OK, I called them by the more socially acceptable name of "Head Hunters" rather than their normal name of "pimp" which would make us, the technical personnel, the "ladies of the evening." But here's the problem: These guys have absolutely NO IDEA of what is the difference between someone who went to a one-week school and spent a couple of months on a rulebased (BRMS) project and someone who has 10 - 20 years experience in the field. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. To them, a body is a body is a body and if the person proclaims that they hung the moon and stars in the heaven above they they forward the resume on to the next level if that person answers a simple question correctly: "What is your billing rate and is that all-inclusive?"
In other words, you won't make it to the evaluation round of hiring and working on a project unless you are willing to work for minimum wage. (Minimum wage in our industry is about $40 or $50 per hour.) Traveling expenses, usually around $25 to $35 per hour, take up most of that. So you have to pay your bills with $15 to $25 per hour.
And the worst offenders seem to be those working with the larger companies such as Sogeti and Accenture. These companies assign some flunkie from off-shore to do the initial screening for $5 per hour or (usually) so much per resume processed. This flunkie knows NOTHING about programming nor AI - the flunkie knows only that so many resumes have to be processed every day and if the flunkie happens to find a nugget in the bottom of the pan, so much the better.
And the part that REALLY gets to me is when they ask, "Well, how well do you know this product?" This interview had to be scripted by a complete moron! More than likely they would ask Dr. Forgy if he knew anything about the Rete Algorithm - but that would assume that they had the intelligence to actually know about the Rete Algorithm in the first place. Any one looking for a job who has been out of work for a few months would self-rate themselves as 9/10 on anything for which the pimp-company is searching. And the flunkie! All thy ask is whether you know the name of the vendor / tool and what is your billing rate.
New tactic: I don't respond to anyone who calls and asks such a stupid question. If they call and immediately ask my billing rate, I just tell them to go READ THE FABULOUS RESUME! At least take the time to read it. I have been in that position when looking for rule team members and I NEVER called or responded to anyone unless I had taken the time to actually read through the resume first. And I always asked for references AND I always called (or emailed) their references to be sure that we we on the same page.