As the Facebook Careers Site Launches, It’s More Aggregator Than Job Board

The worst-kept secret in the recruiting field, looked at by some as a LinkedIn killer and by others with deep skepticism, is now officially out.

Andrew Noyes, a Facebook manager in Washington, D.C., who handles lobbying-related communications, told me yesterday that Facebook is launching a new feature on its site for job-hunters and employers, focused initially on the U.S.

If you’ve been waiting for a “Facebook job board” where you’d send Facebook $300 and a description of a job — well, this isn’t exactly it.

You see, even before today, there’s been a “Social Jobs Partnership” page already up on Facebook, put together by Facebook, a non-profit association called DirectEmployers, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the U.S. Labor Department. What’s going live now is a new feature on that page which will pull in 1.7 million jobs listings from multiple partners. Those partners are Jobvite, Monster, BranchOut, DirectEmployers, and Work4Labs (which has a guide out on the job site).

Facebook has been tight-lipped. Some of the partners I spoke with yesterday, in fact, weren’t 100% sure yesterday who the other partners were, with Work4Labs’ CEO Stephane Le Viet saying Facebook had built a “pretty tight Chinese wall” as far as who all’s involved in the new feature.

In a nutshell, with the new feature users can search for jobs by keyword, location (zip code, city, or state), industry, and type of work. Jobs will be pulled in from the initial partners, most likely in an order that’ll switch over time (e.g. you may get a Jobvite job listed first one time, and a Monster job another). Job-seekers may end up on a corporate career site, though Jobvite’s Chief Marketing Officer Kimberley Kasper says that when job-seekers click on its 29,000+ open job listings, “you don’t have to leave Facebook to apply for a job.”

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As I alluded to at the outset, the potential of Facebook as a source of employees is in hot dispute. A lot of people don’t put much biographical information there, and say they’re on Facebook for diversions, not work. Plus, this new jobs section is a separate page, not integrated into people’s “update” streams, at least, yet. So people will end up on the jobs section via marketing and search engine optimization — not when they check on their friends’ political rants and dog photos.

Then again, this separation is something that TweetMyJobs’ Chief Marketing Officer Stuart Lander, for one, sees as a good thing. Facebook users, he says, will be reassured to know that their work connections who may be connected to them on Facebook won’t see things popping up on their profiles implying that they’re in the job market.

Lander — though unaware of the exact details of what Facebook was going to launch when I talked to him — envisions TweetMyJobs being an eventual partner in this project; limiting the partners would not make Facebook a “true aggregator,” he says.

Ex-Yahoo-executive James Beriker, just named SimplyHired’s president and CEO, says he thinks of Facebook as social. “We’ve seen people to try leverage ‘social’ into recruitment before,” he says. “You have to be careful because the context is so off.” Beriker, of course, has skin in this game. A lot of folks do; today’s launch, and what I hear are more updates to the page to come, will impact everyone from LinkedIn to staffing companies, to job boards and in-house recruiters.


19 Comments on “As the Facebook Careers Site Launches, It’s More Aggregator Than Job Board

  1. It occurs to me that FB is attempting to build a better mousetrap and try to make themselves more relevant than they are. I think your assessment is right on. This is really nothing more than an aggregator for “classified” ads…

  2. Personally, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The attempted evolution of Facebook from a social network to a more professional one seems quite natural to me. In order for any platform to stay competitive it must be willing to change and progress. Facebook continues to be a dominating force in the social media world and in order for it to keep its position it must be willing to branch out. Taking their platform to a new, more professional level makes sense.

    As to the success of this shift? Only time will tell. Yes, FB is much more social than professional but there is an entire generation that lives on and through Facebook. It will be very interesting to see what type of candidate pool that is created through this development.
    Ken Schmitt

  3. I don’t think its a wise decision for Facebook to try to get into recruiting and Job boards because Facebook is a social network where people go to getaway from the professional or business related side of life. Personally I don’t really care either way because once my Facebook got “HACKED” into this year I left it in my past like a bad habit. So I don’t trust Facebook at all!

  4. The fundamental issue is not being addressed by Facebook (not that they could address it), nor by many others, which is: companies make poor decisions when the hire, or poorer decisions than they should. Recruitment practices live in the 19th Century and even an overlay of technology and ATS’s doesn’t prevent employers from hiring for the wrong reasons. There is serious science and insight, of the kind that many other parts of businesses have adopted, that are very much underutilized in recruitment. And that’s why results are bad, not because we need more social in recruitment. Facebook’s solution won’t help even if it (might) be lucrative for FB and popular to recruiters.

  5. Thanks, Paul. I think you’ve hit the target. The point of much of the recruiting-services industry isn’t really to improve recruiting- that would require a fundamental re-examination of many major organizations’ basic recruiting assumptions and practices, which would make too many powerful people to come out looking very stupid or complicit. Instead it’s designed to make lots of money through allowing many recruiting decision-makers (these same powerful people and their subordinates) to get caught pretending to improve things.



  6. @Keith: Of course it won’t improve recruiting, but in the “nation of sheep” world we live in it makes sense that they would jump on the bandwagon. I’ve said over and over that companies need to align talent strategy with business strategy and companies by and large still do what they know and it doesn’t work.

    Every company selling a “product” want you to think their product will solve all your problems. Not the case.

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