From One Scam To Another

>> Sunday, November 07, 2010

I've been very actively looking for work for the past 2 weeks. Last week, I happened to get calls from 2 staffing agencies who enthusiastically scheduled me for interviews. Wearing my one good suit, I traveled 3 hours roundtrip out to the suburbs by bus in the rain, walked across a major highway to a non-descript building to a medium size office where two gentlemen tried hard to sell me to join their staffing agency where they will find me employment with major companies for short term contracts. They will help me with training, they even have insurance available for purchase. It all seems too good to be true, so when they asked me if I have any questions, I asked "What's the catch?"

They told me that they get commission from companies for handling their HR process, but after getting home and searching for these company, it turns out the way it works is that these staffing agencies create fake job postings to lure candidates to apply and interview with them. They request the candidates to bring professional references with them which the staffing company will use them to identify potential staffing opportunities.

If there are really jobs out there, the staffing company will only pay the candidates half of what they are charging the companies, which I find ironic since one of the interview I went to is for a staffing agency called Robert Half. On average, they are only paying workers about $14-16 an hour and they don't pay any benefits, the health insurance is pretty much a scam. For that kind of money, I could be an administrative assistant and get more from it. And if the company I work for happen to see me as an asset and wants to hire me, I could be sued for jumping ship. I guess the company will have to pay a premium fee to the staffing agency before I could be released. The reality is that in order for a staffing agency to survive they will have to contact more candidates than they have jobs and most candidates will be ignored after they got enough information from them.

All the job boards online is filled with fake positions created by these staffing companies and it's more than unethical in my books. Why would any companies buy into these scams? If people are willing to work for $14-16/hour while the companies are paying $30/hour to staffing companies to locate candidates, don't they know that they will be able to find cheaper labors? Too bad I'm at a time where I need the work and can't choose who I'm selling my soul to.

Cross my fingers that I'll get something soon.

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