Employment Hazards and How to Avoid Them
Do you know how to distinguish a legitimate business from a dishonest one in your country of origin? Of course you do. However, in Canada you might find it difficult to tell which businesses are legitimate and which ones are not. Unfortunately some businesses take advantage of newcomers, counting on the fact that they are not aware of the labour market. When there is a false promise of something, Canadians call that a scam. You might hear people saying, “I was ripped off That was a total scam.” Some common employment scams are:
- Employment agencies who charge a fee for finding you a job.
There are many reputable employment agencies which will assist you in finding work. They will not charge a fee to you, the job seeker. They make their profit by charging the employers who are hiring. Beware of any agency that charges you a fee for finding you a job.
Disreputable employment agencies will also often guarantee you a job. This is a warning sign! Why? Simply, nobody can guarantee you a job.
- Training institutions who promise employment after the training.
Some private training institutions promise you that after you complete their training they will place you in a job. Often this job does not materialize. Although many training institutions might have good relationships with businesses, graduates are not automatically hired by these businesses. A promise of employment upon graduation is often a false one.
- Scams that promise to make you a lot of money working from home.
“Would you like to get rich quick working from home?” There are many scams that promise this. You might see advertisements asking for “marketing and salespeople” or “on-line transaction agents” or “internet researchers”. These companies will often require that you pay them up front. A common scam is doing mass mailing from your home on behalf of a “company” where you have to pay the “company” first in order to receive the envelopes and documents. Of course, the only money paid out is the fee you pay! It is very risky to send money to a potential “employer” via the Internet.
How can you avoid these scams?
F When registering with an employment agency find out first if it is reputable. .
F Find out which agencies specialize in your occupation.
F Do not pay anyone to help you find a job.
F Do not be pressured to pay for employment services.
F Beware of agencies that do not divulge information.
F Don’t believe every advertisement that you read.
F NEVER give out personal information on a job application form, over the phone or email to a potential employer such as:
- Your social insurance number
- Your driver’s license
- Your bank account numbers
- Your credit card numbers
In summary, the best way to avoid becoming a victim of an employment scam is to do your research. Talk to people in your field. Contact your professional association. Attend job search workshops offered through non-profit organizations. Meet with an employment counsellor and a job developer who will assist you in looking for work. Register with legitimate employment agencies. Finally, if something appears suspicious, trust your instincts. They are probably correct!
Employment Counsellor/Mentoring Coach
IPSO, JVS Toronto