

      I have one simple question, WHY?

      Why does ANYONE “owe” a fresher some opening?

      WHY should they be allowed to jump over others who have worked harder, longer, and “paid their dues”?

      WHY do they believe they are justified in committing fraud?

      WHY do they have an entitlement attitude that a “fresher” believes somehow they are more important than anyone else on the planet that they should be given special privileges?

      WHY are these freshers so arrogant and full of themselves that they believe they have some special “right” to rip people off?

      ================

      It comes down to one simple thing, if they want an opportunity they need to PAY THEIR DUES! That might mean they don’t see an SAP project until they manage to work at some company, doing HTML, Java, or some other technology until an opening and opportunity presents itself. It might mean they actually have to work through the ranks like some many others do. It might mean they need a little integrity rather than relying on FRAUD and theft.

  5. Bill, simply because long ago someone gave a fresher like me and you and others an opening and now we are all here posting messages as experts in our respective fields. There is a distinction between a fresher willing to get in and learn and a fresher wanting to get in by hook or crook. Show me Ads from reputed consulting companies calling for freshers(not campus recruitment). What are these blue chip consulting companies giving back to the society that you feel they deserve to be treated fairly. They are also feeding off the efforts and pain from some smaller company which groomed a fresher(due to their budget limitations) and did all the initial hard work. Big companies with financial muscle can surely afford a fresher or two in a year in their respective towns and cities but they don’t seem to be doing so. A general who can win a war with ordinary soldiers carries more weight than someone who has highly trained mercenaries at his command. I can only say one thing & which is – fraud exists because it’s not easy to get in and thats the way it will be unless the route is easy for the freshers to come in and learn the ropes. Not every one who commits fraud is enjoying doing so since it will be a nightmare trying to continue the act after he/she gets recruited. Of course, rotten apples & shady elements will always come in but they will be found out sooner or later by the system.

    • Bill Wood says:

      Thank you Shiraj for your comments. I have *no* issue with a fresher who is maybe a little more aggressive and willing to work hard for an opportunity or opening LEGITIMATELY! I have no issue with a company who gives them an opportunity knowing they are new so long as that company is not committing fraud in their hiring and sales practices. I DO have an issue with a mindset that I see in a LOT of personal e-mails I get, like the one I posted above, where there is almost an entitlement mindset. The idea that give me an opening or I will steal one from you through fraud.

      To that end I am SERIOUSLY considering doing a series on exactly how companies can sue system integrators who allow this kind of fraud!

      ==============

      I know EXACTLY how to make a gigantic hole in this whole mess and I am SERIOUSLY considering a series on this to help every attorney in the country SUE the frauds into complete oblivion. It might just mean a few consulting companies cease to exist. It might also mean that several staffing firms go out of business too. It WILL slam the door closed on a LOT of the fraud in the marketplace.

  6. Jarret Pazahanick says:

    You have been the “godfather” on trying to educate on consulting fraud and one things that jumps out in the comment thread is why should it be easy for freshers to break into a lucrative SAP career. It is not easy for a doctor, lawyer or others but yet since SAP has no controls (one could argue certification could be long term if done properly) somehow people think it is okay to lie about experience or have a fake resume just because others are doing it. Take the high road and sleep easy at night and while it might take you a little longer with hard work and dedication you will get there.

    Two recent video/articles I was part of (inspired by Bill)

    http://scn.sap.com/community/career-center/blog/2012/04/09/sap-consulting-fraud–disturbing-example

    http://scn.sap.com/community/career-center/blog/2012/05/01/more-on-sap-consulting-fraud-video-discussion

  7. Firefighter says:

    As a “fresher” – I worked in a laboratory for quite few years. I went to night school to work my way in to IT. I eventually was able to make the “jump” to IT. I eventually got onto an SAP project. 15 years later I’m now a consultant. Those early years were not easy. Admittedly I did not seek to go into SAP. It kind of found me. But having to learn it bit by bit and build up my experience, I resent any young fresher that thinks he/she deserves easy access to my job. And in many areas, a consultant is not just about the bits and bytes and flipping a switch. It should be about helping businesses run better. You need real world time and experience to get to that point. You need to run the forklift and load the truck. You need to be processing payroll and issuing checks before you try to tell a business how they should be setting up their payroll system. You need to be exposed to multiple ways of doing things. You need to know what it feels like at 1:00 AM in the morning in the lab and the computer is down and an irate trucker is sitting at the dock waiting for you to clear his shipment to leave.

