In a discussion with HR Magazine, UK job scam advice firm Jobs Aware has revealed that there is an increase of 66% in job scams since December 2022 – reaching an all-time high. This is a particular concern as it is affecting hiring processes, which has made it more difficult amidst high numbers of vacancies.
These scams include job adverts distributed through social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook. The aim of these malicious activities is usually to persuade victims to send over money and personal details.
It may be hard to distinguish between real and fake job adverts as scammers have adopted similar methods to real recruiters. With technological mediation, it is now easier for scammers to conceal their identities and portray a fake persona of a recruiter. Combined with real recruitment practices on social media platforms, companies must work with trusted recruiters and job seekers to be aware of these scams.
The Effect of Job Scams
Hiring is predicted to become more difficult as inflation rises. It is predicted that due to the current economic state, talents will be more likely to stay in their current roles – which will worsen skill shortages.
As job scams increase, the polluting of fake job adverts will further complicate the recruitment process. Fake jobs will then disrupt an already difficult recruiting climate. Thus, it is recommended for organisations to have professional recruiting processes involving trusted and capable recruiters.
How to Spot Job Scams
As this is a growing issue, the government has provided a guide to help individuals to become more aware of job scams. Things to notice and remember for jobseekers when engaging with job adverts include:
- Quality of Writing
One of the most telling signs to distinguish between fake and legitimate job adverts is the way it is written. Poorly written job adverts are often a sign of fake jobs, which may lack descriptions of the role, responsibilities, experience, hours, expectations or salary. Jobseekers are advised to be careful with adverts that do not include basic information.
- Contact Details
Legitimate job adverts usually include proper contact details that a candidate can reach out to with any queries or adjustments. If there are no contact details, candidates should be wary and double-check the legitimacy of the company.
Interviews are a crucial part of the recruitment process. Through interviews, the employer will be able to gauge the suitability of the candidate and vice versa. If an offer is given without an interview, it is best to be cautious about the role. It is standard practice to have at least one meeting with the hiring manager.
- Asking for Money
Usually, recruitment processes do not require money from the candidate. It is advised to not send money before starting the job, no matter what the circumstance is. Often, scammers will use the excuse of DBS check fees, uniforms or training – but these should be covered by the employer.
- Company Legitimacy
A great way to ensure that a company is legitimate is going to the Companies House webpage. On this site, the government has provided a way to search for company details to check on its legitimacy.
- UK Domains
It is best to trust companies with valid UK domains. If a company only has an overseas domain, be sure to research the company thoroughly. Extra vigilance is required when engaging with overseas job adverts.