2 ways recruiters try to cheat you

  • Post published:31/01/2024
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Recruiters or criminals? Not sure what to call them. But whoever they are, it sure gives the recruitment profession a bad name.

I know from experience that candidates, even top executives, will share their most private and personal data just because I say: “Hey there, I’m a headhunter.”

Obviously, with my 20 years in Thailand’s executive recruitment space, dealing with headhunting of top executives every single day, people I and my team reach out to do not need to worry.

In Spam Number 1 below, I share my own experience that happened just weeks ago.

Out of the blue I received these messages on my WhatsApp and started to talk back and forth. Interestingly, a friend of mine had just days earlier shared a similar story.

Spam number 1, happened to me recently

  • Hello. I’m Kanittha from Boyden Recruitment Agency (Thai). Are you interested in working remotely? Our Thai partner company is recruiting new staffs. Can I share more details with you?
  • We are offering Part-time/Full-time job currently. Duration 2-4 hours daily. Earn an income of 4000 THB-7000 THB. Full-time income is 90,000-180,000 THB per month.
  • No experience needed (Training Provided by Specialist), Flexible time, Work from home. Our Requirements: Own Thai bank account (To Receive salary), 20 years old and above.
  • Our company is world-wide based in Thailand. I am currently in our Indonesia branch however, we are recruiting for Thailand urgently.
  • Before proceeding further, please confirm if you meet the hiring requirements. 20 years of age or above. Have a Thai bank account (for receiving salary). Do you meet the requirements (YES/NO)?

My thoughts when exchanging messages withi this person:

Kanittha is a Thai name and not Indonesian. I used to work for Boyden some years ago and did not recognize this approach. Would Boyden in Jakarta have an employee with that name? Mentioning “Thai bank account” more than once set off the alarm.

I called Sarana Boyden Indo Mandiri in Jakarta who confirmed they had no idea about Kanittha and why they would service Thailand when Boyden has an office in Bangkok. They also mentioned that their company left the Boyden network end of 2023 but had not updated their website yet.

I believe it was at this time the spammer looked me up on LinkedIn and realized I was in recruitment, I used to be with Bodyen Thailand, and I worked in Indonesia for many years.

They went cold.

Your guess is now as good as mine.

Spam number 2

A recruiter reaches out to you with an amazing opportunity and requests to have your resume.

In good faith, trusting you are dealing with a genuine and honest recruiter, you immediately email your resume.

However, the recruiter emails you back that your resume isn’t ATS compliant.

  • An Applicant Tracking System is a software program or app that companies use to organize the entire recruitment process from receiving resumes through interviews, assessments, job-offer, to placement and on-boarding.

 Back to the story. Being helpful, the recruiter sends you a link to a website that will scan your resume for issues and how to make your resume ATS compliant.

On the website the recruiter gave you, you are asked to pay a nominal fee but just to learn that your resume, no matter how well it is formatted, doesn’t pass.

Here comes the final attack from the recruiter. You are told that your resume can be fixed and made ATS compliant – yes, of course, there is a price to fix it.

Learn how to spot them before they get you

You can spot them before they get you – of course only if you know what to look for.

When you get a call from someone presenting himself as a recruiter, by all means, listen and talk.

If the recruiter asks for your resume, share your personal email address but ask the recruiter to first email you with their contact details, company name and address, mobile number, and website. Then you can reply to that email.

  • Just because someone says they call from a well-known recruitment firm in the market, does not mean they do. Many will call and only mention a company name but not their own name.

Or they will only give you their mobile number and not the telephone number of the company. Should be a warning sign.

A LinkedIn profile with no photograph or perhaps instead a logo or another image, could be a fake.

If it’s a photograph, you can right-click the photo, then go to Search Google for Image and see if there are other visually similar images (i.e., stock images).

How to detect the spammer

If you are impressed by the approach from a recruiter or love the candidate profiles you are presented, then ask to “meet” the recruiter on a video conference call.

Needless to say, but request that the communication is also moved to emails so you can perform due diligence on the recruitment firm and individual.

If you are not familiar with the recruiter or his firm, then ask for a signed letter from the candidate that appoints the recruiter to act as the candidate’s agent and representative.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.