In the May 7, 2013 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a job hunter gets fed up having to pay to “access” jobs online:
I have been job hunting for three weeks now and each time I come across a job that I would like to apply for, I get directed to a website that demands payment. Can you comment on this in your next newsletter or blog? I want to know how to get around it if possible.
The only people who charge to match a person to a job are headhunters, and headhunters (at least the real ones) charge only the employer. They never charge job hunters. And they charge only if they actually fill the job. That is, no match, no dough.
Who is charging you for jobs?
If you can find me a website that charges money and guarantees you a job, I’d like to see it. Otherwise, it’s important to understand what you’re paying for, because there’s an entire industry that will take your money (and your personal information, which is worth money) and guarantee you only one thing: database records.
Let’s consider what you’re encountering. If we Google “headhunter,” we get two paid results at the top of the page: One for TheLadders and one for Monster.com. Neither is a headhunting company, so there are no guarantees about putting people into jobs. These are job boards that want lots of personal information before they will even show you a job description. (How many employers demand all your personal information before showing you a real job? And what’s up with Google? TheLadders and Monster are headhunters? Give us an F-ing break, Google!)
TheLadders (which is being sued for running multiple scams) wants money for access to jobs.
When you click on the Monster.com result, Monster thinks you’re an employer and wants money to post a job.
Another result is CareerBuilder which, when you sign up, tries to sell you education at The Art Institutes — before it shows you any jobs. If you want to “make sure employers see your resume,” CareerBuilder wants you to pay for an “upgrade.” Pay enough, and you’ll “triple the number of companies who see your resume posting.” (Are you feeling stupid enough yet? I wonder if those sucker HR executives feel stupid enough yet — after paying for resume searches and getting your resume “FIRST” because you paid to “stand out.”)
You think the much-ballyhooed LinkedIn is any better? Like CareerBuilder, LinkedIn wants hard cash up front to to bump your resume to the top of the database. (Say what? Well, it works just like CareerBuilder, because now LinkedIn is just another job board.)
None of these job boards will guarantee you a job (or, if you are an employer, a new hire) if you pay them.
So here’s my challenge to all the job boards:
TheLadders, Monster.com, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, and every other “jobs” service that wants money up front should bill the customer only after the customer starts the job and gets their first paycheck. Job first, pay later.
Otherwise, they should all F off. Because in today’s world, access to databases with jobs in them is worthless. If you pay for access to jobs, you’re a sucker.
So let’s get back to your question:
How can you get around fees for access to jobs?
Here’s the first answer: Deal only with employers. They are the only guys with jobs and the only guys that decide who gets one. (Not even personnel jockeys, or “Human Resources people,” qualify. They don’t decide who gets hired, either, unless the job is in HR.)
Here’s the second answer: Don’t give your personal information to anyone in exchange for “access” to job listings, because your personal information is worth money. Why do you think they want it? They sell it. (Don’t understand what that means? Most of the “job boards” aren’t even job boards. They’re “lead generation” magnets that use phony job listings as bait to get your contact information, Dopey! Then they sell it to anybody willing to pay for it.)
If someone or some website offers to connect you directly to an employer without a fee and without asking for any personal information, well, go for it. Just make sure there’s no catch.
Headhunters can take you to a job, because an employer will pay them for the match. There’s no cost to you. First, learn How to Judge A Headhunter. But remember: Headhunters find people, not jobs. So don’t chase headhunters.
Likewise, when an employer shows you a job on its own website, there’s no cost to you. As soon as somebody asks you for money for access to jobs, you’re being scrubbed up for an unnatural act. Run.
Have you ever used a jobs service that doesn’t ask for money or personal information? (Newspaper want ads are an example — they lead you directly to the employer.) Should you ever pay for a job? Is America’s job market F-ed up, or what?