Last week, Facebook rolled out a new feature allowing businesses in the US and Canada to post job listings, which prospective employees can see on the organization’s Facebook page or through the social media site’s new jobs bookmark. Coming just a few months after the launch of its Workplace office communications platform, one of several new competitors to Slack, Facebook’s jobs feature puts it in competition with the professional networking site LinkedIn, which Microsoft finalized a deal to acquire in December.
The jobs feature allows organizations to post job listings directly to their Facebook page, which will also appear in the news feeds of users who “like” the organization. Companies can also pay to boost a listing’s visibility among a target demographic. Facebook can autofill some of an applicant’s information, and employers can respond to applicants through Facebook Messenger.
The social media giant may be making an aggressive foray into a new market here, but if so, it is downplaying that, with one Facebook executive telling Business Insider that the company is just responding to demand from its user base:
Facebook’s VP of Ads, Andrew Bosworth, told Business Insider that the feature is rolling out after a Facebook-commissioned survey of small business owners in the US that showed the hardest problem they had is finding the right people to hire. “They actually put that ahead of finding new customers and getting sales,” he said. …
Despite the prevalence of existing job sites, Bosworth said that Facebook saw an opportunity to capitalize on the behavior that was already happening on its network. “Pages were already making these posts, they were just doing it ad-hoc,” he said. “We’re bringing a little structure to it… It’s a super lightweight approach to try and connect employers and employees.”
Writing at Forbes, Lisa Rabasca Roepe doubts that Facebook Jobs will overtake LinkedIn anytime soon in the job search market:
Jonathan Duarte, CEO and cofounder of GoHire, Inc., says he knows of three companies that recently posted jobs and even spent $100 to boost the visibility of their posts yet they only received messages from three or fewer applicants. “An equivalent spend on Indeed or craigslist, or another pay-for-click job board, would have resulted in over 100 responses,” he says.
It’s easy to post an opening, says Rachel Fremont Alansky, president of Seamless HR Solutions, but not as easy to get applicants to respond. “I think it is still too young,” she says. “It looks good for part-time or non-professional jobs. I don’t think it will replace LinkedIn for professional jobs but may replace Craigslist[.]”
One reason why Facebook may have difficulty catching on as a job search site is that users may have concerns about privacy, David Jones points out at TechNewsWorld:
A major test for Facebook’s new job search capabilities is whether users will feel comfortable combining their social media activity with professional job searching, warned Zach Fuller, paid content analyst at Midia Research. Security considerations likely will give some users pause when it comes to allowing potential employers to access their private information.
“Whether consumers are comfortable merging the work and social aspects of their lives will prove to be the critical factor, particularly given the potential privacy issues,” Fuller [said].
However, “throughout every step in job posting, searching and application, people can control how much, or how little of their information is shared with potential employers and their friends,” [according to] Facebook spokesperson Emilie Fetterley[.]