    You think you can go to a 3 month sweat shop class and be qualified to help a business adjust to a new reality like an entirely new SAP business system?

    No. it shouldn’ t be easy for freshers. Just as it isn’t easy for a doctor to go through their internships and residency. Many SAP consultants can make more than most doctors. Why should it be any easier to break into the field?

    FF

    • Bill Wood says:

      And to this I couldn’t agree more! The problem is that there are too many people who just believe they deserve it rather than working their way into it. Like I have said all along. I don’t really care if a company *wants* to give a fresher an opportunity. As long as that company is not committing fraud with the projects they work on.

      A fresher should have to work their way up through the ranks just like everyone else. Or they should be recruited out of college by one of the consulting companies and brought in as a junior to learn from the ground up. The ones with the completely fake resumes belong in jail.

  8. Bill, I want to also add that the one who recruits someone with a fake resume should also be sent to jail. A project manager who says that he has years and years of experience and went through the grind and sweat and toil can’t identify a fresher with a fake resume or doesn’t have a strategy to prevent such cases during the interview stage should be checked out first! He is not worth what he claims himself to be. I am against PM’s who whine about fraud consultants when they themselves are the root cause in the first place. I have seen these instances getting repeated frequently and it’s not right to shift the blame. Personally i have been a victim too and post mortem i found that i had not followed protocol or standards in preventing these situations from occuring in the first place. These things exist in every industry and they have appropriate check points to prevent major damage. If someone has cheated inspite of all this, maybe he is better. It is not easy to con an experienced pro with the right technical jargon and answers.

    • Bill Wood says:

      I agree that project managers have some limited responsibility to filter the fraud. This assumption that they are to blame is a completely distorted perspective which transfers the CRIME of fraud onto the person who has fraud committed against them. To assume a project manager, or customer, or other individuals who might hire one of these fakes in good faith is responsible for the FRAUD that is committed is just blaming the victim for the actions of the criminal.

      What do you say Shiraj about the person who commits the fraud? Shouldn’t THEY be in jail? Shouldn’t THEY be fined? If they are here on a guest worker visa, shouldn’t THEY be deported and forever banned from working in that country? What about the person who COMMITS the fraud?

      As for other industries that is up to them. I am focused on the tech sector and mostly around SAP and enterprise applications. The fraud is widespread…

  9. Bill Wood says:

    This is, unfortunately one of the types of messages I get pretty normally. It is about a “Jr.” PP consultant who looks like they faked their way into their first project and are now looking for some guidance on how to continue the scam.

    ===================

    Dear Bill,

    Myself [Name Withheld to protect the guilty] from India.. and I’ve started off my career as a Jr. SAP PP Consultant with a business solution company in the Technopark. I new into this so I would like to have some guidance on this.. like, how i should take on and understand the concepts.

    Please let me know more on this,

    Warm regards,

    [Name Withheld]

  10. Jarret Pazahanick says:

    I get 10-15 of these emails a month and enclosed is this mornings

    ” i read your blog on scn andi am very new to sap hcm …i am working as a payroll consultant …i am very much confused how to study payroll will you pls guide me and give some tips ..to become a good consultant in future”

    So we have someone working as a SAP PAYROLL CONSULANT who doesnt even know how to “study” to do their job. Talk about scary for whoever the customer is.

    • Bill Wood says:

      As you rightly point out again Jarret, this is really scary. No wonder so many projects are over time, over budget, and meet very few expectations.

  11. Hi Bill, the problem is really bad now. Shady scam artists are now forcing young graduates into consulting fraud!

    I just escaped from scam artists that tried to pressure me into faking my resume. They posted a job opening at my university’s career center promising to train people for a few months in database programming and then place them as consultants. They told trainees to list fake companies on their resumes at the end of the training program. Most of the trainees complied because they were afraid they were going to be immediately charged $10,000 for the training if they did not work as consultants for a year.

    I escaped. I told them I will not do it. I don’t care if they sue me! They are illegal. I am not selling my soul to a bunch of criminals!

    The other trainees tried to resist but caved in. They are only in their 20s, so they shouldn’t be wrecking their lives like this. These scam artists need to be stopped!

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