Stranger Danger



I like a bargain just as much as the next person but I always look for the warning signs that what is on offer might be too good to be true.


What’s the first thing I do when I see a travel company advertise a fantastic internet deal? I go online and google the travel company and read their reviews.


When I book a restaurant that someone has told me about I do the same thing and although I am happy to form my own opinion of the place, I still like to go in armed with the necessary information.


Facebook is a fantastic social platform and a great way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues. But beware of stranger danger. And I’m not talking about your children meeting undesirables online. I’m talking about the advent of pharmacy Facebook groups in each major city and regional area that contain an endless stream of job listings where candidates can randomly apply if they are free for the available shifts.


I understand that in these troubled times for Pharmacy everyone is trying to save a dollar where they can. How often is someone desperate to fill a shift in the last minute and basically accepts the first person who messages them and agrees to cover? How many take the time to check the candidate’s AHPRA registration status? How many will closely read through the candidate’s CV? How many will do proper reference checks?


You’ll probably point out that you often see recruitment companies use these Facebook pages. This is true. The difference is that we have systems in place that mean we do not accept the first person who applies just because they are available. We have rigorous procedures in place whereby no candidate is sent to an employer before they have gone through at the very least, the list of checks that I mentioned above.


Yes, this may be time consuming but then so is going to court because someone has ripped you off or made dispensing errors and cost you money or worse than that, is not even currently registered or has a reprimand against their name.


It’s not only the pharmacy owner that can get the short end of the stick. I’ve also heard of cases of locums struggling to be paid for the work they have done. When there are no contracts or confirmations in place as a recruitment company would provide there is no fall back and such cases can get messy, fast. Who do you think they call for help?


So next time you post a job, or accept one, through Facebook or other free online sites, just remember; you’ve been warned.