Wolves in sheep’s clothing, a warning for job seekers

I’m keeping my options wide open in the coming weeks as far as employment is concerned. I’m excited about the consulting and full time possibilities that lie ahead. What I’m not excited about is the potential con artists who take advantage of people looking for work.

I have some history with being suckered by shady companies and recruiters. We’re very lucky to live in a day and age where a couple of searches on Google will save you much time and money (your time is money by the way).

Yesterday I was called by an executive search firm in Brentwood (a suburb of Nashville). Straight away I thought the company name Transforming America was odd, because the website is www.transformingusa.com. The woman on the phone explained that they would like to set up an appointment for me to come in to meet with one of their recruiters. She seemed to rush me on the phone, but I had some questions first. I decided to Google the company after the call before I committed to the meeting.

A big shout out and thank you goes to Tim W. of the Mother Tongue Annoyances blog. He has an extensive series of posts about the company. The truth of the matter is that it’s totally unethical for a search firm to charge the candidate money, they are suppose to bill the clients. This company actually charges the job seekers, or at least that’s what I learned from a follow up call this morning.

The woman I spoke with today (the same one) explained that in some cases they charge a fee to the job seeker. She wouldn’t go into details with me, instead she insisted I meet with a recruiter to learn more. I explained that I didn’t want to waste their (and my) time. She refused to put the recruiter or the owner of the company on the phone to explain their service to me because they “all had full schedules”. I replied that if a member of the company didn’t want to explain their service to me then it’s clear they aren’t serious about helping me find work, and that something shady is going on. She hung up on me.

Here’s a few tips for job hunters:

  • Search for the company name using quotes in Google, for example: “Acme Motors Ltd.” Use different variations of the name as well, like without the “Ltd” or spelling it as “Limited”.
  • Search for the company name in Google Groups and Google Blog Search as well.
  • Visit their website and use WhoIs to find out who the site is registered to. Then search for their name on Google.

Do you have any tips to add to this list?

[tags]Mother Tongue Annoyances, Transforming America, Transforming USA, transformingusa.com, job hunting, tips for job seekers, employment scams[/tags]