On the Job

Jobsindubai.com claims to offer global job seekers help in finding a position in Dubai, for a fee. However, a recent report in the UAE press and internet forum feedback suggest that the company is ineffective at best, or scamming job hunters at worst. Windows investigates…

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  March 1, 2006

|~|mainpic.jpg|~||~|The UAE's Gulf News newspaper published an articled entitled ‘Online recruitment firm performs vanishing act’ in January of this year. This suggested that Jobs in Dubai had abandoned its Dubai office space and quoted paying customers who said they feared that they had been scammed. After reading this, the Windows team decided to examine matters more closely. Here's what we found… This is what Jobs in Dubai claims to offer: according to its website, it claims it will “introduce you to agents and employers in the Middle East”. In its FAQ section, the firm explains that, “Your name and resume will then be entered into our database and your resume sent to employers for a possible match and an interview. This process usually takes between 1-4 months.” This costs candidates US $79 (or $41 for North American applicants). Jobsindubai.com also links through to a second site - owned by the same people - called Careersindubai.com, which offers to “format your CV to UAE standards” for $37. Are these services the real McCoy then? Or should we take Gulf News at its word? We decided to delve deeper. The first step; finding those who had dealt with Jobs in Dubai. Web worries We checked online forums and asked for feedback on the site via an online Windows poll (on itp.net). We soon found feedback from 11 users, seven of which stated that, even after having requested a refund from Jobs in Dubai, they hadn't received any money back. Four more stated that they had received refunds, but only after sending several e-mails to - and in two cases, repeatedly calling - the firm. Mike's Story... In addition to this forum feedback, we met Mike, a 27 year-old graphics designer. Here's his account: “While I was browsing Jobsindubai.com, I found that the site would help you secure a job. I then found out that in order to become a member I'd have to pay a processing fee of US $79, so I filled out an online application form. “When I reached the CV section of the form I remembered a notice I had seen in the Jobs Postings section, which stated, “we strongly recommend a formatted resume from Careers In Dubai, Inc. Format your resume to UAE standards.” “Since I wanted to increase my chances of getting a job in Dubai I decided to click on the link. This took me to another site called Careersindubai.com. ||**|||~||~||~|"This site claims it is a resume formatting service that helps you format your resume to a “standard highly preferred by many employers in the Middle East.” I first included all my resume details in an online form on the CV site. It then asked me to pay $37 for the service. I entered in my credit card details and clicked Done. It then displayed my resume completely unformatted with line after line and no spaces or tabs. The site then downloaded the unformatted resume to my desktop. “I then took the unformatted resume, pasted it into the online application form on Jobsindubai.com and submitted it. Next, I sent them an e-mail to obtain my file number, as I needed this information to enter my account. After sending tons of e-mails to Customer Service, I finally got my file number, however after this e-mail I never received any more updates. “In the meantime, I received a call from a company I had visited in Dubai. They offered me a job and I accepted. Since I didn't need Jobs in Dubai's services anymore, I e-mailed them and requested a refund. They said that I had to wait for six months, as their policy stated “we guarantee a refund of any payment made to Jobs In Dubai for candidates who do not receive employment within six months of registration.” So I waited for six months. After six months, I sent them another refund request. They then urged me to wait a further 45 days, as my CV was supposedly 'under review'. I then sent them any e-mail explaining that I had found another job and was due for my refund. They replied with yet another e-mail requesting me to update my CV on the site and wait a little longer. I finally lost my cool and demanded that my money be returned. After a couple of weeks I finally got an e-mail saying that they had refunded my bank account.” After hearing Mike's story, we wanted to talk to the company firsthand. So we set off for the company's office, which at the time of our investigation was listed on Jobsindubai.com as being at: 'Safa Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai - Suite 1008'. During our visit we discovered that Suite 1008 was actually home to a company called Sea and Sand Tourism. The security guard on duty informed us that he had been receiving calls and visitors looking for the firm, but stated that the firm wasn't occupying any offices in the building. So it was clear that the information on the website was not - at that time - accurate (that address has now been removed from the site). ||**|||~|BBBsite.jpg|~|According to BBB, it has received a total of 24 complaints in the past three years about Jobs in Dubai |~|In touch Next, we decided to contact the firm's head quarters located in Mississauga, Canada, but prior to this we discovered something interesting in Jobsindubai-.com's FAQ section; a mention of the Better Business Bureau. This is a private non-profit organisation that keeps tabs on Canadian businesses for the welfare of consumers. Its main task is to report on both member and non-member businesses. These detail the number of customer complaints received and how each compliant was solved. We visited the BBB's site to check out Jobsindubai.com's mention. According to a BBB reliability report, in the past three years Jobsindubai.com had received a total of 24 complaints, including nine refund issue cases, eight customer service issues (which BBB refers to as “failure to respond to e-mails or phone requests”) and three contract issue cases, which the BBB defines as “failure to honour a contract or agreement”. Of these 24 complaints, the BBB states that it has only heard from ten satisfied customers who had stated that they had accepted their case had been solved. The report also revealed that Jobsindubai was not a member of the BBB, rather just listed in the BBB's database. Windows meets… As you can imagine, our list of questions to ask Jobs in Dubai was getting longer by the minute. Thus we called its Canadian office and, luckily, found that the firm's Principal, Nofel Izz, was actually in Dubai hunting for new office space. In our exclusive Windows interview, here's what he said: Windows: You've received some bad press here recently and our web search has turned up further negative feedback on several forums. What is your comment on this? Nofel Izz: “This is an online thing. You have 10,000 sites out there about Microsoft, about Paypal - nobody ever complains about that