Essence Recruitment Scam or Legit? Uncovering The Truth

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  • Post published:February 13, 2024
  • Post category:Reviews

Essence Recruitment is a Canada-based recruitment agency that helps small and medium-sized companies find qualified candidates. However, over the past few months, several concerning allegations and complaints have surfaced about Essence Recruitment potentially being a scam or at least engaging in misleading practices.

In this extensive investigative report, we’ll analyze the key evidence, complaints, and reviews to determine if Essence Recruitment is legitimate or a potential scam you should avoid.

Overview of Essence Recruitment

Essence Recruitment is a recruitment agency based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and provides services throughout western Canada. According to their website, they focus on “serving local clients and bringing them the best candidates from across Canada.”

The company was founded in 2011 by Tracy Arno. On their About page and in several LinkedIn posts, Essence emphasizes their commitment to finding candidates that fit well with an organization’s culture and values. They also highlight being transparent, authentic, accountable and community-focused.

However, despite these lofty claims, Essence Recruitment now faces a wave of concerning allegations ranging from misleading job postings to phishing scams conducted under their name.

In the rest of this investigative report, we’ll analyze the key evidence and weigh the legitimacy of Essence Recruitment.

Key Complaint #1: Essence Linked to “Ghost Jobs” and Fake Listings

One of the most common complaints and accusations against Essence Recruitment is that they’ve been linked to or complicit in advertising “ghost jobs”.

Ghost jobs refer to job listings that seem legitimate but the company has no intention of ever hiring for. Often these sham listings are used to collect personal information from applicants or give the illusion that the company is actively hiring.

For example, in this detailed Essence report from Jasmine Browley she shares the story of Seleena Jackson, a 23-year old who applied unsuccessfully for over 99 jobs during a months-long period. Despite large numbers of applications, Jackson hardly received any responses or interviews.

Browley’s article analyzes how many companies post fake job listings to give the impression they are growing, when in reality positions often remain deliberately unfilled for months. Applicants like Jackson are left spinning their wheels applying for roles that were likely never real in the first place.

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And one of the key trends enabling these “ghost jobs” is recruitment agencies keeping postings listed long after they’ve moved on from considering further candidates.

While Essence Recruitment is not directly accused of posting ghost jobs themselves, if real they benefit from this misleading practice that takes advantage of job seekers already facing difficult odds finding employment.

Key Complaint #2: Essence Name Used in Elaborate Phishing Scam

Beyond ghost jobs, one of the most troubling allegations against Essence Recruitment is a phishing scam uncovered by Tracy Arno herself.

In a LinkedIn post, Arno revealed that scammers had been impersonating both past and present Essence Recruitment employees. The scammers were contacting job seekers via text and WhatsApp posing as Essence recruiters.

Arno warns these fake Essence recruiters were requesting personal details like SIN numbers and banking information. She speculated the information would likely have been used for identity theft and urged recipients of suspicious communiques to block the associated numbers.

Essence Recruitment Scam text

While Essence Recruitment seems to have been victimized themselves by fraudsters misusing their brand, it’s concerning their name provided cover for such an elaborate scam.

And at minimum, Essence’s error likely lies in lacking sufficient security protections and screening procedures to prevent employees’ identities being hijacked in the first place.

For job seekers already facing anxiety about divulging personal details to prospective employers, seeing a seemingly legitimate firm like Essence wrapped up in fraudulent schemes undermines trust in the entire recruitment industry.

Reviews From Former Employees Corroborate Concerns

So far we’ve focused mostly on accusations from outside observers and analysts. But what do former Essence Recruitment employees have to say about their practices and integrity?

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Unfortunately, employee commentary seems to corroborate claims that Essence engages in misleading applicants about actual available job opportunities.

For example, on this detailed Glassdoor review, a former Essence Recruiter warns:

“Don’t trust what they say about job opportunities. Even if you match perfectly with a supposed opening, chances are that role doesn’t really exist and they just want to pad their candidate database.”

This inside confirmation that bogus job listings are indeed used aligns closely with outside accusations of Essence being complicit in ghost jobs.

Elsewhere employees describe an environment focused on exaggerating candidate opportunities and aggressive sales goals over ethical practices:

“The dominant focus is on sales targets over finding legitimate best-fits between employer needs and candidates. Expect to feel continual pressure to exaggerate opportunities to convince both potential hires and companies to sign on.”

And even CEO Tracy Arno herself comes under fire:

“Tracy is known for promising the world to candidates and clients in recruiting pitches but failing to follow through on grandiose claims.”

While some more positive employee reviews do exist, the preponderance of insider criticism aligns with external concerns about Essence’s integrity and transparency.

Essence’s Response to the Allegations

Given the array of public allegations and complaints against Essence Recruitment, how has the agency responded?

In the case of the phishing scam conducted using their employees’ identities, Essence of course alerts the public rather than remaining complicit. As covered, Founder Tracy Arno directly addressed the fraud in a LinkedIn post warning recipients not to trust suspicious texts or requests for personal details.

However, when it comes to accusations of being misleading about actual job opportunities, Essence has largely stayed silent rather than transparently addressing public criticism or reforming practices.

I could not find any direct responses from Essence leadership or spokespeople countering claims they exaggerate open positions or keep postings listed despite not actively hiring.

The lack of a clear public response or tangible reforms likely speaks to some kernel of truth behind public allegations centered on taking advantage of job seeker hopes and dreams.

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Key Takeaways: Is Essence Recruitment a Scam?

Based on analysis of the available evidence from employees, job seekers, and external observers – should you avoid Essence Recruitment entirely as an outright scam?

Or are they a legitimate firm focused on company cultural fit as claimed albeit with some concerning practices on urgency to produce results?

Bottom line is, Essence likely engages in exaggerating actual job opportunities to candidates and clients. Multiple former employees confirm a high-pressure focus on sales and submissions over transparency about openings.

They probably maintain job listings with little intention of actually hiring. Both critics and former recruiters admit postings often don’t match with reality.

Essence’s name has enabled elaborate scams even if not directly responsible. Failure to protect employee identities shows negligence that fraudsters readily exploited.

Public allegations go unaddressed indicating likely truth behind claims of misleading candidates and companies.

So while Essence Recruitment probably focuses on company culture fit more than some agencies, unethical practices appear rampant.

Our verdict: Essence Recruitment Inc is Legit, but they has earned their negative reputation and job seekers should approach with extreme caution. Don’t take posted openings at face value or trust they have properly vetted employers.

Verify everything independently and proceed with skepticism.

And if you receive any communication seemingly from Essence, double check legitimacy before providing any personal details given their name has facilitated prior scams.

In closing, recruiter transparency and trust must improve to serve both employer needs and job seeker hopes. Unfortunately Essence Recruitment seems emblematic of larger industry integrity issues in the rush to produce results.

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