UGANDA has an immense unemployment problem, with the job market opening up just 8,000 vacancies each year. As a result, the majority of the country’s population is engaged in the informal economy, working in jobs that are informal, precarious and poorly remunerated.
Opportunists have sought to capitalise on this desperate situation by scamming job hunters with promises of employment, training and even overseas work. Many job hunters invest their time, money and hopes into opportunities that are too good to be true, often leading to loose ends, fake job offers, or being stranded abroad (or worse).
Job hunting in such conditions can be disheartening, but there are steps that one can take to transform from a vulnerable job hunter, to a savvy job hunter. The top ten signs of a job scam have been highlighted to save you time, money and disappointment by identifying job scams in an instant.
- Having To Pay For…ANYTHING
If you’re asked to pay for uniform, induction, commitment fees or anything at application stage, it is a scam. The entire application stage is the responsibility of the employer, including providing the necessary documents. So if you’re asked to get assessment forms or anything of the sort by yourself, this is also a scam.
- Providing Your Financial Details
If you are asked to provide bank account details before signing the contract, or seeing your place of employment, alarm bells should ring out for fraud. Even if it is to “set up your salary”.
- It’s All About The Money
If the job advert focuses on how much money you’ll be making, or if the salary you are being offered is unrealistic for your experience or for the position, ding ding ding!! Similarly, if you are offered a more senior role than the one you went for, but you haven’t yet stepped foot in your place of employment, run the other way.
- Free Labour
If you are asked to “spread the word” and bring your folks along for recruitment before starting a job, the chances are that you’re being used as a pawn to widen the pool of scam victims. This goes for any type of marketing on the behalf of the recruiter.
- Job Offers From Recruiters
No recruiter can guarantee you a job. They work for the employers, who will usually meet with you for an interview before offering you a job.
- Poor Spelling And Grammar
If you spot any spelling or grammar mistakes, or any signs that the job poster is an amateur (e.g. incoherent sentences or informal language) the chances are that it is a scam. Perform an internet search to see if the organisation is legit and if it is, apply directly through their website or get in touch with them about the vacancy using the contact details on their web page.
- Little Internet Presence
Most organisations should have a LinkedIn page, Facebook page, Twitter account, company Tax page, job-board websites listings, a company registration page, or company reviews from other people. If there is anything questionable about the recruitment process (e.g. they head-hunted you), check them out using any of these channels to ensure that the employer exists, and the job listing is legit.
- Fake URL
Scammers often buy fake URLs to imitate well-known organisations online. Check that the web address of the company is legitimate and look out for tell-tale signs e.g. any charges during the application process. Also, all applications should be processed through a company channel such as LinkedIn, an industry Job Board or their company website.
- Dodgy Email
If the contact email is informal (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com etc) and it does not match the company’s website domain (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) then they are not legit.
- Overseas Dreams
If you are recruited for a job overseas, visit the country’s embassy with any questions that you may have, especially visa costs. Also, confirm with the employer directly what the applications process is and if they cover expenses e.g. visa, as many legitimate companies do.