When Curious Clicking Costs

Written by Jodi Walton

I did an unwise thing the other day. I clicked on what looked like an electricity bill that had arrived in my inbox. I’d recently changed our electricity provider and I was curious as to what the cost of the bill was going to be. Normally I’m hyper vigilant to dodgy looking emails but because I’d been waiting, and because I was curious, and because it was a known brand, I clicked on the document enclosed in the email. Well…. If you haven’t heard of the ransomware virus it would be good to pay attention! What I did was let in a virus that encrypted every document on my system as well as the documents in the applications that were syncing with my team! Hours of stress, thousands of dollars in IT support costs and loss of productivity later, I (and therefore my team) have learned a valuable lesson. Think before you click on those enticing and curiosity-seeking emails that turn up in your inbox!

Later that week I was reading an article from a recruitment industry journal on a new piece of technology recruiters were using to find “lost” placement fees. In essence what it did was more easily enable recruiters to find clients who had hired a “referred” candidate without informing the recruiter. This got me thinking… Some clients or hiring managers were being exposed to ransomware emails on a regular basis, but of a different kind. It’s the kind that comes in an email that has an exciting resume attached with an included sales pitch. It speaks to the curious, but if you click on it, you and your company could be up for tens of thousands of dollars. Coming from a traditional recruitment agency I know very well the practice of “floating” a candidate. What this practice involves is sending a candidate’s resume to a client who may be advertising a job themselves, or have engaged another agency on their behalf who has advertised the role. The company I worked for at the time was quite discerning about whose details we “floated” and who we “floated” the candidate to. However, there were a number of more mercenary companies who would practically spam a candidate’s details to their entire client database. If the client clicked on the resume, and consequently hired that candidate within a 6 or even 12 month period they would be sent a large invoice. I’ve heard some (but very few) clients say when they have been stung by this “well, it least it saved me the time and effort of going through it myself” – but is the time and effort that the recruiter has gone through worth such as large injection of cash to them, for what is in essence a ransomware email?

So what are your options? If you are actively hiring then be patient with the process; review the response to your advertisements, search for relevant candidates on publicly available databases, and ask your existing team and network who they know who may be relevant and interested. You never know, you may find someone even more suitable that the shiny, expensive candidate that has landed like ransomware in your inbox, or you may even find that candidate through your own sources without having to pay an expensive ransom… I mean, “fee”. Dani and I have recently created a 6 part series of articles called “6 Ways to Reduce your Recruitment Spend” which you will certainly find interesting as well as useful, and it will definitely help you not click out of curiosity – and have it cost.

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