Recruitment Blog

How to protect your candidates against recruitment scams

Dawn Lo
Content Marketing Manager, JobAdder

Recruitment scams pose a significant threat to job seekers, exploiting their eagerness for employment and potentially causing financial harm or identity theft. As recruiters, it’s imperative to safeguard candidates from falling victim to these schemes. Raising awareness about the threat of recruitment scams can help you earn candidates’ trust and loyalty – a great start to building long-term relationships with them.

Here’s how you can recognise and prevent the top five recruitment scams.

5 types of recruitment scams

  1. Advance fee scams: These scams often prey on candidates’ eagerness to find a job, especially in an economic downturn. They might promise high-paying positions but require job seekers to pay for items such as processing fees or training materials before they start. Remind your candidates that legitimate employers will never ask for money from job applicants.
  2. Phishing scams: These scams involve fake job postings or emails that direct job seekers to counterfeit websites where scammers try to steal their personal information. These fake websites often look convincing, but there are usually subtle signs that give them away, such as misspelled URLs or poor website design. 
  3. Fake job postings: Scammers create appealing job ads for positions that don’t exist or aren’t as advertised by legitimate employers. They may promise high salaries and great benefits to attract unsuspecting applicants. Once they express interest, scammers might ask for personal information or conduct fake interviews to gain candidates’ trust – only to exploit this trust further down the line. 
  4. Impersonation of genuine companies: Many scammers go to great lengths (even phone calls) to impersonate well-known companies or reputable recruitment agencies. They use the credibility of established brands to trick job seekers into providing personal information or making payments. 
  5. Work-from-home scams: With the rise of remote work, scammers are capitalising on the trend by offering fake work-from-home opportunities. These scams can take various forms, from pyramid schemes to requests for payment to access remote job listings. 

Key indicators of scams that candidates should be aware of

  • Caution candidates against unexpected job offers. Employers usually reach out to candidates who’ve applied for a role, unless they’ve been headhunted. So, if they’re surprised by an offer, they should check if it is a real position.
  • Highlight the danger of requests for payment before employment. If an employer is asking a candidate to make a payment before they start, that’s a big red flag. Legitimate employers never require payment for training or anything else. Only scammers use this tactic to steal money from vulnerable candidates.
  • Educate candidates to recognise poorly written job descriptions or undue pressure for quick decisions. Legitimate companies write clear job descriptions that spell out exactly what the candidate will be doing. If the job ad is full of grammatical errors and vague, it’s wise to check if the job ad correlates with information on the company’s official site.
  • Emphasise the importance of safeguarding sensitive information such as bank account details during initial interviews. Before entering any personal details, always verify the legitimacy of the website and the job posting.
  • Stress the significance of verifying a company’s online presence and authenticity. Real companies have websites detailing who they are and what they do. 
  • If the candidate is feeling pressured to make a decision quickly, this could be a warning sign. Scammers use this tactic to catch people off guard and push them into hasty decisions. Remind candidates that it’s totally fine to take their time and think things through carefully before saying yes. Legitimate employers will respect their decision to take some time to think about the offer.

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is

It is essential for candidates to do their due diligence before they accept a role. To avoid falling for these scams, they can: 

  • Research the company and the job posting thoroughly. Look for reviews, verify the legitimacy of companies through official channels and their social media profiles. Candidates can ask for an in-person interview in the office or set up a video interview so they can vet the hiring employer when in doubt.
  • Reach out to current or former employees or do a quick search on Glassdoor to see if other applicants have had similar experiences. 
  • Check if the person hiring for the job has a LinkedIn profile or if the company has any reviews or testimonials. Contact them directly using the information provided on their official website, and ask questions to confirm their identity. Tell your candidates to be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages claiming to be from reputable companies – especially if they ask for sensitive information or money.
  • Approach remote job offers with caution. Research the company and the job opportunity thoroughly, look for reviews or testimonials from other remote workers, and be wary of any requests for payment or personal information upfront. 

Prioritising candidate safety

The key for candidates to avoid recruitment scams is to stay informed, trust their instincts, and do their research. By staying vigilant and taking proactive steps to protect themselves, candidates can navigate the job market safely and confidently. 

Interested to find out how to recruit Gen Z talent?

Join our webinar on Tuesday 26th March at 10am AEDT or 11am GMT to uncover what makes Gen Z tick.



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