right? Paypal has five or six forums about that kind of thing. Since it's an online company, you would expect that to happen. “The forums are basically full of people from UAE Staffing and Dubaijobs.net, who we sued in Canada. Dubaijobs.net actually copied and pasted our jobs onto their website, job for job. So we got into some arguments with them, and after that they have been going to all these forums and badmouthing us.” Windows: In terms of how Jobsindubai.com works, people sign up, pay the fee and register their resume with you. What is this fee for? Nofel Izz: “It's because we cater more to overseas clientele. Say for example I have a candidate in Canada that wants to find work. While we start looking for it, the person changes their mind. This usually happens after we've started going to work. A lot of people in Canada and the States are not really serious.” Windows: So, to confirm, this fee is more to check a candidate’s seriousness? Nofel Izz: “Yes, and it's fully refundable. We've never had any complaints.” Windows: The jobs advertised on your Jobsindubai.com obviously get people interested. As your colleague in Canada explained it to us, if a candidate sees a job they like the look of, they can get in touch with you and say “I'm interested in this…” However, there doesn't seem to be a mechanism for a registered candidate clicking on a vacancy to do that direct. Can you please comment on this? Nofel Izz: “Let me explain how the structure works. We should probably put this out in the FAQ section; we've been working on that. If you are an employer, you would log in as an employer, and you'd pay the 195 Canadian dollars for 500 user views right? If you are one of these registered users this would show up on your account, showing that an employer selected you. That's how it works. Candidates don't know that part really well. They think that when they call us and say, “I really like that job”, that we're going to submit them for it; it doesn't work that way. We have no control over which candidates employers contact. “When we send you your generic invitation letter, it clearly says 'Do not reapply' because this duplicates your process and they'd get another letter from us, right? It clearly says that you should not reapply for any positions listed on the site.” Windows: So a user cannot apply for those jobs? Nofel Izz: “They don't have to, because they're already in the database.” Windows: So your team is not pro-actively applying them for positions. Correct? Nofel Izz: “Yes, because you can imagine… the staff we would need to have with 2000 registrations coming up per day?” Windows: So, your staff aren't sending out resumes, instead the resumes go into a database that employers can access… Nofel Izz: “Yes. We tried sending out the resumes before, but it doesn't work like that now. We don't know how many staff are getting hired, and even now it's really hard with employers not getting back to us.” Windows: We spoke to Mike, a graphic designer, who in the three-month period he was signed-up with you heard nothing at all. Nofel Izz: “Whichever employer gets in touch with you, they'll directly contact you because they have all the information. People don't have the concept… Monster.com and Hot Jobs - everything is automated, the employers get in touch with you directly. It's strange that people here don't have the concept of an online recruitment company.” Windows: Do you think that's 100% down to them, or maybe that users read the information on your site and don't see Jobs in Dubai as a similar arrangement to such websites? Nofel Izz: “It's just that they’re paying for the service, that’s pretty much it. The bottom line is that they’re paying for the service. All the confusion, all these problems; if people weren't paying for it, I wouldn't be here right now (in the Windows office - ed). Even though they know it’s not guaranteed.” Windows: Is Mike’s experience a typical one? Nofel Izz: “There are a lot of dissatisfied customers and a lot of happy customers.” Windows: In terms of what people expect from Jobs in Dubai, do you think it's worth trying to reduce the number of dissatisfied customers - whatever that is - by changing or amending the site to help them regard you as similar to Monster? Nofel Izz: “First of all, the first thing we tell people is, it's not a guaranteed service. There's no guarantee you're going to get a job. You can always get your money back.” Windows: Is there any data that would help anyone monitor the effectiveness of the service? Nofel Izz: “No. What kind of monitoring are you talking about?” Windows: For instance, if you had 2000 resumes over a three-month period, what did that lead to? Nofel Izz: “We don't know if these are taken up, because it's an online company. A company just pays us 195 dollars, but they doesn't have to tell us if they have hired.” After this discussion, and upon reflection overall, we felt we had reached some conclusions. Firstly, the firm’s website is arguably misleading, in that we feel it could lead candidates to believe that Jobs in Dubai will proactively introduce candidates to employers. As Izz pointed out - this is not the case. Secondly, Izz claims his firm has received no complaints, which we would argue is untrue. Lastly, since meeting Izz, Mike contacted us again and informed us that his promised refund had still not materialised, despite it being more than six months since he’d signed up with Jobsindubai.com. ||**|||~||~||~|In summary… Our subjective summary then, as it stands, is that Jobs in Dubai's service is - potentially - no better or worse than that offered by online job sites such as Monster and Bayt. The difference however - and this is key - is that to benefit from such a service, Jobs in Dubai's customers must shell out cash. Of course, was Jobs in Dubai's refund policy a solid one that we had evidence of working, this fee would sit just fine with us. However, the evidence presented to us by Mike suggests that this refund policy is not always adhered to (as - it would appear - do the complaints received by the BBB in Canada). On the plus side, Izz told Windows that the firm plans to open a branch office in the Satwa district of Dubai this month, and that his service is already free to UAE residents. It might well be worth such residents signing up to the free version of the service then (after all, what harm can that do?), but if a friend asked us whether they should pay up front with Jobs in Dubai, or go the free online route and check out sites such as Bayt.com first, we’d tell them to read this article very carefully first. ||**||

2562 days ago
LostJobandVilla ANDshopandSAVINGSinDubai

Bottom line: as soon as any agency asks for cash, close your browser and add then to your e-mail spam-killer list or block them.
Stick with the reputable agencies, such as BAC; Clarendon Parker; Charterhouse; Randstad MENA; Carter Murray -etc.

3541 days ago
Edward

I have a similar experience with TeleportMyJob.com. Does anyone know if this is a legite site and service?

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