Facebook Dives Into Recruiting

by Dan Holden | November 15, 2012

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Facebook today made a long-awaited foray into the recruiting market, combining its massive social graph with a quietly created Social Jobs Partnership to put nearly two million job openings on a Social Jobs App where they can be downloaded and shared with anyone.

In its blog post on the announcement, Facebook made it clear that the Social Jobs Partnership is just the beginning of a much larger effort to permeate the recruiting market. And though the company did not specifically claim to be a recruiting industry competitor, it is clearly partnering with some existing online recruiting services while serving notice to others – including LinkedIn – that there is a very big new kid on the block.

The Social Jobs Partnership (SJP) includes the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), DirectEmployers Association, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA)  and Facebook. The initiative “leverages social media to connect great jobs with great candidates.”

To accomplish this, the initiative today launched a Social Jobs App, which serves as a clearinghouse of open positions provided by longtime partners BranchOut, DirectEmployers Association, Work4Labs, Jobvite and Monster.com. The employment opportunities are sorted by industry, location and skills and can be shared anywhere on Facebook

“The SJP created this app to tap into the growing trend of talent acquisition through social media,” said the Facebook Blog post, which goes on to cite “a recent NACE survey [which] found that Facebook is emerging as an important factor in linking qualified jobs with qualified candidates.”

The post notes that “half of employers (50 percent) are using Facebook in their hiring process,” including creating corporate pages which potential employees “like” and then follow to discover new job openings. Some 87 percent of recruiters reported using this technique to find potential new employees.

Still, it’s well known that many employers also use the site to disqualify potential employees by virtue of incompatible postings, incriminating party pictures and otherwise inaccessible information about family matters, political leanings and more. To that end, the emergence of a new Facebook Social Jobs App may force existing users to become ever more conscientious about what they say and do on Facebook.

Not everyone is impressed with the new app. In its simplified HTML format, it operates in relatively non-intelligently, relying on your keywords, locations, categories and subcategories to find openings narrowed to your specific interests.

VentureBeat’s Jolie O’Dell says the app is “not as well-designed or as cohesive as one might like.”

“You choose your location and profession, and Facebook returns a few tabs — yes, tabs — from different jobs sites rather than presenting you with a pretty, algorithmically optimized single page of results and application options,” she notes. “The whole thing is lackluster, considering a whole group of agencies and the most significant social network on the planet spent an entire year working on it.”

Others, including of Forbes, said the site may not have many premium job listings like those found on LinkedIn, but the sheer volume of potential matches of jobs to people cannot be overestimated.

That instant critical mass is enough to keep existing recruiting sites busy while the king of social networks arms itself for a more serious incursion, perhaps including as targets sites as significant and entrenched as LinkedIn itself. Once that happens, no amount of sugar coating will keep people from seeing that Facebook is transforming itself into a true recruiting powerhouse.

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