At present, the job search service market is still immature. There are no standards from pricing to service content, and careful screening is required.

Is it reliable to buy "introduction" and "guaranteed offer" job search services at high prices?

  The summer is coming, and the autumn recruitment season is about to begin.

In the online social circles of college students, especially fresh graduates and international students, there are various advertisements about job guidance, "introduction" and "offer guarantee".

In the description of the advertisement, thousands of college students have successfully obtained high-quality offers from investment banks, brokerage firms, firms, and the Internet through their professional guidance and specific channels.

  The reporter's investigation found that in addition to providing services such as resume revision, written examination and interview counseling, industry analysis, and internship recommendation, most of these job counseling service agencies also promised to "internally push" and "guarantee offer"; the price is generally between 10,000 yuan and 100,000 yuan. In the meantime, a few "guaranteed offer" services for top foreign consulting companies even cost hundreds of thousands of yuan.

  Many college students have asked questions on the online platform: Is the "currency ability" of tens of thousands of yuan really useful?

Are these institutions really helping college students, or are they making money by exaggerating anxiety?

  A professional who once worked for two job counseling agencies told reporters: "The information provided by consultants is much the same. You can find out more by searching the Internet and asking the seniors and sisters who are already working. You can buy it with money." Introduce'introduction opportunities' will mostly be'faced'; whether the promise of'guarantee offer' can be fulfilled varies from person to person. If you encounter an unreliable tutor, or the student's lack of strength and hard work, it will lead to job failure. "

The job search service that costs tens of thousands of dollars is very "watery"

  Gu Mengyao graduated with a bachelor's degree from a domestic dual-african college and a master's degree from a business major in a British university that is not highly ranked. In September 2018, she returned to China to apply for a job.

  Although Gu Mengyao's goal is to go to a large-scale leading company, considering her weak academic qualifications and internship experience, she has been very anxious in the few months she has just returned to China.

While studying abroad, she saw advertisements of job search service agencies on WeChat groups and public accounts; when seeking a job, she searched a lot of services such as "one-on-one pre-employment training", "paid internship", "guarantee offer" and other services on the Internet. Got her attention.

  "Since I was able to spend money to buy tutoring services for studying abroad, I can also spend money to buy ideal job opportunities." With this idea, in May 2019, Gu Mengyao and the Shanghai family who had only one internship experience and had not found their ideal job The vocational education platform for international students signed a contract for the "Famous Enterprise Vocational Reaching Plan" and paid 42,000 yuan.

  This 12-month contract shows that the platform will provide Gu Mengyao with customized job search plans, document preparation, industry, company and position analysis, written examination and interview guidance and other services, and provide "VIP guarantee offer special counseling consultation", if it cannot be fulfilled" "Guarantee offer" obligation, will refund 23,200 yuan of this part of the service fee.

  A few months later, Gu Mengyao discovered that the service provided by the platform was "watery" and was not worth tens of thousands of dollars at all.

"The online application links they sent to the Big Four accounting firms and FMCG companies are all public information. Before I participated in the job interviews for financial and risk control in two different directions, the interview tutor turned out to be the same person. So I started looking for a job by myself," she said.

  In December 2019, Gu Mengyao was admitted by a bank he applied for and planned to terminate the contract with the platform, but getting a refund was hampered.

The other party first said that the contract had not expired, and later delayed that she did not cooperate with the platform's counseling steps.

The lawyer told her that many services provided by the platform cannot be quantified, and it is difficult to obtain a refund through legal channels.

  In the next six months or so, Gu Mengyao was trapped in a long process of "breaking" with the platform staff.

"By August 2020, some job search service agencies began to explode news on the Internet, and my attitude was relatively tough. They promised a refund of 23,200 yuan, but so far I have only received a refund of 2,550 yuan." She also found out, The circle of friends of several staff members has not been updated for a long time.

  Yuan Zhengcheng, who had studied abroad in Moscow, encountered similar problems with Gu Mengyao.

At the beginning of 2020, considering the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, he decided to give up looking for a job in Russia and set his sights on the country.

  After searching the Internet for a company that provides "one-stop service for returning to China for job hunting" for international students, Yuan Zhengcheng was moved by the excellent case brochure issued by the customer service.

