Paying to get paid?
Fraud and deceit are anxious for your money. Be informed and prudent. - John Andreas Widtsoe
Entering the job market can be intimidating, with all the opportunities being advertised on various online platforms. Then there is the pressure of finding suitable positions, preparing for the interview and ultimately securing the position.
As a job seeker, there are other obstacles you need to be aware of, i.e. unethical and fraudulent recruitment firms. There are over 2 000 recruitment companies in South Africa, however only around 800 is listed with APSO (The Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations), who is committed to the professionalisation of the staffing industry of Southern Africa. Clearly outlined code of ethics are set in place for recruitment firms to adhere to in their practices; standards are set to protect the candidate and clients’ interest.
Many candidates are unaware of the recruitment process companies follow, which makes it extremely easy for fake recruitment companies to impose on the inexperience and vulnerability of the job seekers. The most common scams from fraudulent recruitment companies are the upfront fees that are wrongfully charged to the candidates in order to be listed on their database.
Another scam that were brought under our attention is where candidates are given hope of employment to the stage of extortion. The job applicant would receive a very uplifting email from the recruitment agency stating that they have been successfully selected for employment. However before employment can commence, verification checks have to be completed which will be charged to the candidates account.
Luckily, the Department of Labour noticed the concern of employment agencies taking advantage of job seekers in need, by illegally charging exorbitant fees in return for recruitment.
The code of ethical and professional practice states that members may not, directly or indirectly, charge any fees to candidates.
At no stage should a candidate ever pay a recruitment agency for employment. There can be fees charged for additional and separate services, such as, a professional CV design or interview training, but never to register on a database. The hiring company that searches for talent, pays the staffing company for their services in finding the most suitable candidates according to their recruitment requirements.
Avoid being caught, be sure to work with reputable recruitment agencies.