Author(s): Raghu Gopal
This week, Facebook started testing a feature that will allow administrators of business pages to promote job openings and receive applications from candidates. The development can be expected to put Facebook in direct competition with LinkedIn as well as other job portals such as Monster.com, which derive much of their revenue from companies paying to search for new recruits.
Facebook has been working to engage its nearly 1.8 billion users by offering new, enticing reasons to stick around the social networking site. Last month, it launched Marketplace, enabling people to buy and sell items locally. It also rolled out a series of other new features including a vote planner for the 2016 US presidential election, food ordering and a corporate communications tool.
Engaging with job seekers by creating job portal features is an entry into new territory for Facebook. The new option will be available in a company's status update window, allowing it to share details of job openings. The job posts will be distinctive from typical promotional posts and will be clearly labelled with an "Apply Now" button.
The move could be beneficial to both businesses and job candidates as all relevant information could automatically be shared from their individual personal Facebook profiles automatically, potentially leading to an improvement in the quality of information. Facebook has 4 million businesses that advertise on the site, and 60 million small and medium businesses that use the site as an easy way to build a Web presence. They will pay a fee for using the job posts feature, similar to the cost LinkedIn charges for its job listings. LinkedIn earns most of its revenue from recruiters as well as individuals who pay a monthly fee to post resumes and connect with people.
Facebook's new job listing feature should drive more traffic to business' pages on the site but there's an oil-and-water content mixture here. Facebook users are accustomed to sharing informal bits of personal information and could be reticent in exposing their timelines to recruiters — many users prefer to keep their personal and professional presence on social media separate. The social network may not pose a strong immediate threat to LinkedIn, but it's creating more reasons for businesses to invest a growing portion of their marketing budgets into Facebook.