Screening Applicants on Facebook Questioned

Facebook on a mobile phoneSome companies such as Amazon, Goldman Sachs and Shell allegedly use a Facebook tool to screen British job applicants within a specific age range.

For instance, an investigation claimed that Shell uses the social media website’s targeted-advertising tool, which only allows people between 18 and 35 years to see a certain job advertisement. Employment experts believe that this practice violates discrimination laws in the U.K.

Employment Tactics

The use of social media for finding potential employees has become more common, as it no longer just serves as a means to communicate with friends and family. Some companies have used to narrow their search for jobs ranging from technology to finance. Recruitment agencies who are scouting for industries such as finance and IT also use them to connect prospective candidates to employers.

However, screening applicants through a limited advertisement can be interpreted as a breach of the Equality Act, according to Landau Law Solicitors lawyer Philip Landau. In response to recent allegations, Facebook considers an age-specific job listing to be “an accepted industry practice,” according to Rob Goldman, Facebook’s VP of Ads.

UK Job Growth

The issue on job discrimination surfaced as the UK’s job growth fell by 56,000 during the three months to October, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The decline snapped a growth streak that dated back to 2012.

Unemployed Britons also remained at 4.3 percent, down by 26,000 to 1.43 million. ONS statistician Matt Hughes said that the unchanged jobless rate stemmed from more people who stopped looking for work. Salaries also increased 2.3 percent, although the pace of growth lagged behind inflation, according to Hughes.

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For Employers to Consider

Employers and recruitment firms may have the prerogative of selecting the best candidates for vacancies, although they should be careful not to imply that age largely influences a person’s chances of landing a job.