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Job ads on Facebook selectively ignoring older workforce: Report

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Several big companies are posting recruitment ads on Facebook which are only visible to a certain age group and selectively exclude older workers from seeing those job postings, an investigation has revealed.

The joint investigation by US-based non-profit organisation ProPublica and The New York Times found companies like Verizon, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Target and Facebook place recruitment ads limited to particular age groups.

“The ability of advertisers to deliver their message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of Facebook’s business model. But using the system to expose job opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns about fairness to older workers,” the report said on Wednesday.

“It’s blatantly unlawful,” Debra Katz, a Washington-based employment lawyer said.

The US Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits bias against people 40 or older in hiring or employment.

“We completely reject the allegation that these advertisements are discriminatory,” Rob Goldman, a Facebook Vice President, told ProPublica.

Some companies defended their targeting as a part of a broader recruitment strategy that reached candidates of all ages.

“We recently audited our recruiting ads on Facebook and discovered some had targeting that was inconsistent with our approach of searching for any candidate over the age of 18. We have corrected those ads,” said Nina Lindsey, a spokeswoman for Amazon.

Facebook this year launched a section of its platform devoted to job ads.

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