Worried about this recruitment website, am I overeacting?

I’m currently looking for work within the regulatory side of the pharmaceutical industry, and I’ve been finding posted vacancies pointing back to this agency, the website of which looks on the surface to be well worth getting in touch with.

I’m not going to state the name in the post, because I don’t really want this to query to come up in searches for them if they are genuine, but the Link to the website is below.

Company website

I was a little concerned that I’d not seen them before, and that the website seem to suggest that they have been around for a while.

I can’t find any indication of activity for them before November 2010, but Google has another cached website for them, at around the same time, that is similar to the final version but with some details changed

Link

The web domain seems to have been registered for a while, but I don’t know enough about website registration to figure out what’s going on. The domain is currently registered to the same people with an address that matches the cached site but not the current one.

Web domain info Link

The only info I can find regarding this address concerns an unrelated company (so I’m not going to give any details). When I contacted them, they could confirm that the recruitment agency had previously operated at that address and had at least been actively receiving postage. They were understandably reluctant to make any further comment.

The agencies address as given on the current website seems to be associated with residential flats.

Searching on the company number indicates that it was incorporated in 2004, and has been associated with a few different company names. I has been operating under the name from the cached site since 2005 until last december, but I can’t find any additional info and nothing but a really empty cached site for the first used name.

Company house Link

The Directors have reasonable looking linked In profiles, but nothing I can verify. The profiles say that they have been operating for a few years (which looks to be technically true) and make reference to dividing time between a Swiss office, and this is mentioned on the main site, but I can’t find any other mention of this other than what seems to be the company registration, which I can’t now find :smack:, but which seemed to indicate that it had been registered very recently.

Something seems a bit weird. I know this seems like a lot of research to do, but this is a tough area to get work in :p. Anyone with a bit more experience want to offer an opinion?

Is there any chance that this is a new website associated with people who actually know their stuff and who are playing fast and loose with their company history when starting out? I’m really unhappy about sending CV’s and personal details to people I don’t trust, but at the same time I really can’t afford to overlook genuine opportunities in the current job market, and frankly 75% of the agencies around seem to look shady as hell when you take a look at them.

Other than identity theft or attempts to request fees for usage (which is obviously not going to happen) are there any other obvious risks to getting in touch with these guys?

I looked your address up on Google Maps, and if I have the right building it does appear to be a small office complex.

Companies chop and change their web presence. If they are registered with companies house that is one good thing, though no guarantee.

The company I found with the same registered address in Islington is an internet provider - hence the domain being registered there.

I googled the company’s former name, “ADVANCED PHARMA SOLUTIONS LIMITED” and that is also linked to a company in Switzerland - albeit in Basle.

Theory: recruitment is a spinoff from a UK arm of the above Swiss Pharma company. They used the existing UK company incorporation and changed its name, rather than just buying a shell company, which is about 1,000,000 times easier than incorporating a new subsidiary.

“Wayback Machine” has a website for them from February 2005, and the links to Pharma companies on that back up my theory. The office appears to have been in Luton at the time.

Further, it names a director who is still listed as involved. And that director’s name is on recruitment ads on other sites - paid recruitment sites too. If it were a scam, they’d avoid paying, no doubt.

It looks very legit to me… why the suspicion?

Mainly because I hadn’t come across them before, and I couldn’t find anything mentioning them earlier than November. It should have occurred to me to try wayback, I’m not exactly experienced with internet detective work.

I’m obviously being way over paranoid.

Thanks anyway.

One of the directors has a LinkedIn profile which says he’s been with the firm since 2004.

As far as recruiting websites go, I see no harm in giving them a resume with your basic name, address, and contact number/e-mail. True, some of them could turn around and sell them to spammers, and many are just the bullshit “life coach” type where they want you to pay them a fee to list your resume because they have access to “high profile clients who chose not to advertise”. But the spam risk is minimal in my opinion, and the “life coach” types immediately identify themselves as a scam when they ask for a credit card or payment of some type, so I’d chance it. Obviously anyone who asks for a Social Security Number or other unreasonable information is a scam as well, but really, is the information on your resume really all that different then what could be found about you on LinkedIn and other sites?