The CIPD is supporting the work of SAFERjobs, a registered charity that is working to raise awareness of and combat fraudulent job advertising.

Created by the Metropolitan Police and backed by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Disclosure Barring Service among many others, it provides free advice and support to individuals and employers on fraudulent job adverts. But another key element of its role is campaigning to encourage recruitment companies and job boards to promote greater awareness of job scams.

Recruitment fraud is potentially a significant HR challenge. Over the last two years, SAFERjobs has experienced a 300 per cent rise in reports of fraudulent activity and misconduct. In recent months it has also witnessed more direct targeting of individual jobseekers.

It isn’t just the reputational damage and fallout of fake online jobs that companies need to manage, says SAFERjobs chair Keith Rosser. Employers should make sure that their recruitment supply chain is compliant, both ethically and legally. Ensuring labour market abuse is not happening within an extended supply chain can be challenging but SAFERjobs is working closely with recruiters and HR departments to raise awareness of the potential challenges and how they can be addressed.

Recruitment firms and job boards featured on its website have agreed to promote the danger of job scams, as part of a commitment to good recruitment practice and good work.

The CIPD’s Resourcing and talent planning survey, produced in partnership with Hays, has shown that the most common ways of attracting job candidates include employer websites, commercial jobs boards, recruitment agencies and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.

Candidates increasingly expect to be able to search and apply for jobs online, using their mobile devices. With that shift in focus comes the need to be alert to potentially fraudulent online activity, such as fake job posts that ask applicants to pay for web checks or training.

Discussing cyber security and recruitment on a recent CIPD podcast, Keith Rosser comments: ‘We get jobseekers who are duped into giving away personal details online because they think they’ve got a job offer. We get people tricked into premium rate phones scams for what they think is an interview and it isn’t’.

As well as providing practical support, Rosser says the reports it receives are helping to build up a clearer picture of levels of fraudulent activity across the sector. Organisations signing up to the SAFERjobs initiative are bringing further insights and increasing awareness of the problem.

The CIPD’s own Recruitment factsheet emphasises that good recruitment is vital for every organisation – finding the right people for the right roles at the right time. Greater awareness of the dangers of online job fraud will help protect employers’ brand and reputation as well as alerting job seekers to potential dangers.

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