When does targeted job advertising become discrimination?

A question that looks likely to provoke a fair amount of debate in 2018.

It’s long been the practice of recruiters & employers to place adverts where their target employee audience are most likely to see them, but it’s a step further perhaps to use google ads, Facebook or LinkedIn for targeted job adverts to specific groups thereby excluding others and denying them the opportunity to see the job ad.

Verizon, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Target, UPS and Facebook itself have all come under scrutiny for placing job ads on Facebook aimed at specific age groups.

So far the companies are defending their approach, many citing it as just part of their overall recruitment strategy to reach a diverse range of potential employees. Others state that is a sensible use of their recruitment budget to, for example, target entry level job ads towards younger potential applicants.

The cases so far have focussed on age targeting – we wonder whether we will see new cases that exclude people based on other protected characteristics that are amongst the data Facebook holds about us?? Jobs for the boys anyone?!

Whilst these cases are being discussed in the US, it seems only a matter of time before we might see similar claims of discrimination being made here in the UK.

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