How recruiters are stalking you

Social media platforms like Facebook are an ideal place for recruiters to look for candidates. But can powerful targeting tools allow companies to discriminate?

Almost four months ago, Lisa Dorahy was scrolling through Facebook when she saw a job advert pop up in her news feed.

She wasn't really looking for a new job, and it was one of the rare times the mother-of-three had time to use social media.

But the post advertising for a part-time assistant at a recruitment agency seemed perfect for her.

She followed the link to apply, had an interview three days later, and a job with New Zealand agency, Human Connections Group by the following week.

Dorahy now realises the ad was specifically targeted to find her - or someone like her.

Facebook ads are not a new phenomenon - no doubt you've seen similar ads in your news feed.

But you may have also seen job advertisements appear for roles and industries that are outside your regular line of work.

This is likely the result of recruiters looking for someone with your specific skills, based off information that Facebook has learnt about you from your behaviour on the site.

As more recruiters begin to use the tool, some warn the ability to hyper-target candidates for specific jobs could also allow some recruiters to discriminate based on age, ethnicity, religion or gender.

When BBC Capital contacted Facebook it declined to comment on the practise of targeted recruitment on the platform.

It works like this: Facebook Ads is a service which allows businesses to pay to place advertisements on and around people's Facebook feeds.

When placing an advert, the business can choose the exact type of person they want to see it, based on their age, sex, interests, race, religion and much more.

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