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​Recruitment red flags

22 June 2023

By Jess Watts

​Recruitment red flags

The recruitment sector is always growing; in 2021, over 6000 new recruitment agencies were registered. There has never been more help available to jobseekers. However, as with anything, not everyone is who they say they are. Since 2020, there has been an 88% increase in job scams, probably due to the surge in online employment methods thanks to the pandemic. These scams are performed by what we call “fake recruiters.”

“Fake recruiters” are people who create fraudulent job postings and pose as recruiters, pretending to offer opportunities for jobseekers, and subsequently scamming them for personal details, money, etc. Some even go so far as to replicate trusted branding to draw candidates in before they can even realise what’s happening. This can lead to identity theft, financial losses, reputational damage, job losses, and reduced trust in the recruitment sector.

This affects candidates, recruiters, and employers. Though there isn’t much that members of these groups can do to prevent scammers from advertising their fake roles, there are things to be aware of that will protect you from falling victim to them.

Red flags to look out for:

Urgent action required

If a recruiter is rushing you to apply/send over information from the start of the process, without bothering to take time to get to know you, this is a red flag.

Cryptic communication

Reluctance to share details about the role, and a lack of forthcoming information also indicates that all may not be as it seems.

Pre-payments/fees in general

For candidates, the recruitment experience is free. If a recruiter asks you for any form of payment in return for their help, take this as a sign that something may not be right.

Grammar and spelling

Most recruiters will take the time to be as professional as possible, and this include spelling and grammar. Multiple spelling mistakes, odd grammar, or seemingly rushed communication shows a lack of attention to the role and could indicate possible fraudulence.

Email addresses

Most, if not all registered and reliable recruiters will have a business email address as opposed to a generic, free address from Hotmail or Gmail. For example, our email addresses are all registered to our ReQuire business email ( NOT

Improbable opportunities

Roles which seem ‘too good to be true’ are often just that… anything with a salary which massively exceeds your expectations with regard to specific sectors is worth being hesitant about. Most fake recruiters will make their job adverts as attractive as possible and they will therefore look unbelievable, which, of course, they are!

To ensure you are using a trusted recruiter, research them and look at reviews, check their business policies, and ask questions about the role and company you are applying for. If they don’t have or are withholding any of this information, it is worth being extremely wary and calling up ReQuire instead! We will provide all of this information and more.

Here are our green flags:

Previous hiring record

Lots of 5* reviews

In-depth knowledge about all of our clients

Interested in and caring towards candidates

Consistent and clear communication

Personable and attentive

No fees for candidates

Clear policies and Terms of Business

Able and willing to chat via email, telephone, Facetime, Teams, Zoom, and face-to-face

Governed by REC (the professional body for UK recruitment businesses)

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