A couple of weeks ago, the Nigerian Twitterati went into full-on drag mode when a certain entrepreneur duo, Glory Osei and Muyiwa Folorunsho, who has now been revealed to actually be a married couple, were called out for being employers from hell and business partners from the abyss.
Neither of the duo has been heard from since Monday, October 21, when Osei and Divergent Enterprises let out a hurriedly-put-together press release which did more to incriminate them than exonerate them.
And even though it’s been several days, Osei and Folorunsho are probably still the most-disliked persons on Nigerian Twitter — that’s mostly because Nigerian Twitter does not forget.
Osei and Folorunsho were called out for their ill-treatment of past employees and the shady nature of the string of businesses they owned.
From all the stories gathered, these two were in the business of hiring and firing at whim and treating everyone but themselves like sh*t. The widely corroborated stories of the duo place them as close to “employers from hell” as anyone can get.
As past employees continue to recount their harrowing experiences while working for startups/businesses owned by the duo, it’s also important for people to take a step back and learn how to avoid such unsavoury encounters.
Many of the past employees who got “burnt” while working for the duo spoke of coming on board because the duo painted a very colourful picture of what they stood to gain, plus they were excited to work with people they had long admired. Of course, those pictures turned out to be grotesque images once they joined. And they learned their lesson the hard way.
With the current proliferation of startups, people need to be more careful in choosing the startup they would like to work for. When they let their guard down, people tend to fall as victims of scam or fraud startup, which only takes advantage of their dedication.
If you are planning to apply for a job in startups, here are four red flags that tell you not to join that startup.
- Hire too fast
Recruitment is a process to define whether your qualifications fit the company’s requirements or not. Big companies never rush for hiring their employees. Rather, they take time and pay more attention to details on how to find the right people for the right job. No wonder that sometimes it takes weeks and months together before someone is hired for a job position.
So if a startup hires you within days after sending the job application even without tests or further rounds of interview, then you need to be suspicious of the offer because chances are, the jobs are a fraud.
When they persuade you by saying that there are other talented candidates for the job, do not get swayed because it means that they want you to grab the job without any questions.
- Too-good-to-be-true offers and very-poor offers
If it seems like the offer is too good to be true, it probably is. As the name suggests, a startup is an early-stage business funded by its founder to develop new business models. Contrast to corporates which have many different departments, startup jobs are typically filled with few highly-multitasking workers.
Considering these facts, working for startups, generally, do not interest people who seek material benefits. However, if you happen to find startup jobs that offer higher salaries and greater benefits that don’t make sense for an entry-level position, you need to learn further details about the company and its prospects in the future.
When you smell something is not right, just say ‘No!’ and move on to other startups. Sometimes, you think that the job offer is too good to be true, then maybe it really is.
On the other hand, if a company is only willing to pay peanuts even though they are asking that you move mountains for them, you’re probably better off taking a walk.
- Unprofessional company culture
You do not have to be part of the company to know the company culture. Just pay attention to how the startup processes your job application. One of the past employees of Divergent Enterprises actually mentioned having a casual discussion with Folorunsho in a banking hall at the request of the latter who had to do something in the bank that day. That was supposedly the “interview”. Now, that’s a giant red flag.
Another example of unprofessional company culture is poor communication. For example, one day you get an invitation for a test and the result will be notified in a week. A week passes by and there is no notification from the employer.
You think that you failed the test and ready to move on to other jobs. However, weeks later they call you (without initial apology or explanation about the delay) notifying you, that you should take another test or interview. If you face such kind of a situation, just refuse the invitation because there is something wrong with the startup’s management.
- Unscalable products
Some startups grow really big in a short time, while some stay stagnant over the years, while there are others that close down in months. Rather than investing your time on small startups, which only reach a minor audience, investors prefer funding bigger companies that appeal to wider markets.
The founders might think that they have great ideas, but without proper market research, the startup will go nowhere.
Thus, before deciding to join a startup, you need to know what kind of products they are developing, the target market, company positioning, as well as the impact of the brand.
If you find a startup that does not have a clear sense of direction on these points, then you need to rethink joining the team.
What are your thoughts on these red flag signals?
Being unemployed is difficult, but it should not make you randomly accept job offers from any startups or corporates. If you have a similar experience in dealing with scam startups, share with us and let others draw insights.
Featured Image Courtesy: GuardianNG