One of the problems with H1B bodyshopping is no one has ever heard of the companies involved. Once you get past well known companies like Infosys, Tata, HCL, Wipro, and Cognizant, all the smaller companies layered beneath that provide the bulk of the labor are so obscure they virtually disappear into the scenery of office parks.
What if we changed that? What if there existed a published list of bodyshops similar to the Fortune 500, ranked according to a set of benchmarks so we can compare them and determine which ones are the worst? This is the genesis of the idea of the H1B Bodyshop Report. Every week the report will be updated with new companies and updated rankings, and we will choose a bodyshop of the week to profile.
The next question is, how to go about ranking bodyshops? I decided I needed a set of variables to perform a quantitative ranking, ten seemed like a good number. The variables had to be easy to measure, so I rejected metrics related to bodyshop crime which would take too much effort to score for each bodyshop. Here were the variables I chose for the formula:
- Number of keywords on MyVisaJobs.com employer reviews used as indicators of H1B abuse. These are words like “USCIS”, “illegal”, “fraud”, “scam”, etc.
- Number of one star reviews on Glassdoor.com. Since bodyshops are known to write fake reviews we can’t simply use the review average, which can be misleading if a significant number of the reviews are fake.
- Number of recruiters on LinkedIn.com. Recruiters is a useful metric to determine if a company’s main product is warm bodies, as opposed to a software product.
- Number of bench sales recruiters. Benching is a key indicator of abuse so recruiters that specialize in marketing benched workers are weighted separately.
- Number of US IT (aka “night shift”) recruiters. Here is another category of specialized recruiter that deserves its own metric, as these recruiters are located offshore and forced to work unusual hours to give the appearance of being US based.
- Posted to Goolti.com. Goolti is a website that was started to share information about bodyshops that could be used to flag the bad ones and warn potential victims which bodyshops to avoid.
- On other bodyshop lists. If a bodyshop’s name appears on one or more lists of known bodyshops.
- On list of top 200 users of OPT. If a bodyshop is in the 2018 list of top OPT and STEM OPT employers.
- H1B dependent. Self explanatory.
- Hyderabad office. Since an unusually high amount of fraud occurs in Hyderabad I decided to make this its own metric, as opposed to other offshoring locations.
Using these variables, I gathered a list of about twenty bodyshops, and used them to establish baselines for each variable so each of the variables carries approximately the same weight. The result of this experiment gives us our first top bodyshop:
Marlabs is a New Jersey based bodyshop that has had class action lawsuits filed against it, exploits OPT workers, fakes resumes, sues employees who leave, and withholds pay for months. Marlabs scored especially high for number of 1 star reviews on Glassdoor with 77 one star reviews and had 7 keywords in myvisajobs.com reviews.
So congratulations, Marlabs, you have earned the privilege of being our first bodyshop of the week. How long will Marlabs hold on to the #1 spot? Tune in next week to find out.