In the November 6, 2018 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter a reader worries that job interviews via social media like Google Hangouts are recruiting scams.
The Web seems to be full of recruiting scams targeted at job seekers. They often use social media to lure victims. Should we accept interviews using services like Twitter and Google Hangouts?
It’s not clear whether you’re referring to being recruited for an interview via Twitter and Google Hangouts, or whether you’re going to actually be interviewed that way. Regardless, social media do indeed seem to be popular for recruiting scams.
Interviews: Person-to-person only
My rule is that interviews should be on the phone or in person, or via Skype — but no video. I’m not a fan of video interviews or automated interviews of any kind.
A recruiter or employer that asks you to invest your personal time to participate in a job interview must be willing to do the same. If they expect you to “interview” indirectly or virtually, I suggest you tell them you want a person-to-person interview, or move on. (See HireVue Video Interviews: HR insults talent in a talent shortage.)
Use multiple online resources to verify identity
If a recruiter uses Google Hangouts (or Facebook or LinkedIn or some other social network) to recruit you and to schedule an interview, I’d politely ask that they e-mail or call you to confirm the interview. I’d insist on at least a telephone call for the interview itself. Then track their contact information to confirm their identities.
If they are going to initiate the phone call, ask them to:
- provide their telephone number anyway
- along with their street address
- their website
- and their LinkedIn page.
Then look them up using multiple online resources to confirm their identity – and that they are legitimate.
Keep in mind that just because a recruiter claims to be working for ABC Company, doesn’t mean they really are. Make sure the contact information they provide resolves back to the employer whose job you’re interested in.
The gold standard
Here’s the gold standard: If you can independently find the company online, call the main telephone number listed and ask for the Human Resources department. If HR doesn’t recognize the person that’s recruiting you, then you will know there’s a problem. Even third-party recruiters have identities that you should be able to verify.
Legit employers will behave transparently. But it’s still your job to check them out first. There are simply too many recruiting scams out there to trust anyone who cannot or will not provide identity information that you can verify independently.
Don’t let the ridiculous levels of automation in the recruiting and hiring process lead you to dispense with your common sense. Even if it’s legitimate, any employer that’s so disrespectful as to demand your time without investing its own is probably not worth your consideration.
I hope that helps you select good employers and avoid questionable ones.
Have you ever been scammed by a “recruiter?” What tipped you off that it was a scam? Do you agree to job interviews via social media?