The explosive intersections of high unemployment, gender-based violence, and femicide in South Africa render women job seekers especially vulnerable to job scams.
Job searchers must jump through hoops to demonstrate that their prospective jobs are legitimate in a desperate attempt to earn a living and support their family.
In 2022, a woman went missing after allegedly being promised a job and was later found dead in KwaZulu-Natal.
According to the KZN Department of Social Development, the 27-year-old reportedly left her Camperdown house after receiving a call from an unnamed man informing her she needed to report for employment in the Eston-Illovo district.
“It is very painful that desperate women die like this after being lured by being promised jobs. It is sad that heartless criminals continue to rob and kill unsuspecting women. We are shocked by the brutality shown to this young innocent woman,” said KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza.
Here are red flags to look out for when looking for a job:
1. Confidential information is requested
Companies can frequently ask for your address, job history, and educational background.
If it comes from a company you applied to and you haven’t gone through their hiring procedure, which includes being interviewed and vetted by them, this can be suspicious.
Never provide personal information because it might be used to find your home and neighbourhood.
2. There is no way to get in touch with the business
No matter how small an organisation is, it should have its contact details readily available online.
You have probably applied for a job at a “ghost” company if you do some research and can’t discover any mention of the organisation you have applied to.
3. Broad/vague job description
A job description should be precise and include all the essential details about the work a potential applicant will perform.
The goal of those who con job seekers is to seize as many naive victims they can by posting ambiguous job requirements and descriptions.
4. Pay is extremely high for a junior/mid-level position
Some jobs pay more than others; but, if the wage on offer is absurdly high, it may be too good to be true.
Because everyone wants well-paying jobs, this is a simple trick. Investigate the typical income for someone in your field with your degree of expertise.
However, don’t miss out on a terrific chance because you’re being too careful. Investigate the company, call them, and confirm that they have the advertised job with that wage.
5. Being offered a job right away
Employers review many applications before deciding who will go to the interview stage.
If you apply and immediately receive a job offer, there may be something shady going on.
Your credentials, expertise, and other accomplishments may be great, but you must proceed with caution.
6. Communication that is unprofessional
Watch out for inappropriate communication from supposed recruiters. This could include overly-familiar, flirtatious, and grammatically incorrect language.
The days of using only super-highbrow English may be over, but communication from an organisation in search of potential employees has remained formal.