The thing that compelled me to ask this question here is this image/meme:

enter image description here

Now, if I work at company A and we have a client company B, and I work as an outsourced staff for company B, and if I ask company B if they're hiring, would company B notify my company A?

Assuming company B pays company A an amount of X dollars per month for PART-TIME (10 hours per week), and if company B hires me for FULL-TIME, they would only need to pay me the same amount of X dollars per month, and also assuming company B happy with my work, is it a win-win situation? Win for them and win for me? To reiterate, they get my skills full-time while paying just the same amount?

To be clear, I think this is an a**hole move, but I read here that it's pretty normal in the states, and I am really really just thinking this possibility but I WON'T do this. But why do I care if I am not doing this move, you ask? I guess maybe not now, maybe next year or 2. I don't know.

EDIT: how did I estimate this kind of amount or how did I assume that company B pays an amount of my full-time monthly rate to my company A for part-time, you ask? Well, these two companies are from the states, and I live somewhere in Asia (say in India).

  • Are you unhappy with company A?
    – sf02
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 13:37
  • 2
    I don't think you realize the cost of having and managing employees, that's why people outsource - to not have to deal with this nonsense and expense, not because it's cheaper per head.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 13:42
  • 1
    Welcome new user. If you post images on this site, which is great, please TAKE CARE not to post ridiculously large ones. Size the image so that the type is about the same as normal type on the page. Do note that if you're a Mac user (like me) you should of course know how to deal with the risible 144 dpi screen capture issue on Macs.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 13:42
  • @sf02 no, but I'd love to grab a good opportunity, if there's one. TymoteuszPaul I see!!! That makes sense! They had 1 fullt-imeemployee that I replaced, so I think they wouldn't mind managing a new employee like me. Fattie - thanks for the reminder. Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 13:50
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    The fact that you're concerned they might notify the other company tells you that you already know it's an ethical violation. Consider for a moment that Company B considers it an ethical violation. Now it doesn't matter if they're happy with your work. They'll at the very least not hire you, ask Company A to replace you, and possibly cancel the contract with Company A. Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


the simple answer is

I work at A and we have a client B. I am outsourced to B. I ask company B if they're hiring, would company B notify my company A?

YES they would generally "tell on you".

It's generally (not always, but generally) frowned upon to "go work for the outsourcing client".

Indeed, very often there will be agreements in place that B in fact CAN'T hire you anyway, so it is moot.

So simply, yes. You would be "found out" and it would look bad.

Note that company B could not care less about saving $3 a week. It's a complete non-issue.

(There are exceptions, for example in the gravy train that is the military-industrial weapon complex, everyone moves around so much and it's such a gravy train that nobody really cares or knows, and there's highly specific rules in place anyway. Another example is the ad industry where it's totally normal for an account exec to move to the client side, everyone celebrates, another example is film production, another example is niche programming where it's completely normal to move between the mess that is suppliers/clients - etc etc. None of that really relates to your situation. I'm pointing out that in certain milieu this is totally kosher, good, and smiled upon.)


This is so difficult to answer because there are so many variables given the nature of the relationship Company A and B have, and the industry, and what your job function is, and how easy it is to hire someone to replace you.

  1. Company B and A have a relationship that might be more valuable than 1 employee and if company B hires you directly, it may harm that relationship.
  2. Company B may have signed an agreement to not directly hire outsourced staff from Company A.
  3. Company B may not need or want a full time employee to do your job. they might have a short term need or only a few hours worth of work a week.
  4. Directly hiring an overseas employee comes with a lot of other complications in terms of taxes and paperwork that Company A doesn't want to deal with. It may be easier/cheaper for them to just higher locally if they need a full-time employee
  5. The cost to hire you is a lot greater than the x dollars per month they currently paying for you. There are benefits and other taxes that they don't have to pay since Company A already does it. So it really isn't getting more work for the same cost. It is likely going to make it much more expensive.

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