Safer online job hunting through AI

IN today’s digital age, career opportunities are just a click away. Yet, with this convenience comes a hidden danger — deceptive job listings that could leave job seekers disillusioned or empty-handed.

Take, for instance, a recent warning from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that spotlighted fraudulent job listings prevalent on platforms like Facebook and TikTok. One Facebook group post indicated that high school graduates with relevant vocational courses could apply for an administrative role with a monthly salary of up to P27,000, while college graduates could earn up to P71,000. The post also contained links supposedly containing additional details about the job openings. However, upon clicking the links, users were redirected to an e-commerce platform and a website that falsely claimed to represent the BIR.


These deceptive listings lead aspirants into fraudulent traps. But in some worse cases, people are left compromised.

In 2022, a study by cybersecurity company Kaspersky revealed that more than 3 million jobless Filipinos, along with over 7 million underemployed job seekers, fell victim to cybercriminals who exploited their personal information, such as names, birthdates, phone numbers, and email addresses, and sold it for as little as around P500 each on the dark web. Such stolen information exposes victims to cybercrimes, including identity theft and the potential introduction of malicious software (malware) on their devices to extract more data.

Fake job ads pervade social media sites that receive millions of visits daily. With far-reaching consequences that significantly impact the job-seeking experience for aspirants, from hampering the efficiency of the job-seeking process to exposing individuals to the risks of data breaches, it is time for online job-hunting sites to step up and provide a safe space of legitimate opportunities for aspirants.

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Web of fake job ads

Fake job ads come in different guises: some entice with unrealistically high salaries and promises of easy employment but offer vague job descriptions. Job seekers also encounter random sites with endless links leading to dead ends. Specific recruitment sites display junk or expired information, while unscrupulous individuals create job boards just to collect information. Even some companies are contributing to the issue by posting duplicate job postings on various platforms.

The current business landscape is facing a plethora of issues related to job postings, mainly stemming from an advertising-centric model that prioritizes corporate visibility over user experience. This model often leads to excessive advertisements that distract job seekers and foster information overload, causing frustration and diminished focus on suitable opportunities. The persistence of filled positions on platforms creates confusion and mistrust due to outdated or duplicate postings that waste the job seeker’s time.

Moreover, the lack of content moderation on job search platforms gives rise to redundant postings and misleads job seekers with outdated listings, leading to decreased user engagement.

The presence of irrelevant content, coupled with inadequate verification processes, fosters skepticism and hesitancy among job seekers, undermining their willingness to engage with platforms due to potential false opportunities.

Combating fake job ads

When Bossjob entered the Philippine market in 2018, we saw the challenges in the online recruitment space, and through our practices, we believe there are key measures to consider to facilitate a more dynamic and fair recruitment experience for everyone.

A more stringent and streamlined onboarding and verification process could be a way to put safeguards in place to ensure the legitimacy of job ads. A hybrid approach of using artificial intelligence (AI) for screening and filtering coupled with manual filtration could be implemented to ensure a thorough verification process for both job seekers and employers. This practice enhances the legitimacy of the platform and reduces the presence of fake job ads.

Prioritizing an approach that centers on engagement and relevance for job post visibility could also enhance the user experience. AI, through the exposure algorithm, could recommend the system to only show the most active and relevant content to job seekers, eliminating the possibility of job seekers seeing outdated or duplicated postings.

As deceptive job ads continue to float around the job market basin and as the channels for traps continue to widen, industry players have the opportunity to reassess and realign their strategies toward safer job-seeking for all. The shift toward integrating AI and other technological tools into the recruitment landscape could mark a turning point in the battle against fake job ads.

It’s high time for online job-hunting sites to lead the way toward nurturing a safe and more dynamic recruitment space for all, where people’s hopes for a better future are heightened only by excitement from true and genuine opportunities.

Anthony Garcia is co-founder and chief executive of Bossjob, a chat-first career platform for professional hiring in Southeast Asia that aims to provide speedy communications between talents and bosses.

Mike Ibanoz

Mike Ibanoz is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has spent the better part of two decades covering gadgets and apps, and helping people make smarter tech decisions.

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