When I say fishing, I don't mean go fishing with wellies, fishing rod, wiggly maggots, hope to meet potential candidates by the river bank, who would love to join forces with you because you both have the love of fishing.
I'm talking about virtual fishing
One method to get people in your network is to message them and say you have a great job, a job almost too good to be true. Great pay, Great location, Big company, lots of holiday, big bonus, etc etc.
The reason the recruitment consultant is dangling this juicy bait over your virtual head is because at the moment they haven't got your contact details or the key contact detail - your phone number.
They are hoping you will read their tempting offer and quickly ring up. They will have a chat , then you will find there isn't an actual job but they can ring their customers and see if they are interesting in hiring you.
You were just hooked
Don't feel foolish, this trick has and will continue to work for a long time in the future.
Choose to be hooked
You may be happy to talk and build a relationship with the recruitment consultant who is messaging you, in which case get the ball rolling and get chatting. Personally I would like to start a relationship on a more honest and open foundation.
Information is power, you know the trick, so can choose to be hooked but what if you don't want to be hooked or give you phone number to that recruitment consultant (and all those who work at that company)
Here are a few ideas to see if they have a real job
Don't give them your number, just converse through emails\LinkedIn
Look at the recruiters's LinkedIn profile and/or agency before starting a relationship
Ask them for a job description. If they don't have a job description they will say things like they need to talk to you to explain it better.
Ask them who the company is? They may not want to tell you this but it could be legitimate because there is nothing stopping you then talking directly to that company.
Ask them details about the company e.g. size, gold partner, rough location
Location is a good way to tease out whether they have a job. Tell them you want to work in a certain area. They should be able to tell you how far away it is (ish).
If they have a real job but it's somewhere you don't want to work, be on your guard of them also saying, Oh I have job (in exact location you specified previously), they could have a job there but they could also be swapping the bait on their hook.
You are playing a game of poker with the recruitment consultant, your mission is to try to get them to show their hand, you will find out if they are bluffing or if they really have a good hand. You will then know what hand they have and whether you want to bet this round.