India-based recruitment portal Wisdom Jobs is running a global job racket, a special report by Gulf News has claimed, adding that the company uses in-house telesales agents who impersonate as HR managers of companies all around the world (especially UAE & rest of Middle East) to offer non-existent jobs.
“Wisdom Jobs, which prides itself as the world’s first skill assessment based job-portal, has no real jobs,” notes the report.
Their main portal according to their website has over 32 million users (resumes) registered on their website with over 300,000 jobs. The company also a dedicated portal for jobs in the Gulf region. This job portal, Wisdom Jobs Gulf, according to Gulf News, has over 80,000 jobs in Dubai alone.
The main portal according to publicly available stats receives over 5 million visitors every month and the the Gulf version receives over 800,000 visitors per month with most of them coming from United Arab Emirates.
Anyone who applies for the positions listed on Wisdom Jobs, which are either fake or copied from other websites, has to go through the sign up process and create their profile by filling in personal details and uploading the CV which sounds pretty much like the standard user on-boarding process recruitment websites follow. But what follows in a series of emails and telephone calls is different.
Soon after signing up, the users receive an email from a ‘Career Service Adviser’ of Wisdom Jobs telling them that their profile has been shortlisted by different employers. They also receive an email with an overview of the guaranteed job with salary and perks, adds the report.
Candidates are then asked to pay ~$107 (7,600 Indian Rupees or about 400 Emirati dirhams) as “resume forwarding fee”. But it doesn’t stop there – the candidates are asked to pay a lot more money for different types of bogus services. Gulf News estimates that the candidates in some cases end up paying as much as ~$1,800 for the jobs that don’t even exist.
The publication interviewed different victims of the scam. A Dubai-based professor Nikat Shah paid 441 Emirati dirhams (~$120) to Wisdom Jobs in November last year after he was told that his CV has been shortlisted by 48 organizations.
“I thought it was a small price as I was offered a Dh22,000 assistant professor’s job at a university in the UAE with family accommodation, travel allowance and several benefits,” she told Gulf News, adding that after she transferred the money, she received a call from a Senior Career Adviser who told her to to expect an interview call.
Nikhat eventually did receive a telephone call from a lady named Emma Cowan who claimed that she was Senior Human Resources Manager with American University of Sharjah. She interviewed her for almost 45 minutes and told her to transfer another $450 for certification fee that will be refunded once she joined.
“She covered a variety of topics. I was asked about qualitative research, differential learning, classroom engagement and my familiarity with online assessment tools. It was a sham,” the victim told Gulf News.
What Nikhat didn’t know at the time that she was speaking to an importer all this time. American University does have a Senior HR Manager named Emma Cowan but the university has confirmed to Gulf News that they’ve never interviewed the candidate in question.
“We can confirm that Ms. Emma Cowan, senior HR manager, never interviewed Ms Nikhat. We can also confirm that AUS has no connection with any entity known as ‘Wisdom Jobs’. AUS is considering legal action against this entity. People who have received an email about a job offer from a third-party impersonating AUS, and who have contacted them for clarification, have been sent an email explaining that they had no part in the job offer,” the university said in an email response to the publication.
Many other Indian and UAE residents also told Gulf News that they were interviewed by different people claiming to be representatives of different organizations across the world.
Sharjah-based Anis Khan said that he lost over $400 (1,200 dirhams) after he was interviewed by a main who claimed to be HR head of a British bank in Dubai, “The bank does have an HR head by the name given to me by the interviewer but he wasn’t the person who spoke to me,” he told Gulf News.
The victims did not hear back from these importers and all their calls to them obviously went unanswered.
A former employees of Wisdom Jobs who spoke with Gulf News said that the company makes most its money through resume rewarding fee. “At Dh400 per client, it may not appear much, but for a portal with 30 million registered users – well, that’s a lot a lot of money. Remember, we are talking volumes here.”
There are tens of similar reviews on Glassdoor and Quora as well in which the alleged victims have claimed that the website is fake and has scammed them.
The Gulf News reporter Mazhar Farooqui who uncovered the job racket also registered on the website with what he described as world’d worst CV but received a call from head office of Wisdom Jobs in India.
“The caller identified himself as Wisdom Jobs senior career adviser (Middle East) Anurag D and said that my resume has got the eye balls of several hospitality groups in the country,” he noted int he report.
Gulf News has published the conversation between their reporter and (Mazhar Farooqui) the career adviser in which the adviser can be heard as saying that Mazhar needs to pay 7,600 Indian Rupees to have his profile activated.
The publication reached out to Wisdom Jobs for a comment but has labelled their response as unconvincing.
“We do not get involved with the interviews that companies conduct with their candidates and therefore have no knowledge about any such interactions. Our services are entirely restricted to providing suitable candidates resumes to companies as per their requirements,” said the Hyderabad-based company in response to allegations.
What’s interesting about Wisdom Jobs is that they’re regarded as a reputable company in India and their CEO as pointed out by Gulf News is considered a role model for young entrepreneurs and make regular appearances on television channels and public forums.
According to a report by an Indian publication, Wisdom Jobs was trying to raise 400 million Indian rupees or about ~$7 million (converted at exchange rate at the time) by selling 25% stake in the company to some PE firms. It is not clear whether the firm went on to secure that funding or not.