Recruiters make up almost 80% of the vacancy traffic here at My Job Hub. For the unaware, Recruiters, Agencies or Recruitment Consultants as they may be known are used by companies to search and select temporary or permanent staff. They may be retained so that companies use them to find every single new member of staff or they might be used on an ad-hoc basis to cope with growth, peaks in business or to cover staff absence.
A hot topic featured in this weeks BBC Fake Britain was the rare but extremely damaging issue of Recruitment Fraud. Sites like ours are take painstaking effort to vet and manage the thousands of adverts and advertisers each day, that said, it never hurts to know what to look out for.
In 2008 the Metropolitan Police created the Safer Jobs in order to help protect job-seekers, employers and service providers from crime during the process of communicating and fulfilling/acquiring employment opportunities
Below are a few examples of areas to be cautious about an examples of issues raised to Safer Jobs in recent months.
The fake background check
Certain roles that have the responsibility of care or security will naturally require the Candidate to be security vetted. More often than not, this vetting comes in the form of a DBS Check. DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) is the replacement for the now defunct CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) check. In recent years there has been a rise in recruiters asking for money up-front to undertake a check before any jobs can be applied for and then pocketing the cash and becoming conveniently unavailable when contacted without work ever materialising.
Travel & subsistence advance
This scam has arisen in roles based overseas or outside the Candidates locality. The “employer” claims that they will require costs covering for relocating the Candidate, for travel, accommodation or insurance. Students have recently been the target of scams for jobs that seem too good to be true offering opportunities, pay and career progression all for a small fee, of course. Often it is claimed that the Recruiter needs to organise the transfers themselves, through their own agent or because they are putting everyone on the same flight/coach and so the Candidate is asked to transfer funds before they can be considered for the role.
Premium rate phone numbers
If you are requested to call the recruiter and they don’t seem to have a local rate telephone number, a normal looking mobile number or you can’t find their branch number online, be cautious! It’s a rare one but it has been reported HERE some unscrupulous entities have encouraged job seekers to call their rather expensive numbers without any job opportunity ever materialising.
For work in care, industry or other safety critical areas, training is essential. Ideally recruiters will seek Candidates with full certification. More established Recruiters may run regular courses and allow candidates to opt-in and up-skill. Unscrupulous recruiters may use such courses to generate revenue from workers unaware that the qualification holds no value and the training may be incorrect and unverified.
The above is just a small snapshot and an absolute minority of the scary bits of finding a job. rest assured that it’s rare and on a site such as ours, you wont get caught up in anything nasty, but it’s always good to know! The team over here at My Job Hub are all a bit experienced in this sort of thing and our advice is this:
Be cautious if you are are asked to pay up front fees. Although checks may be necessary, if money is being sought before you have met with the recruiter, found out about their Client or fully registered your personal details then alarm bells should quite rightly ring. It makes perfect sense that it is better for the
Recruiter to qualify you for a job based on your CV and personal details before they should request money.
Be very cautious if you are asked to pay fees by e-money. E-money is equivalent to cash and allows scammers easy access to the funds but often makes it very difficult to trace their identity, Western Union, PayPal or electronic payment cards are all classed as “E-money” some more reputable recruiters will even cover any costs and deduct them from your first wage or perhaps in the rarest of occasions, (since it’s of benefit to them and their client) cover the cost for you. Asking to be paid via anonymous payment routes and non provision of bank details should always raise concerns.
Beware of fast-track starts. Certain jobs may, quite rightly, be able to start very quickly. Trades like Care, Engineering or Construction have very standardised practices and so jobs can be started very quickly, not all jobs are the same though! If you seem to land the dream job overnight, exercise caution if it’s unusual that they might hire without an induction, interview or meeting you first.
Vet the Recruiter. Reference checking isn’t one way. A recruiter should want you to work for them and you should also want them to work with you! Check their website. Google the company name and make sure that you’re happy that they have no skeletons in their closet. Add your recruiter on LinkedIn and take time to know them and their other Clients.
Accreditations. Several trade bodies exist in the world of Recruitment APSCO, REC, IOR [Hyperlink all] that exist to raise professional standards and encourage accountability. Recruiters registered with a trade body are more likely to conform legally and ethically.
If it’s too good to be true… Lastly but not leastly is the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it may well be! Working from home, higher than typical pay or opportunities given to the vastly under-qualified should all ring alarm bells. Do your homework! If you’re going to be putting in many hours and possibly years with your next employer, honestly, a couple of hours research isn’t so bad.