Unethical Employers – Deceptive Practices

Ever had a company hire you for a job that sounded just right for you–and turned out to be all wrong? It’s possible you didn’t do enough due diligence ahead of time, but on many occasions the fact is that the company was simply unethical in its approach to hiring. Unfortunately, you didn’t find that out until you went to work there.

Unethical Hiring Approaches & Deceptive Practices

Some common elements seem to be part of those unethical hiring approaches, including:Disaster Concept. Desaster Ahead Roadsign.

  1. The company has a hard time getting good employees (for reasons that become obvious after you join!) and paints a rosy picture of what you’ll be doing for them. The reality turns out to be a complete 180 from what they described.
  2. It makes promises about salary, bonuses, etc., contingent on nebulous factors that somehow never get validated–and doesn’t put those promises in writing.
  3. It conceals information about upcoming changes that were known at the time of your job offer and will impact your position.
  4. It limits your access to people and information inside the company until after you start work, so you have no reasonable way to assess the situation until it’s too late.
  5. It fails to provide (maybe can’t provide) support that you have reason to expect in order to fulfill your new responsibilities.

What can you do to avert the employment disaster looming on your horizon? Maybe not a lot, but some things should be done if possible:

The following suggestions assume that you’ve already accepted the job offer and started working at your new company. (I’ve written about due diligence in the past and won’t repeat it here.)

  1. Do your best to scope-out the facts of the situation you’ve landed in. Make sure there weren’t any legitimate misunderstandings on either side. If there were, you might have some room to clarify and improve the situation.
  2. Determine (if you can) whether the circumstances involve just unethical behavior or possible actual illegality on the part of your employer.
  3. Consider consulting an employment law professional to find out whether you have any grounds for legal action–and whether it makes good sense to go that route.
  4. Plan and launch a search to locate a new position as soon as possible.

Ethical Companies–They’re Out There

Before you try to make a job change to get out of your disastrous current position, give serious thought to searching for companies that don’t just talk about things like corporate ethics, honesty, fairness, etc. Do they have a reputation for walking their talk? What’s their record like for being a desirable place to work? Are they well regarded in the community?

Corporate ethics business diagram illustrationThat doesn’t mean, of course, that their employees have cushy jobs and don’t have to do much to earn their salaries. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, as long as it’s not a “sweatshop” environment where employees are so many commodities–misled, interchangeable, dispensable, not valued.

Research a company’s reputation and record before you ever reach the point of submitting your resume there. Check them out online and offline. Whenever possible, contact and talk with people who work there, have worked there in the past, have had the company as a customer, and so on.

Ethical companies are “out there.” Finding them is your responsibility if you want to avoid another job search disaster.

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