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Facebook jobs: the end of the world as we know it?

Facebook jobsBefore we discuss Facebook jobs, let’s start with a number: 1.79 billion. And that is? The number of Facebook users. Why is that important?

Facebook is rolling out (slowly) a Jobs Tab feature for company pages. It’s early days still, but in essence this is how it works: a Jobs tab can be added to a Company page. When a potential applicant clicks the tab, they will see jobs from that company. They can apply for a job, and Facebook sends the application as a message. Sound clunky? I think it will be – but I also assume that Facebook will keep modifying it until it works smoothly.

So who is Facebook Jobs targeting? Small- and medium-sized businesses that rely on their Facebook pages to communicate with customers. (Yes, big companies could use this feature as well, but I suspect they’d rather route job seekers to their own career sites and ATSs). The TechCrunch article referenced above seems to think Facebook will hurt LinkedIn. I think they’re wrong. Facebook Jobs will hurt:

  • Craigslist
  • Companies like ZipRecruiter that are targeting SMBs
  • Local and regional newspapers (yes, one more nail in the coffin)
  • Job boards targeting SMBs

Did I mention that Facebook Jobs is free – at least for now? From a small business owner’s standpoint, there is a lot to like. He/she probably doesn’t run an ATS, and really relies on a local audience to find help. Facebook users now have profile tabs, which can provide useful background information about their skills. I can see Facebook getting this established, then offering a super-simple ATS-like system where such businesses can manage most of their hiring.

Of course, Indeed is trying to do the same thing. But as big as they are, Facebook is bigger.

So is this the end of the world as we know it? Hard to say. It will certainly have a negative impact on the types of firms listed above. But don’t discount the fact that millions of teenagers and college-age adults are leaving Facebook for other social media platforms. And don’t forget that plenty of job boards and recruiting sites are already firmly ensconced on Facebook. Also, don’t put it past Facebook to pull back on this initiative – they have certainly done so in the past.

My best guess? Facebook Jobs will become a network-wide reality. It will help millions of SMBs find employees. It won’t stay free. And…it will get plenty of competition from other recruiting services.

Interesting times. Not the end of the world – so I guess I feel fine.

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