At the company's Beijing office, the sales staff said to him that the company has cooperation with Fortune 500 companies. If you pay 19,800 yuan, you can get an ideal "introduction" opportunity and a full refund for breach of appointment.

  Although there is a discrepancy between the refund agreement in the contract and what the salesperson said, Yuan Zhengcheng, who was eager to apply for a job at the time, did not go into it.

Then he quickly discovered that the "mentor" assigned to him by the company was unidentified, and the services provided were limited to modifying the resume format and sending open recruitment links, and did not provide any "introduction" opportunities.

  In June 2020, after Yuan Zhengcheng repeatedly asked for a full refund, according to the terms of the contract, he finally got a refund of 4,000 yuan.

He told reporters that he has successively added more than 10 international students with similar experiences on Zhihu and other platforms. The contract content ranges from a paid internship of 14,000 yuan to a guaranteed "introduction" of 60,000 yuan.

  "We have consulted with lawyers and learned that through arbitration, each person has to bear the cost of 10,000 yuan, and it feels that the gain is not worth the loss." Yuan Zhengcheng has now given up on recovering the rest of the cost, but tells his own experience on various online platforms, hoping that the majority of international students Be cautious in case of trouble.

A voluntarily resigned employee exposes chaos in the job search service industry

  In 2017, Wang Anni, who has studied abroad and lived for many years, returned to China and joined a small international student job search service company that was established recently. The position is "front-end sales".

One of the founders told her that every year about 500,000 international students in China return to China to seek jobs. They encounter poor information and psychological gaps, and it is not easy to find a job. The company can provide them with great help.

  Reminiscent of the bumpy experience of returning to China to find a job, and with the original intention of helping students find a satisfactory job, Wang Anni is full of motivation.

She recalled that the company would purchase keywords on the largest foreign search engine, and the official website was easily searched; when students entered the official website, a customer service window popped up.

Her position is similar to that of a consultant, that is, communicating with students who have added WeChat through customer service and connecting to the corresponding back-end service personnel.

  At the beginning, Anni Wang will work hard to communicate with each student, and after the student signs the contract, she often actively asks the back-end service staff about their job search progress.

"But two or three months after joining the company, something hit me very hard. A girl who signed a contract told me that she had only one job search opportunity in the autumn recruitment season because our back-end service staff forgot to help her. Sending the information, I missed it in vain."

  Later, this company made Wang Anni more and more disappointed.

"I think the company is more about making money quickly, rather than really wanting to help students. At that time, the company could sign up to 70 or 80 students a month, but only about 40 back-end service personnel, so the quality of service could not be guaranteed at all. It is true. Someone was lucky to find a job within a month or two after signing the contract, but there were still many students who couldn't get a satisfactory offer and started complaining and requesting refunds. So I left my job soon."

  Soon after, Wang Anni entered a job search service company with a larger scale and more types of services.

"This company provides job search services in the law, finance, investment banking and other industries for international students and domestic college students. It also provides paid internship opportunities for sophomores and juniors. The average price of job search services is around 40,000 to 50,000 yuan."

  While working in this company, Wang Anni has learned more about the growing job search service industry.

She estimates that less than 10% of the job opportunities are actually bought by "introduction".

At the same time, there are many cases in which students and parents come to complain and request refunds.

  She analyzed: “Most of the mentors of these institutions are part-time mentors who have achieved a certain position in the industry. They don’t need to hire an inappropriate employee for the low “introduction” fee. Many people can’t get it. Those who "introduce" opportunities, and those who really get a satisfactory offer through an organization, may not rely on this kind of gray resources, but on the fact that they meet the recruitment requirements of others."

  In fact, Tencent, Meituan, PricewaterhouseCoopers, CITIC Securities and many other companies have issued statements stating that they have never cooperated with any third-party agencies and will not charge any fees for the entire recruitment and job search process.

  More and more practitioners are pouring into the job search service industry, and chaos abounds with it.

Wang Anni said: “Most companies have a difficult initial aspiration, and there are few employees who work hard and are responsible. Some people are recruited as mentors within a few years of work. Most people are mainly earning money. The quality of service cannot keep up, and there are still so many customers. The reason is that five to six hundred thousand international students return to China to apply for jobs every year. They have an anxious mentality and have no knowledge of job-seekers, so they can easily fall into the trap.

  She suffered internally and couldn't bear the pressure of KPI. In May 2020, Anni Wang resigned again and left the industry.

