Competition for existing job opportunities in Kenya is the result of the high levels of unemployment in the country. Not only are many youths being locked out of promising opportunities, the almost-desperate nature of job seekers and their lack of safe job- hunting information make them the perfect prey for conniving con men.
Most credible job search platforms like BrighterMonday try as much as possible to gather sufficient information about employers who advertise on their websites, with the intention of protecting their job seekers. You will also find a report button on such sites that allows job seekers to report any employer or company that tries to defraud job seekers.
To avoid being conned of your time and most of all, your valuables as a job seeker, you need to put the following pointers into considerations as you look for jobs both online and offline;
Online Job-Search Safety Measures
Stick to credible job sites: Recent leaps in technology have afforded easy access to the internet and information reach. Thus it is simple for anyone to post job vacancies on social media using personal and pseudo accounts, and to forward jobs through varied platforms to gain wider reach. The anonymous nature provided by the internet is a conman’s paradise and they take advantage of the fact that Kenyan internet take forwards as gospel truth. It is wise to be critical and dig deeper when you receive an enticing job adverts from your social networks.
The revealing world of reviews: Whenever you receive a forward, recommendation or see a job advert, you can always verify to see the credibility of the source. It will take very little time to see reviews about the particular site and the experience of previous users. If a job ad is a scam, you will definitely see reviews by different individuals and their personal experience; which will assist you make a very safe and informed decision on whether the advert is worth your effort.
Be Alert: As you go through job adverts, your safety radar should be up to catch different aspects associated with the conman’s modus operandi. This includes asking for particularly personal details e.g. your bank details; asking that you send cash for certain processes e.g. medical checkup, booking appointments etc.
Offline Job-Search Safety Measures
This measures should be considered especially when one has been called for an interview.
Verify the company: After the interview invitation call is over, go online and check out the company. Go to the company’s website. Check the ‘About Us’ page to discover how long it has been in existence, its products, its physical location and contact details. Check what is being said about the company on its reviews and get a feel of what other people think about your potential employer. Your interviewer has probably conducted a background search on you, you have every right to look into them too. Learn about what they stand for, their products, their values and their stakeholders. If they advertised their job on a job site, chances are the position is also open in their careers page. This is also an excellent way of confirming legibility of the position.
For location, google maps can assist you verify the physical address of your potential employer. If possible, scout the area to confirm the physical location or ask about the company in dedicated forums to get varied feedback from different people.
Record important details: When you get a call for an interview, grab a pen and paper and write down all the important details. In as much as you would like to verify, ensure that you exhaust all inquiries in one call. You cannot keep calling the company back severally to confirm their location, date and time of the interview. They will wonder what a scatterbrains you must be. Aside from giving you guidance, details allow you to verify the credibility of the company you are scheduled to interview with. For companies whose career page are unavailable, you can conduct a phone call verification that such a vacancy is open. Use the contact details to call the main office line a day or two before your scheduled interview. Introduce yourself to the person on the line and tell them you were invited by person X to interview for position Y. If the interview invite is genuine, they will acknowledge and you will be good to go. If the invitation is a hoax they will immediately decline and ask where you got such information. It is prudent to inform them of the identity theft taking place.
Interviews in informal settings: Some companies, depending on their office culture, like to go beyond the stiff corporate way of doing things. Do not be surprised when you get invited to a rather informal setting for an interview session e.g a restaurant. However, be cautious and alert to verify for your own safety and peace of mind. You can check out the company website for information about their contact details and what they do. You can also call and confirm the interview stating the name of the person who called you, the position you will be interviewed for and the location of the interview.
Common pitfalls to avoid
- Being lured into unsafe places. Only accept interview invites in safe place like a verified company’s office or a public place e.g. a restaurant
- Giving away personal information that can be used to steal from you or commit fraud. Do not agree to talk about personal matters that have nothing to do with the interview
- Do not pay any fees upfront for whatever service promised e.g medical exams, registration etc in the promise of a job.
- Do not give out your financial details. They can be used to rob you
- Being unprepared for eventualities. Always carry extra cash especially if you are going to an unfamiliar address for the first time. Do not accept lifts from strangers or your interviewer.
Conclusion: Be safe as you hunt for jobs. Remember that in as much as you need a job, your life and general wellbeing should be your main priority. Be alert at all times and be in constant communication with a friend, spouse or guardian. Let them know exactly where you are going and keep them updated on the events that unfold.
Happy and safe job hunting!