How do I tell a scam agency and sponsorship package?

In the UK right now there are almost 40,000 recruitment agencies, with one company in every 67 being a recruiting agency. Generally, recruitment agencies are hard-working, but there are some that are in the business to make quick and easy money, and it is these companies that give the entire recruitment industry a bad name.

Because recruitment is not regulated as other sectors are, it is easy to see why scam agencies can rip unsuspecting people off. 

Because live-in carers often come from abroad, they may be easy targets with recruitment agencies who do not have their best interests at heart.

What are the red flags with a scam recruitment agency?

They are likely to be pushy

This may be the first thing that alerts you to a scam agency. You may be offered a position which is outside your field of expertise. You may be pressured to take a placement that is simply not right for you. Scam recruiters will often have their own interests at heart rather than be concerned with your needs. They may not give you time to think but will rush you into making a decision.

They talk too much

A real recruitment agency will be listening to you and making notes on all you say. If they do not take the time to understand your needs, they will never find the right placement for you. It will be easy to spot a scam agency when they send you details of placements that are completely unsuitable.

You never talk to the same person

It may be true that the person you spoke to in the beginning has a day off, but to constantly talk to a different person means that either there is a very high turnover of staff or the company is disorganised.

They guarantee things

No recruitment company can ever guarantee that everything will be perfect at a placement, neither can the guarantee you will be able to return. Making guarantees such as these should always mean a red flag.

They ask for money upfront

If an agency ever asks for money upfront it is a sure sign that they are trying to scam you. Additionally, should you be offered a repayment scheme you should walk away from that agency.

The website is brand new 

Often a scam agency will set up several websites which can be easily shut down if they are suspected of scamming people. You may also find that there are typos on the site. Anyone can set up a website but a professional agency will not have mistakes in the wordage.

There is no modern slavery policy

You should always be able to read the company policy on modern slavery and be able to see exactly how they operate. Not having a modern slavery policy leaves them open to recruiting people at very low wages.

They offer far below to going rate of pay

The going rate of pay for hourly workers in the UK is £11.44. Should you be offered wages below this you should question it right away. They may be operating outside the law.

They never ask for proof that you can speak English

If all your interviews are done online without you actually speaking to a person you should suspect the agency of scamming you. With live-in care it is essential that you can speak English to a certain standard. To confirm this the recruitment agency needs to at least speak to you, if not see you in person.

They only use WhatsApp

Anyone can open a WhatsApp account with no identification at all. It is easy for unscrupulous people to send you unsolicited messages, and easy for a scam agency to set up an account this way.

Final thoughts

One of the things that a scam recruitment agency will listen for is when the caller sounds desperate for work. Not only will they make promises that sound too good to be true, but they will offer you anything to get you signed up with them. 

Be aware that sounding desperate for a placement is possibly the worst thing you can do. Always be ready to walk away if you do not feel completely comfortable with them.   




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