A lot has been written on job seekers and employment recruiters using social media to find jobs and candidates. Most people use or are at least familiar with sites like LinkedIn, where you network with potential employers or connect with topnotch candidates. Facebook and Twitter are also heavily used to post jobs or inform a wider audience of upcoming opportunities. But now recruiting strategies are incorporating location-based applications, adding a whole job search and recruiting stalker element to the game.

Location-based applications have been booming for a while. Mobile ‘check-ins’ allow you to let your friends social media connections know when you’ve arrived at the airport, which restaurant you’re eating at, or where you’ve just grabbed your morning coffee. For the most part I’ve only witnessed these applications being used by friends, not recruiters.

Not anymore. According to the Wall Street Journal recruiters are making good use of applications such as FourSquare or Highlights to track down and meet up with potential candidates. Creepy.

The article discusses how one recruiter will take a cab around a city and with the use of location-based applications, pin point where potential candidates work. If a potential candidate whom a recruiter would like to meet, also uses the same location-based application, the recruiter will be notified of the candidates location. With that information, the potential job candidate can be contacted through other social media and a meeting arranged.

When I read this I was completely freaked out. At first glance this type of hardcore recruiting seems more borderline stalking. However, Ajax Social Media VP and TalentNet Live Founder Craig Fisher, suggests that it shouldn’t be creepy if done properly. Last year at the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference, Fisher hosted a session on location-based apps for recruiting. In an interview he says “location-based tools are going to become more popular and important in our lives, so it’s critical to learn how to use them to your advantage… without being ‘creepy’.” He goes on to discuss that his company’s “best practice for using geosocial apps in recruiting is to create a careers account, just as you would with a Facebook page or Twitter handle.”

Another point made was that people using location-based applications are letting the world know where they are and what they’re doing, so to be contacted by a recruiter in the fashion isn’t entirely out of line.

I suppose it’s another tool that job seekers can use to make themselves more available. If you’re using the application perhaps it’s all fair game. Who knows what opportunities will come knocking the next time you go for coffee.

What do you think? Are location applications a good way to grow connections or just plain creepy?