Using work as a weapon: marketing enterprises invade job ads

While unemployment is hitting one in five Birmingham citizens, somebody is trying to take advantage of it. As a matter of fact, marketing businesses are invading job-seeking channels, exploiting desperation and economic crisis unscrupulously.

Birmingham is an interesting and beautiful city with an enormous problem: work. The Birmingham unemployment rate is about 20%. According to Birmingham City Council, the employment rate has fallen dramatically in the last five years, a situation that has deeply influenced the labour market and benefit requests. All around the UK, social tensions led Mr. Cameron to declare that only English speaking immigrants will receive Jobseeker’s Allowance. Although Cameron’s move is clearly aimed at preventing UKIP from taking advantage of the fight against immigrants, it also originated from the growing intolerance toward foreign workers and institutions. As a matter of fact, voting
intentions showed how popular UKIP is. Consequently, the Conservative party could not avoid trying to recover some esteem by turning to the right. They carried out a dangerous strategy based on the labour market, because of its importance. Work remains one of the fundamental topics in the agenda of any party.

Work is a powerful tool, not only for politicians, but also for enterprises. Some of them have used economic crisis to their advantage. Among them, Marketing enterprises owns half of job ads on the web. Indeed, My Birmingham Job, Monster, Reed and Totaljob have
been literally invaded by job scams advertising. The kind of job does not influence the result. Sometimes they even use several jobs for the same advertisement, e.g. looking for “Waiting & Bar Staff Skills Wanted – Sales Assistant”. Everything, even the advertisement itself, seems unreal, but an unemployed person will believe in miracles, sooner or later.

We managed to attend an interview with one of these companies, and it was as a user from The Student Room described it: “Quite an interesting day from a psychological perspective”. With no perfect language skills, I started discussing with a graceful and terribly detached girl. She wore an immaculate suit, but I was quite sure that she just wanted to cheat me. It often happens, when people go on talking incessantly. They did not call me back. However, my desperation was not high enough to make me accept to work with a prestigious anti-theft alarm company. They clearly wanted me to go door to door in order to exploit the element of surprise in order to sell something useless to somebody who wants nothing from me.

On the other hand, the problem of fake advertising has become in Birmingham a really important fact, because of the high vulnerability of its citizens. Moreover, unskilled labour has been heavily damaged by such an aggressive strategy. Marketing businesses dominate waiting (Reed, Totaljob) and sales assistant ads (Indeed, Monster, My Birmingham Job, Reed, Totaljob). A desperate unemployed person could be caught in the trap by trying to raise money through direct marketing operations. This strategy aims to rescue those who have been excluded from wealth because of crisis, but who feel a sense of shame when applying for other jobs that would demonstrate their failure in achieving success. It is work used like a weapon, as a pray in the name of business.

Photo: Woodleywonderworks/Flickr

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