When looking for work, many candidates turn to recruiters or staffing agencies to help them secure a role.
Forking out on expensive interview attire, seeking leads on potential employers and curating a neat and professional portfolio are often aspects of recruitment that candidates are keen to seek advice from recruiters about. However, what about when a candidate is wary of legitimacy of their recruiter?
One startled jobseeker took to online forum site Reddit to voice their experience with a ‘sketchy’ staffing firm.
How did the events unfold?
The candidate started off by explaining that they were contacted by a staffing firm. “I’m looking for employment so it's not unreasonable for me to be contacted by recruiting/staffing agencies. They left me a voicemail and an email with their "direct clients" job description. (I'd been receiving a high volume of inquiries lately but never reply because they don't fit my interests/experience.) This one seemed to hit the nail on the head.”
The candidate penned that, before returning the agencies call, they carried out a brief internet search to find out if they were a reputable staffing agency. But this online search drew up no leads to convince the candidate that the staffing firm was genuine.
Additionally, four separate complaints were logged on The Better Business Bureau (BBB) which explained that others had experienced being randomly contacted too. The Reddit user cited this as spam recruitment.
This sparked further questions and curiosity surrounding the ‘sketchy’ staffing agency. The candidate returned the recruiters call – only to find out that the so-called recruiter was having problems remembering which job he had placed the candidate for initially.
The recruiter found it difficult to recall the job they had placed the candidate
The candidate recalls giving the recruiter as “much information as he gave me in the email so why was it difficult to put a name to the email?... SKETCH”.
When the candidate was asked by the recruiter to respond to the email from the staffing firm with his CV, this led the candidate to ask where the recruiter had located his professional profile and CV in the first place. “He named a site that I’ve never signed up for – SKETCHY AF”. The candidate notes that he wouldn’t have to send the CV again if that is how they legitimately found him.
The candidate proceeded to enquire about the ‘client’ because no detail was given in the initial email. It was later found that the job opportunity was in stock exchange, a totally dissimilar field to what the jobseeker was after. “SKETCHHHH”.
After a quick call to the supposed ‘client’, he was told by the HR department that they wouldn’t be able to verify whether the staffing agency that had reached out was being used by them for recruitment purposes.
But, sadly, this isn’t the only occasion that a candidate has fallen victim to ‘sketchy’ recruitment activity.
Last year, Recruitment Grapevine reported on one jobseeker, Patricia Sepulveda – who was scrolling through Facebook and noticed a job posting – says that she applied for a job and went through two interviews before being asked for money in what appears to be a recruitment scam – kmph.com reported.
She told the news site: “As far as the [interviewers] went to tell you all the benefits...everything you have to do, explaining what the job is you know, it seemed legit.” And, she has since dubbed this scam ‘elaborate’ and ‘convincing’.
And the frequency of scams like this seem to be gaining momentum, according to Keith Rosser, Chair at SAFERjobs. He told Recruitment Grapevine that a recent survey revealed that one in four jobseekers voiced concerns over the legitimacy of jobs advertised online – particularly on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
He explained: “SAFERjobs frequently receives reports about fake recruitment website, fake jobs pretending to be from well-known employers, and recruitment scams all advertised on social media.” And this increase in fraudulent online recruitment is largely due to how easy it can be to defraud people from behind computer screen.
“Many job boards are now sharing intelligence and vetting job adverts via the SAFERjobs Online Vetting system but this does not happen in the realms of social media,” he added.