What Facebook’s New Job Listing App Means for Businesses


In case you haven't heard, or are like me and aren't on Facebook, here's the skinny: Last week, the social media titan has launched a new job-listing app. It was unveiled on Wednesday, and it's the result of a year-old partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, DirectEmployers Association, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

It's the latest in a long line of what we've been seeing in other aspects almost everywhere: Everything is trying to be everything. Specializing seems to be a rarity these days, and while it isn't necessarily revolutionary of Facebook to tap into its massive user base to allow them to browse 1.7 million job openings, is it a smart move?

By that, I mean, is it a smart move for hiring companies to tap into and be listed on it?

It seems out of step, at least cognitively, because so many workplaces have been going out of their way this year to ban Facebook and social media use. The notion that companies could find a new hire through Facebook and then not allow them to use it on the job seems hypocritical.

"We've been using Facebook as a recruiting tool prior to this new feature," said Leo von Wendorff, CEO of Virtual Knowledge Workers, Inc. "Facebook is simply where our target audience *hangs out*. Since we're a B2B company, we're not using Facebook for our new-client acquisition process."

But obviously this won't be a one-size-fits-all solution.

"As someone who came out of a long career in the recruiting industry, I can say that Facebook has been and will continue to be a resource for identifying talent," said Todd Nilson, a social media strategist and advisor. "I have a lot of friends who feel that Facebook is for personal use and don't want professional uses that they feel are more suitable on LinkedIn interfering with their "playtime" platform."

Nilson disagrees, adding that Facebook is a more practical way of reaching people. Just like how I'm not on Facebook, there are plenty of people who aren't on LinkedIn. It's just another tool to use -- but you should temper your expectations.

Tim Kirkwood, of the AviaNation.com job posting service says there can be issues with cutting out the middle man like his site does: "In our case, the applicant responds directly to the employer for the job, making it difficult to track who is actually finding the jobs through our pages."

Kirkwood remembered one instance where they got 20,000 applications in a single week for 1,500 flight attendant openings. These all came from partner pages. Tapping into a huge user base can have some unexpected time drains and obstacles: Keep in mind you want to fill these positions with the most talented people, but Facebook isn't necessarily where the most talented people are.

It's still early, but it's looking like recruiting via Facebook will be another tool for recruiting and not a Swiss army knife just yet.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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