Thursday, September 9, 2021

Scammish: Job boards and Company Online Jobs Listings (based on my personal experience and thoughts)

To be fully honest, I am not a fan of the current HR (Human Resource) industry/practice today.

I have used glassdoor, indeed, monster, linkedin, and a couple others in the past. And my experience is that I rarely ever get any response from any online applications (including directly on the company websites). All my work opportunities (nine different employments, eleven if you count contract to hire) have come through a physical person whether that is a friend, acquaintance, or even a recruiter.

Yet when I interview through traditional means, my success rates to get offers are extremely high, nearly 100%. And usually with a day or two of my interview (which makes me think my salary request is on the low end, and never has a company offered more than my ask). So this makes me think there are a couple things I am doing incorrectly with online applications.

The easier and within my control is not using the proper keywords or catchphrases that will get me past the automatic filtering system. I have so many variants of my resume. I tailor my resume to the job positions. So I like to think that I should have been accidentally correct at some point.

The other reason is a bit scammish. I have seen a few of these practices myself.

The simplest one is that some companies are require to post positions publicly even though they already have someone in mind. This typically is with larger corporations and most definitely for contract-to-hire positions. As mentioned above, I have had a couple of these. This transition took time, and part of the reason is that HR has to post the job publicly and it needs to be up for a certain period of time. They will field the minimum candidates with the minimum amount of work. I may have been focused on my work, and I am not one to keep an eye out for what my managers do, but I am pretty sure they did not interview anyone. Eventually, I get transitioned to full-time employee status. Therefore, people saw the post, applied, and most likely never heard back.

Technically, this is not the job boards fault but it kind of is if they scrape these positions from the company websites which most of them do.

A more scammish practice is companies that are not real. They just post jobs to just collect data. I have worked for a marketing group, and there is a lot of bartering for personal information (especially behind the scenes). One of the biggest values to data is how much of their data is legit data. Job applicants on job boards are one of the best and easiest sources of data to be collected. I use a separate email and phone for my job search. After applying to certain unknown companies, I get sudden spikes of spam. Sometimes all it takes is just to publish your resume on the board which I typically get smaller spikes and more sporadic.

A similar practice but more borderline scammish is corporations doing similar practice but only to populate their HR system of records. Because they purchase bulk amounts of job postings, companies that have remaining posts will just use them to post non-existent positions. This has all sorts of implications. The simplest is just to have a queue of available candidates. Second, they can see how desperate the candidates are which can be used to set their expectations on how much they pay their current employees. Last, they can also use that on low-balling other or future candidates.

Suspiciously, even the job boards ads and site metrics seem to avoid how effective they really are. Many states number of users but they don't state how successful they are. Maybe it is also due to users abusing the system too. But if they claim number of users then they must take responsibility that number is somewhat accurate, thus they should have the ability to give some estimate on how successful users are. Otherwise, they should not market how many users they have.


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