Bad Economy Can Lead to Employee Exploitation

Nancy Anderson
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Yes, the economy is bad, and yes it is harder to find a job for most people these days. This may lead some companies to take advantage of the desperation of job seekers by requiring more of them for less compensation. I was reading through some interview experiences that were recently posted on job sites, to find that was the case for some people.

One particular job seeker shared the experience of an interview in January of this year, where he was told right out that for the mediocre salary of $35K he would be working at least 60 hours a week, and would be on call 24/7/365. There were other things said during the interview that gave clues of the exploitation to come, and so the candidate passed on the job. Out of desperation, they will surely find someone for the position, but it is doubtful that person will stay in such a position if the terms continue as they are stated.

Other interviewers for the same company expressed concerns of how they felt after just the short time being around the current employees at the company. Even just the little exposure they had with them during the interview time, they felt it to be a "very unprofessional environment” with a very “Churn-and-burn type of work." One candidate said the interview process went fairly well, but after the whole process of the interview, he had lost a lot of respect for the company as a whole, so passed on the "opportunity."

These experiences I read through were pertaining mainly to one company, but I am sure it is not an isolated case. Be sure you know a bit about your states laws and guidelines about fair compensation and labor laws, and do not let job desperation "force" you to take a position where they are taking advantage of your desperation. The laws are pretty strict for companies, so this type of thing is surely less commonplace than it could be, but with the economy and unemployment the way it is, it will make it easier to get new employees while providing less of a competitive compensation plan.

That is why it is very important to do a little research before job interviews. Find out what the standard “going rate” is for someone in your career field and with your skill level and experience. Know what you and your job are worth before going for an interview. With this knowledge, you will more easily know when things like low pay or other compensations are being offered. Sometimes you may need to take a cut in things just to get in with a new company, but you will more readily know the difference between a small variation and exploitation.

Have you had any kind of interview experience where you felt you might have been getting offered less compensation for the job requirements? Share your personal experience in the comments.


Jeff McCormack resides in Virginia Beach, VA. where he works as a web designer by day. In his off time he is a husband, father, mail order book store manager, and musician. Aside from being a freelance writer for this Logistics Jobsite blog, he also seeks to assist in career choices and information by contributing to other blog sites.


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