How to avoid a recruitment 'scam'

How to avoid a recruitment 'scam'

 27 Jul 2017

Some people love to hate our industry and this can be a bitter pill to swallow for those of us that truly operate with integrity and value our trusted partnerships with candidates and clients. It is a shame that a minority of shoddy operators manage to tarnish the rest of us.

With this in mind, one area that has hit the headlines this week is so-called ‘recruitment scams’ – and this kind of press coverage does not help our cause!

These ‘scams’ usually take the form of communications via the internet, email or telephone in which fraudsters may try to take advantage of job seekers by claiming to represent major companies or recruitment specialists. Intended targets may be asked to take part in bogus interviews, asked to complete fake employment applications and, on occasion, have even been issued fictitious offer letters, all with the ultimate intention of trying to persuade candidates to pay money or give out sensitive personal information.

A statement, released by government on Tuesday, reports that employment minister Damian Hinds is reaching out to recruitment firms and online job boards to do more to tackle the increasing threat posed by online job scams. Research from SAFERjobs (Safe Advice for Employment and Recruitment), the UK recruitment industry’s anti-fraud body created in 2010 to face this industry challenge, reveals it has seen a 300% rise in reports from job hunters.

Hinds calls on recruiters to support SAFERjob’s campaign: “It’s unacceptable that jobseekers, typically ordinary people on low income, are being targeted by fraudsters. Looking for work can be tough enough and even the smallest setback can derail the most promising careers.

“That’s why I’m calling on more recruitment companies and job boards to take their responsibilities seriously, and follow our lead by promoting the excellent work of SAFERjobs.”

From a candidate perspective, here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Communications that are unsolicited or unexpected, or are from an individual or website with which you are unfamiliar or whose domain name is inconsistent with that used by the actual business,
  • Correspondence from free e-mail accounts, like Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail.
  • Refuse any request that asks you to provide payment to participate in the hiring process (e.g., purchasing a “starter kit,” investing in training, or something similar). Hiring organisations or Recruitment Consultancies will not ask you to pay any money at any point in the hiring process (with the exception of reimbursable travel expenses).
  • Communications that do not include information about a specific job opening (or the job description is vague) and/or extend a job offer without an interview;
  • Job opportunities that come from people you do not know and appear "too good to be true";
  • Communications where the recruiter claims to have seen your resume on a site with which you are not familiar;
  • Communications at the application phase requesting your bank account information or other sensitive personal information.

In summary though, clearly the majority of players in the Recruitment industry are credible and reputable, so the responsibility falls on all of us to weed out the unsavoury elements and continue to provide a positive, value-add service to candidates and clients.

Written by Matthew Welstead

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