College students should not be "lazy"

  Now recalling her experience of buying job search services, Gu Mengyao regrets it very much.

She felt that she was incited by various advertisements and pre-consultation to instigate anxiety and nervousness. She always felt that she was not strong enough to find the ideal job and could only spend money to buy peace of mind, but this is not the case.

"Foreign students like us who have average undergraduate schools, good master's schools, and yearning for quality job opportunities in big cities, with good financial conditions at home, are the target customers of job search service agencies."

  Gu Mengyao suggested that college students should make early career planning and preparation for job hunting, and keep their eyes open in the face of various fee-based services.

"You can find many paid products such as job search courses, interview guidance, and written test question banks on the Internet. The prices range from tens of yuan to several thousand yuan. The quality is mixed. Some of the knowledge is public information. You can find it by searching for it yourself. There are indeed reliable products, so you have to distinguish clearly before placing an order."

  Yuan Zhengcheng feels that international students should do what they can to find a job, and it is recommended that they try to do internships in local companies during the winter and summer vacations for self-improvement.

"To find a job in China, academic qualifications are just a stepping stone. It is very important to learn more and enrich your experience. Instead of pinning your hopes on the organization, it is better to believe in yourself."

  Anni Wang has dealt with many college students with different academic backgrounds and different personalities. She believes that many students who want to spend money on "introduction" and "guaranteed offer" services are mainly out of laziness.

"I want to tell the students that the factors for successful job hunting include personal background, effort level, and on-site interview performance. It's almost impossible to do nothing and just pay the organization to want to rebirth."

  Wang Anni recognized that some job search courses and one-on-one counseling services on the market are reliable, but it is recommended that you know your shortcomings and clearly understand the content and function of the service before buying.

If you must sign a contract with an agency, try to choose a large-scale job search service agency that cares about reputation. Once a dispute occurs, the probability of successful rights protection is higher; you must read the refund terms before signing the contract.

  Sun Zhaoyang, a researcher at the Institute of Social Development Strategies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, analyzed that the emergence of the job search service industry is related to the deterioration of the international economic and trade environment, the expansion of higher education and the inadequacy of market development, and the cognition that the society emphasizes general education and neglects vocational education.

"The growth of high-quality jobs is slow, and the number of laborers who believe that they meet the requirements is increasing rapidly, and the market has formed a situation of oversupply, which has created the soil for the emergence of the job search service industry."

  He believes that, like many cases in the process of reform and opening up, the development of the industry is undergoing a process from chaos to governance.

"This market is still immature. There are no standards from pricing to service content. It is a market spawned by capital. First of all, the Internet has reduced the cost of information on the one hand, but on the other hand has increased the cost of searching. A large amount of information is placed on the Internet. Coupled with the poor search engines of some companies and the excessive emphasis on advertising operation strategies, the time cost of searching for useful information has greatly increased. Second, in our education system, career planning is relatively backward, and many students do not know themselves. What is the use of the major I have studied? I don’t know what industry and occupation I want to pursue in the future. I will naturally feel confused when applying for a job, and the job search industry will take advantage of it. In addition, the power of consumer organizations in China is relatively weak, and government supervision has not yet intervened. It may lead to disorderly development of the industry."

  Sun Zhaoyang suggested that the school should organize professionals from all walks of life to the school for publicity, explaining the characteristics and skills of the industry and occupation.

"It is necessary for children to have extensive exposure to various occupations from elementary school. High school should set up vocational counselling, and more internship training should be taken at the university level. Schools should set up a unified career counseling and counseling, not just a decoration."

  College students and students facing employment should understand that opportunities are reserved for those who are prepared. Knowledge and skills can be learned on their own. Spending money can only provide conditions and cannot allow people to directly adapt to a job.

In addition, "riding a donkey to find a horse" should be a routine operation at work.

"A person's life needs to advance in constant search, and only a few people can do a job to the end. Only those who continue to summarize in the work, prepare for the exploration of the unknown, and improve their own knowledge and skill reserves, can obtain More success." Sun Zhaoyang said.

  (At the request of the interviewee, Gu Mengyao, Yuan Zhengcheng, and Wang Anni are pseudonyms)

  China Youth Daily · China Youth Daily reporter Wei Qimeng Source: China Youth Daily