FlySafair warns potential job seekers about job posting scams

To help newbies to the job market avoid these scams, FlySafair is offering job seekers some important tips. Picture: Supplied

To help newbies to the job market avoid these scams, FlySafair is offering job seekers some important tips. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 23, 2024


Job scams are a major problem for new graduates and other job seekers who may not have much experience in the recruitment process.

These scams are a problem worldwide and cost job seekers around $2-billion every year.

In 2020, a South African man was jailed for eight years after he defrauded job seekers of approximately R95,000.

To help newbies to the job market avoid these scams, FlySafair is offering job seekers some important tips.

What does a normal recruitment process look like?

The exact process differs from business to business and can be impacted by whether there is a recruiter involved or if you apply to the organisation directly. But, as a rule, the recruitment process will look something like this:

Step 1: Putting out feelers

The organisation will create and post an advert for the position. Usually, organisations post to both their own careers page as well as recruitment platforms like Indeed or LinkedIn.

Step 2: Initial interest

Interested candidates will apply for the position. The exact mechanics of this step vary depending on where the advert was posted and how the organisation would like to be contacted.

One very important thing to remember is that you should never have to pay to submit an application.

If there is a recruitment agency involved in the process, a recruiter may contact you via phone call or WhatsApp to see if you are interested. Trust your gut here; if something feels off, it probably is.

Again, no one should be asking you to pay anything or for sensitive personal data at this point.

Step 3: First round of interviews

If the hiring organisation likes your CV they will move on to setting up an interview. This is a major stumbling block for many people, mainly because they feel nervous or intimidated.

Try practicing interview questions with a friend or family member. You can find lots of common questions online.

Another top tip is to remember that this is your chance to interview your potential employers too.

Asking questions about company culture or how your performance will be measured will not only impress the interviewers but also let you gauge if this is the place for you.

Being unable to answer these questions is a massive red flag. Your interviewer should know the company inside and out, if they don’t, it might be a scam.

Step 4: The offer

After the interview stage, which may last several rounds, the successful candidate will receive an official offer. This is the first stage that any personal data (except for maybe details needed for security checks) will be asked for.

The offer documents will need to be signed and sent back to the organisation. Once this has been done, you are officially employed!

I saw a job advert on Facebook, is it legitimate?

If you find a job being advertised outside of a recruitment site, be weary. The same goes for adverts sent to you via social platforms like WhatsApp.

— FlySafair (@FlySafair) January 3, 2024

One of the best ways to tell if an advert is a scam is to look out for spelling and grammar mistakes. A lot of care goes into preparing an offer so bad writing is very unlikely.

The same goes for detail. A job spec should tell you exactly what you will be responsible for and the qualifications you need. A lack of detail or promise of an unrealistic salary package are good indicators of a scam.

When during the recruitment process should I be paying?

The only answer here is never. Even if an organisation is using a recruitment agency you will never be expected to pay. Any recruitment costs are for the employer’s account and should never be passed on to you. If someone asks for money, you can be sure it’s a scam.

I fell victim to a recruitment scam, what can I do?

Sadly, there is very little you can do as a victim. If the scammers used a well-known organisation as a cover, it is a good idea to report it to the company to help prevent further victims.

You can also report fake organisations to sites like Glassdoor or Hello Peter to help others spot the scam before it is too late.

If you handed over bank details or other personal data that might be used against you, report the incident to your bank immediately. Unfortunately, though, once you have made payment, there is no way of getting your money back.

As you enter the working world, the most valuable piece of advice we can offer is to keep your head up and keep trying. It is easy to become disheartened, especially in the current economic climate.

But rejection is part of the process. No matter what happens, keep trying and working on improving your CV and eventually, something will stick.

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