While scanning the internet for a job, 36-year-old Anu*, a Bengaluru-based HR professional in the IT industry came upon a job that appeared perfect for her. Without a second thought, she applied for the job that she saw had been advertised on multiple online job portals such as Naukri and Linkedin.
The job was advertised by a Bengaluru-based HR consultancy called Elite HR Consultants. The job description specified that the consultancy was hiring for HR Operations, HR Manager, Operations Manager, Assistant Manager HR and a Client Relationship Manager for a leading US Based social networking service company located in Bengaluru.
For Anu, who had been working as an HR professional for 14 years, this seemed like an opening that suited her profile. What followed after she applied, however, was not quite what she had expected.
“After I sent in my application, someone named Poornima called me and asked me about job profile. She spoke specifically about HR operations initially. Then, she mentioned something about managing social networking groups,” says Anu.
When Anu did not quite understand how that fits into her job profile, she goaded for more detail. Poornima went on to explain that the job would involve managing dating groups and participate in dating. The job would also extend to taking care of customer satisfaction.
For Anu, who thought she was applying for an HR specific job, this description was perplexing. “I couldn’t really understand what exactly the job entailed. So, I asked her to send me the job description in writing,” Anu said.
When Anu received a mail from Poornima with the job description, she was taken aback. Not only did the role sound a whole different from what an HR professional’s role would be, it also appeared extremely fishy.
The email opened with telling Anu that the opening was for a permanent position with her company’s client, an international social media company (TNM is not naming the company, as the company has nothing to do with the job advertisement) in Bengaluru.
The job description reads:
"We need smart, intelligent and dynamic broad minded married female candidates to manage the day to day operations of Social Media who are open to take new initiatives, new challenges and who are modern in western culture, modern values and who are in to socializing and dating activities and ensure business delivery to be a part of the organization growth and making our company business grow to the next level and making it successful and understand the overall business objectives”
“Position Requirement: Modern Culture & Modern Outlook, Modern Ethic & Western Modern Values, Women who are into Socializing & Dating Culture who likes Socializing & Dating, who are broadminded and comfortable in US Western Culture, US Values, US Ethics and US Dressing Culture, Very Broadminded in Nature,” it goes on to add.
The detailed job description also states that the position is for women who “likes and enjoys socializing, dating and who has also interested to experience the dating practically for themselves to understand in-depth of (pre-socializing, post socializing, concepts of dating) are most welcome for this job (as part of interview process only you have to go out on a real dating to experience it practically)”.
According to the description, the individual would also have to “manage the Elite Club (High Profile Networking Club) users account and liaison with VIPs’, celebrities, delegates and corporate people accounts and their users’ activities on socializing and dating clubs.”
The individual would also be required to “manage the client satisfaction level and the client satisfaction reports on a day-to-day basis depending on the socializing events and conferences they have attended.”
The “Elite Club”, according to the description is “where we fix up a meeting with well-educated high-profile people to socialize and date with anyone of their choices across the globe which is very private and confidential and genuine services.”
Needless to say, Anu did not respond to Poornima’s mail and repeated calls. The job description was enough for Anu to understand that this had nothing to do with an HR job.
“The thing that took me by surprise is that it looks like a legitimate job opening. The job has been posted on multiple platforms,” says Anu.
Poornima Prakash’s Linkedin profile shows her as Director of Human Resource of Elite HR Consultants. The profile states that the consultancy hires candidates for MNC clients in Bengaluru. It also shows that she was previously employed at Accenture.
Despite repeated calls and emails, Poornima did not respond to TNM’s questions, instead, she claimed that she did not send out any mail.