How to Identify and Avoid Unscrupulous Recruiters

With the recruiting process being conducted with the assistance and use of social media platforms and vast online sources, job seekers are finding an abundance of unethical sales people disguised as recruiters offering non-existent jobs in an attempt to build a pipeline for their own benefits. These “recruiters” are basically salespeople with sales goals in mind and quotas to meet, not actually a plan to help job seekers with finding actual jobs. Typically working for staffing agencies throughout the U.S. and around the globe, these questionable recruiters are aggressive in gathering job seekers’ info, scheduling phone calls, meeting in person, and even prematurely gathering references to make their process look legitimate.

It is important to note that there are professional recruiters working on staff for corporate entities, as well as recruiters working for reputable staffing agencies. This distinction is made to ensure that all recruiters are not painted with the same brush.  The focus of this blog is to make job seekers become more aware of the bad apples, and what job seekers can do to identify and avoid these types of recruiters.

Here are some signs to look for to identify bad recruiters:

  • They call you to discuss your resume in their possession, yet seem confused about your background
  • They ask for personal data over the phone, or ask you to sign contracts up front with no job in mind
  • They contact you with no actual job in minds
  • They want to meet you “to get to know you and your background”
  • They ask you to provide references up front, yet no job offer has been made
  • They ask you to take assessments with no jobs in mind
  • They seem to lack transparency
  • They work for companies you cannot find online or on LinkedIn
  • They have no LinkedIn profiles

The job search process is already quite daunting. Don’t waste your time with recruiters who cannot help you. Instead, choose to work with recruiters at companies where you want to actually work so you can verify their legitimacy. Be sure to vet agency recruiters very thoroughly to weed out the bad apples. Do your research! Check out company profiles, connect on LinkedIn, ask to see actual job descriptions, and build rapport with recruiters before you share too much personal info. Just remember, you are in control of your job search and destiny.  You do not have to work with recruiters who cannot help you, so don’t let them waste your time.

Do you need assistance with your job search? APEX Career Services can help! Contact us today through our website at We look forward to working with you!