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Opinion: ‘Fake’ or ‘scam’ ads are targeting Burnaby job hunters

Job hunters fall victim to bait and switch
Job search
(iStock photo)

As someone who went through the grind of looking for work just a few short years ago, I can tell those who haven’t done it for a while that it’s truly awful.

Employers are putting applicants through a grinding process that is getting increasingly complicated, including multiple tests and multiple interviews that feel excessive.

And then after going through that grind, some employers don’t even bother to tell the applicants they haven’t been hired.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse because there are more people looking for a dwindling number of available positions.

Some NOW readers have stepped forward to tell their tales of how job hunters in Burnaby and beyond are being taken advantage of.

One reader emailed to complain about applying for “fake” positions in which people are supplying personal information on resumes for jobs that don’t actually exist. I guess the scammers then use this personal information for other scams.

Another reader offered more details about “scam” postings that detail great positions, but turn out to be too good to be true.

The person who contacted is the spouse of someone in the hospitality industry who was laid off during the pandemic.

“There are several posts on Indeed that are very misleading and often factually inaccurate,” this person said. For example, a friend saw a post for work in the warehouse/factory for medical supplies for the morning shift. He had an initial screening call and was asked to go for further interview and tour that evening. When he arrived, the person he met with knew nothing about the job post or initial conversation, offered only overnight shifts, low, close to minimum wage pay, no benefits. The ‘factory’ was a rundown room where a few new immigrants were cutting paper for what looked like PPE. He was asked to stand there and watch them, and when the man was gone close to 40 min, my fiend went and found him to say he was not interested.

“There were a couple similar experiences, such as a casino dealers temp agency advertising for full-time work but when connecting with them, only part-time, lower pay available. Also, several jobs that advertise themselves as recruitment staffing positions or other and are in fact low-paying telemarketing. It seems that job sites are full of these kinds of brutal ‘opportunities.’

“I feel like the bigger story may be that Canada is seen as a place of opportunity for immigrants, but I know of several very talented, wonderful immigrants who speak English who since the pandemic cannot find decent work. I feel like our local job market often takes advantage of documented immigrants - even those who are perfectly capable of doing any kind of work.”

It’s a terrible bit of exploitation that is taking advantage of people who are desperate due to the pandemic. Employers need to be completely honest when they post ads. Don't waste people's time with a bait-and-switch posting.

If people are looking for safer places to look for work, they could try the Progressive Intercultural Community Society Services (PICS) Virtual Mega Job Fair 2021 on Feb. 18.

“As a not-for-profit organization, we are proud to provide Employment Services, Settlement, Senior Housing, Community Services and many other programs throughout the Lower Mainland,” reads a news release.

“The PICS Mega Job Fair is the flagship event for our Employment Services Programs. It gives job seekers the opportunity to meet exhibitors on a one-to -one basis and discover what is available in the Labour Market in a proactive way.”

Due to COVID-19, organizers have had to adjust the way in which they do things. Hiring has been no different.

Candidates looking for work can access these resources all in one place at the PICS Virtual Mega Job Fair 2021.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.