Let me start out by saying that the following story is MY SIDE of what took place between myself and a possible fraudulent company calling themselves Recruiting and Staffing Careers.
About a week ago I found Recruiting and Staff Careers (RSC) online and filled out the necessary forms to find myself a job in the Human Resource field of employment. Upon doing so I was contacted via e-mail by a woman calling herself Sandra Reese. She claimed to be the personal assistant to Paul Rosen; supposedly this Paul Rosen is out of Chicago, but his virtual office could be anywhere. He has a 310 area code phone number, but when you call it, you are quickly directed to his website. If you insist on leaving a message for him you are not allowed to do so, as his mailbox is full.
After agreeing to set up an interview online with RSC through a virtual site given to you when you apply, I upheld my end of the agreement and met with a group of others at 1:00 p.m. EST today. Of course you are given several options and times wherein you can say you are willing to do the virtual interview. THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO BE ON ALERT.
Throughout the day I was given e-mail and cell phone reminders to be on time, or even to log in early. I did this. I anxiously and eagerly awaited the online interview; even if I found it to be a bit odd that we were not asked to use webcams or have microphones to interact with the principals at RSC. It made sense to me after I saw that in my 1:00 p.m. session there were over 100 names of those also being screened for the 40 coveted positions that were being offered. Obviously if we were all given access to the RSC principals there could be confusion. At one point the interviewer even states that he will speak with you one on one at the end of the process.
At approximately 1:01 p.m. a little pop up screen on the right of the main screen shows a man dressed in a professional manner calling himself Stephen Morton. He is apparently one of the RSC recruiters, and his off-screen assistant "Jennifer" is given directions to put up a screen, take down a screen, to highlight something Morton wants to point out, or simply scroll through a page. They go to great lengths to make you feel as if the interview is real enough. Morton even makes a spelling error and corrects it online.
On the left side of the full screen you have correspondence from an individual known as "Cleo" who gives the interviewees instructions and direction as to what to expect next. At one point Stephen Morton asks you an "open" question and your two-way communication abilities are accessible. They are soon cut off and the answers of most of the candidates are shown to everyone - - I noticed that the two times we were allowed open access that MY answers did not pop up. I wondered about it, as my answers were typed faster than many that were available to be seen. This was the first red flag that alerted me that this was only VIRTUAL and not a real process or at least it was recorded and not live.
Morton calls out names and answers from the left to assure the audience that this is a live interview. For some this is a feeling of security, of being a real part of the process; but for me it meant testing the system. When the next open question popped up and again my answers did not appear, I knew something was up. There are three times in the interview where Morton asks you to click on the radio button to mark your understanding of the process. Interestingly the first time this happens he tells you that 43% of the audience is experienced in the HR business and 57% will be considered entry-level. As a professional I was upset that they would even allow those who were not experienced to interview with those of us who were, as obviously if there are limited positions available you don't give them to those who are not experienced.
The thought occurred to me also that if I was one of over 100 who attended the 1:00 session, and there were multiple sessions set for the day and tomorrow, how many applicants were actually being asked to participate and why would any professional group ask anyone without experience to continue past the first qualifying question of whether or not you had experience in the field of which you were applying for? Another RED FLAG.
As we moved through the session it became clear to me that the graphics on the screen were being set up or used to look as if they were being created on the spot, or at the time of the interview. However, with the knowledge I have of graphics, I knew this was also a program, a timed program, and one that was probably set and recorded to be played and replayed over and over again. This wasn't a live interview - - and to prove it I took it again! (Of course under another name)
Well, as you probably guessed - RSC is not a real company in terms of being what they say they are. They will SELL you the right to recruit for them for a fee of $297.00 which gives you access to vacant positions (or are they) and resumes of those who are applying for jobs (or are they?) so that you can match them up, call and set up interviews, sending out candidates (supposedly like you and I who are looking for real positions) and you are the essential public relations or human resource person of contact for these individuals. YOU are the company contact. YOU make the interview happen, the company places someone, and then RSC charges a 20% fee of the annual base salary and keeps 50% while giving YOU 50%. Essentially this is 10% of the person's 1st annual salary right? EXCEPT -- in the interview Morton assures you that jobs can start as low as $25,000 for an individual and go up over the $200K mark...and he also tells you or rather shows you, that you could make between $1700-8300 per placement. Now, I'm not math wizard, but 10% of $25,000 (minimum) is $2500 and 10% of $200,000 would be $20,000.00. It doesn't add up.
NEXT -- and hold on to your credit cards. The RSC representative wants YOU to pay them $297.00 for the right to use their information to make your appointments, set up the interviews, and he guarantees you that your initial fee will be paid back when the first candidate is hired. Of course. RED RED RED FLAG! BLOOD RED.
I terminated the virtual interview and began a calling campaign to find out exactly who these people are. Believe it or not, they won't answer you when you call - - but I did get one individual to write me back. They signed off as "Admin" and when I asked for their name they refused. They became flippant, arrogant even in their exchanges with me. I offered to have them visit on air with CNN about their practices and of course they agreed, but when it came time to really set it up, they wouldn't cooperate or give me names to contact for the producers to call. Of course they wouldn't.
Just be careful folks. I think they're a bunch of losers, but the sad thing is, they're working out of Chicago! I love that city with all my heart. Just be careful if you come across Recruiting and Staffing Careers.