Dear Job Doctor, how do I know if a job posting is legitimate?

I recently posted on Social Media that 90% of suitable candidates do not apply to job advertisements in Luxembourg. I received a comment that it was because people are fed up with fake job offers.

Although I don’t think it’s the prime reason, which I will discuss another time, it does throw up a nasty trend where companies and recruitment firms publish fake advertisements.

Throughout my 25 year career in the recruitment industry, I am still shocked at how this practice still occurs and how dishonourable the leaders of these firms are by continuing to promote it as a standard business practice.

It’s illegal!

When someone is collecting personal information by encouraging you to apply to a misleading or fake advertisement, it raises serious questions about data protection. Your data is being harvested for no reason that would meet GDPR requirements.

Unfortunately, there are several reasons that companies and recruitment firms publish fake advertisements and I’ll highlight the most common.

A Database of CVs

Some employers keep a database of CVs in the event that they will eventually need someone to fill some of the most common roles within their organisation in the belief that this will speed up the process.

More worryingly, some recruitment firms will collect your CV and send it unsolicited to companies without your knowledge, in the hope that they are interested. When a company expresses an interest, they will contact you about a position, a position your details have already been sent to.

Your CV may be sent to a company without your knowledge or expressed permission to be sent, a company where the recipient may personally know your current manager. Luxembourg is after all a small place.

It doesn’t get any better … I can quote an MD of a large international bank in Luxembourg who, on a regular occasion, received CVs from recruitment firms of current employees! … they were overlooked for promotion and salary increases and they never knew why.

Market Assessment 

This occurs when a company is assessing its current staff or considering a salary adjustment.

Without any intention of hiring, they are looking to see whether their existing staff are at a commensurate skill standard and whether their current salary is in line with the market; salary benchmarking.

Fictitious selection process

Often an employer wants to employ someone they know or promote an employee who does not have the necessary skills required to master the new role. They have already identified this person and they will go through a selection charade to give the appearance they have followed due process.

Be mindful before applying

Remember your CV/Profile is one of your most important assets. It has become too easy to just apply to jobs with just one click of the mouse – the Job Doctor says ‘just don’t do it!’

Many job seekers can’t remember to what and to whom they have applied with no idea how their personal data is being stored or used. Do your research! do you know anyone in the organisation? maybe you’re connected on LinkedIn? Ask them to enquire about the opportunity in confidence before applying.

When applying to roles advertised by a recruitment firm, check with your network for a reference of credibility before applying. I’ve seen some recruitment firms advertising several hundred jobs in Luxembourg with only a handful of staff. Depending on the nature of the role and the selection method required, one recruiter can manage between 5 to 15 specialist roles well.

Your legal rights

You can report firms who are using fake advertisement through the National Commission for Data Protection (https://cnpd.public.lu/en.html) complaints lodged through the form available online and are sent to plaintes@cnpd.lu

There are also several recruitment firms recruiting in Luxembourg that are operating illegally without a business licence, which is required for all recruitment firms whether they have a physical entity or not, you can check with the Luxembourg Business Registry if they are registered https://www.lbr.lu

You can report these firms to the Ministry of Economy (www.gouvernement.lu/meco) by emailing pmeinfo@eco.etat.lu 

Darren Robinson is the Managing Partner at Anderson Wise, an independent local recruitment firm in Luxembourg. www.andersonwise.com