Article: False job ads: Are hiring managers scamming jobseekers?


False job ads: Are hiring managers scamming jobseekers?

Not all that glitters is gold. Some job ads will lure candidates with fancy titles and, worse, bogus offers.
False job ads: Are hiring managers scamming jobseekers?

Some job advertisements may sound too good to be true. But others are just downright obnoxious. It’s a practice gaining traction in the Philippines, according to recent studies.

Ever heard of a notice for a Manager of First Impressions? Apparently, that’s a callout for a receptionist.

What about the role of a Happiness Hero? It’s a euphemism for a customer service representative.

What is job title inflation – and how does it hurt both employers and jobseekers?

It’s a trend called job title inflation. The hype is often intended to mask the actual responsibilities, requirements, pay and benefits, and overall challenges of certain roles.

In the Philippines, nearly 2 in 5 hiring managers (38%) are said to have engaged in, or are considering, inflating job titles to lure candidates, according to a survey by HR consulting firm Robert Walters Philippines.

Not all that glitters is gold. Only 3% of those who exaggerated job titles succeeded in their use of this hiring tactic. The mismatch, however, creates a false impression both to the candidate who will be onboarded and the community they will serve.

In the Filipino culture where families traditionally put a premium on academic honours and professional accolades, 92% of survey respondents said the job title is important or very important when they’re considering a role. Posting erroneous or exaggerated callouts does them a disservice.

“While job title inflation may offer certain advantages, it also carries the risk of causing confusion regarding the actual roles and responsibilities associated with these positions,” said Jayson Mendoza, Manager - HR & Industrial, Robert Walters Philippines.

“Elevated job titles can often create a mismatch between the skills and qualifications of employees and the actual requirements of the job.”

Employers will only be setting themselves up for failure once reality hits and the new hire discovers – and is disillusioned with – the misleading claims about their role. This practice can hurt a company’s employer brand in the long run.

While more traditional industries choose to keep the job titles in their listings accurate, those facing stiff competition for talent – such as professional services, marketing, media, and technology – often inflate job titles to attract the ambitious.

The flip side of this is when a candidate, who is only after the clout, isn’t actually cut out for the job.

“When hiring individuals solely based on their desire for a grandiose title rather than their suitability for the position, organisations run the risk of experiencing poor performance, increased turnover, and wasted resources.”

Mendoza’s advice is to “maintain accurate and meaningful job titles to ensure clarity, fairness and trust within the workplace.”

Job scams abound in the Philippines

Erroneous job ads don’t end with just exaggerated job titles.

The Philippine government has fallen prey to online scams promising a substantial salary for low-level work, misleading tens of thousands of hopefuls.

One example is a fraudulent Facebook post in July 2023 claiming that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was hiring for over 730 new roles.

The fake listing supposedly invited high school graduates with vocational training to apply for administrative roles for a salary of US$460 monthly and college graduates for other roles earning upwards of US$1,200, monthly. The post, however, linked to an e-commerce website and a fake BIR website designed for phishing the personal details of applicants.

Later that year, the Philippine Statistics Authority was falsely linked to a bogus ad that oddly called for an “order assistant,” no experience required. It was later discovered the job listing was for a recruitment agency.

Protecting Filipinos from fake job posts

In January, the Philippine division of Facebook said it had struck down some 7,000 scam job posts targeting Filipinos through the social media site.

The proliferation of fake job listings has pushed the popular marketplace JobStreet to launch a campaign against these fraudulent practices and to protect job hunters better.

The company – which caters to candidates across Southeast Asia – is waging a war against bogus recruiters through #ProjectCombat. The regional campaign teaches jobseekers to distinguish between fake and legitimate job listings and understand the tactics of illegal recruiters.

“Our team’s mission doesn’t just end in providing support and jobs to every Filipino,” said Kim Viray, former Head of Marketing at JobStreet Philippines. “We also ensure security to give jobseekers the confidence to pursue their career aspirations without fear and hesitancy.”

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Topics: Recruitment, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management

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