Hate middlemen? Welcome to the club

Posted by Enrico on Apr 27, 2017

Which club?

A club of professionals who are tired of losing an important cut of their earnings to middlemen who added no value and had no technical knowledge.

Why do we hate middlemen?

A quick search on any of the major job boards shows that recruiting and contracting agencies are advertising the vast majority of the available work opportunities. This leads to several issues.

Wasting time

Every contractor I know has been contacted many times by recruiting agents that were not even able to make the distinction between “JavaScript” and “Java”. Their work consisted, most of the time, of placing a resume containing some keywords into the hands of a few final clients. This, of course, leads to everybody wasting their time.


Recruiting agents’ lack of knowledge makes them work on volume instead of quality. They tend to spam contractors with plausible skills in their resumes in the hope of finding someone interested and with the right skill set.

Bad practices

Most contracting agencies apply poor practices in order to make money and protect their market share. For example, intermediaries typically hide the final client name from you. Suppose that, when you discover the client’s name, you find it’s some vile company you wouldn’t want to work for?

Fake listings

Sometimes, agents even manipulate applicants by pretending that they are representing some big client, still without telling you the name. Well, isn’t it possible that they created fake listings to attract applicants to generate a pool of talent for future openings?

High sales commission

What about their unreasonable sales commission? Middlemen can ask you for a cut of more than 20%. Some agencies are also able to make you sign contracts stipulating that they don’t have to pay you unless the end client does. This means that they make money on your work, risk free and for as long as you’re contracted there.

How can we get around it?

Think about most of the money involved in recruiting high-technology profiles ending up in the pockets of middlemen that make you lose time and who have no knowledge whatsoever of high technology. Is that what you want?

We developed Jobcombinator with the following vision in mind:

  • Reasonable commission
    Our professionals pay only 10% commission on their earnings no matter how many clients they get.
  • Direct contact
    No go-betweens. No intermediaries. No hiding the final client. When a work opportunity is posted, interested candidates reply directly to the client.
  • Guaranteed privacy
    Our professionals can choose to be visible or hidden from our search tool but can continue to receive private work opportunities.  
  • No bidding wars
    Work opportunities on Jobcombinator are private and by invitation only. Our professionals are notified of the work opportunities that match their skills and preferences (minimum rate, maximum distance, availability, etc.).
  • Powered by meritocracy
    Professionals with higher-quality work will receive more opportunities. We use machine learning and human intervention to help us understand which professional is the best match for a given position.

What's next?

If you’re looking for work opportunities, you can start creating your profile right now.

If you share our vision, please spread the word by sharing this page on social media.

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    Enrico Tam

    MBA, Ph.D, tech entrepreneur, consultant and advisor

    • Ruby on Rails
    • Web Development
    • Management
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Business Development
    • Nanotechnology
    • Project Management
    • Full-stack Development
    • Community Management
    • Business Strategy
    • Innovation Consulting
    • Startup Development
    • Blockchain

    3 projects listed (Electronics, Informatics) + 1 endorsment

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