How can I tell if a recruitment agency is genuine or a scam?

Friday March 20 2020


By Jane Muiruri

Over the last two years, I have sent more than 30 applications to different companies, but only received three interview invitations. I was unsuccessful in all the three cases. I have now resorted to doing menial jobs even though I have a university degree. Is it a good idea to engage a recruitment firm which links job seekers to employers at a fee?

It is great to hear that you have been shortlisted for three interviews so far, because I know it can be discouraging to send applications and receive no response. But 30 applications in two years averages just one every month, and that is not good enough. The truth is that competition within the job market is so high and therefore, you shouldn’t doubt yourself.

Try harder even when you face rejection. Set a higher target. List all the companies you would like to work for and send them your CV, whether they have vacancies or not. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

While some employers may be overwhelmed, others may get curious and seek to understand why you are persistent, and you may end up getting your big break. If there was a site where one could pay and be assured of a job, unemployment rates would be much lower.

However, there are sites such as LinkedIn Premier where you can upgrade your profile at a fee to access a selected pool of employers or business networks that closely match your qualifications.

Most recruitment sites impose minimal or no fees to accept CVs. Recruiters are usually retained and paid by their clients to source for suitable candidates. Not all employers use recruitment firms because HR departments are well equipped to do this. Some may use recruiters only for senior roles, or to source for highly skilled candidates. Always confirm the authenticity of such firms, and ensure that they are properly registered and meet all regulatory requirements.


Jane Muiruri
Senior HR Manager,
Nation Media Group