TRUSTING THE SOURCES OF INFORMATION WE COME ACROSS: MY EXPERIENCE
I had made sure my cover letter and CV were professionally structured and well tailored for an internship position. Though enthuse about the Marketing Intern offer that finally came through after a long search, I made sure I had an eye for every detail.
The aim of recruitment and selection policy is to ensure that a transparent and unbiased recruitment and selection process is followed; one that results in the appointment of the best candidate, based solely on merit and best-fit with an organizational values, philosophy, and goals. As part of its importance, candidates can be confident it is a genuine job offer. Question is, how often do candidates run detailed background check on prospective employers?
Two of the documents I was provided with had adequate information about the company and its policies. The third, ‘To whom it may concern’, was to be sent to the Canadian embassy for assistance in documents preparation.
But there was no Job Offer Letter attached.
The essential document -the job offer letter-serves as a legal base of employment and provides you some contractual rights. It’s content include but not limited to basic job information, salary, dates of engagements, benefits. This has to be signed and a copy returned to employer.
It is important to note that a job offer letter is different from an appointment letter although they have lots of similarities and are both legally binding documents. Generally in maximum, organization job offer letter is the initial letter of confirmation which a candidate gets once he gets finalised and an appointment letter which is more detailed is given on first day a person joins the company or after probation period. In few organizations Appointment letter/ Job offer letter are one and the same. In anycase, I wasn’t provided any of these but rather, the ‘To whom it may concern’ letter which had most of the contents of an appointment letter.
“the cost to apply for the Temporary Resident Visa + A LMO Work Permit would be 392 CAD you can apply by yourself or through our legal department if you require any assistance.”
If I understood that email correctly, I could pay for Resident Visa and a positive LMO through their legal department! Visa applications and its payments are made by applicants directly through the Canadian embassy so how could they even suggest that? I went ahead to opt for their suggestion and this was the reply:
“Hello Gail, it will be great having you working with us! As HR said on the interview we will provide you the plane and the very first week of accommodation, if you want to stay there after we can manage something out with the landlord. We would be glad to have you on August 1st if you want to apply through us we will need the scan copy of your passport, after that I will give you a password to pay for the visa process through our website in order to make the process faster.”
I grew suspicious and so after they sent me the password, I informed them payment would be within a fortnight and they agreed to wait. Thereafter, I forwarded email conversations and documents directly to the canadian visa office through email address I got on their website through Google search engine. Also to two friends in Canada and the US and waited on their feedback. Further to this, I got on to what I loved to do most ‘Research’. Below are my findings:
- Company name and organizational details did not exist neither on Linkedin nor any other professional network.
- Employee names I had and that of the CEO did not exist on any social media, one that existed had no record of its designated position.
- On Google map, company address led to another company name which happens to be a law firm too and after contacting them, they had no info to provide on the company I was refering to.
- About their website, it was a joke; not one i would attribute to a professional’s work especially with sentences draged over the other making reading impossible.
- On Skype, they had used my date of birth to set up their skype profile details.
- Company contact number was never answered when called.
- Corporation key and number, and company name on Canadian business Corporation Information Sheet could not be found in the online data of incorporations canada.
- Citizenship Immigration Canada (CIC) requires a prospective employmer to present a job offer letter when applying for a Labour Market Impact Assesment (LMIA)
previously known as Labour Market Opinion (LMO) until June 20th, 2014. The LMIA is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. The employer first has to apply for it by proving to canada immigration a job offer letter and other requirements and proving it cannot find anyone in Canada for the job but rather hire a foreigner. It’s after this assessment that a positive LMIA can be provided.
- “To apply for your work permit, your employer must give you:
- a job offer letter -is a basic requirements that a prospective Canadian employer provides to a prospective foreign worker,
- a contract,
- a copy of the LMIA, and
- the LMIA number.
Obviously I did not have any of these requirements and when I had requested some clarifications, I felt the pressure to make payment first and as soon as I could.
Inspite of all my findings, there were elements that made it so real from the CIC requirements aspect though the order was questionable. I still had my other sources I was expecting feedback from so why the rush to conclude.
My friends shared their thoughts on the visa aspect and how often scammers out there would do anything to look real just to lure and extort money from individuals. They adviced not to make any payments but wait to see their reactions.
From Canada visa department,
Sorry for delay in reply but we believe you are dealing with a scam. The amount of money they said the work permit and LMO (it is actually called an LMIA, further evidence that this is fake) cost is not accurate, there is no way that $392 could be the price for anything related to a work permit. It is a very good scam as many elements of it have the appearance of being genuine but we believe it is ultimately a scam. Also I have called the number they provided several times and the voice mailbox was not registered, which is suspisious for an authentic company.
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news”
Not bad news at all, quite the contrary. Every info gathered in connection to this job opportunity prevented a worse case scenario which could have been me paying the requested amount.
Throughout the internet, information research is conducted in numerous ways. Once gathered, assessing its importance and trustiness in our growing social connected net happens through objective criteria and on the premise of subjective factors. Considor the source criteria outlined by Christian Kreutz .
It doesn’t hurt to research more. We loose nothing by getting updated through the news on the social media platforms, in the daily papers, on the TVs from our teachers and friends. Reading more about what we hear broadens our knowledge spectrum on particular subjects hence possesing reliable information. We find things we didn’t know were there which could be ‘an inconvenient truth’. Or that, there is not what we thought was there or want to be there.
The implicit truth is, not all sources of information are as credible as they appear. There is always something new to be learnt.