Will Facebook leap into the recruitment market? Will it open up functionality for recruiters to find and engage with prospective candidates? The potential market is attractive with revenues from two obvious sources: paid job ads and licensing of search tools that enable recruiters to find high quality prospective hires. Facebook is very well positioned to become a dominant player in this market.
Facebook has 1.87 billion active users
Facebook has always been potentially a great tool for sourcing talent and is in prime position to move when it feels the time is right. With over 1.8 billion monthly active users as at December 2016 Facebook far exceeds the reach of any other social media network (by comparison Instagram has 600 million, Tumblr 550 million, Twitter has 317 million and LinkedIn 106 million. Source: Statista).
When Facebook added fields for employment and education details in 2010 it became a mouth-watering prospect for recruiters. Even if only 50% of Facebook’s active users added such details that’s approximately 943 million online resumes – nine times larger than professional social networking site LinkedIn. You can also argue that Facebook profiles are more authentic than LinkedIn because they’re dynamic descriptions of people’s everyday lives, whereas LinkedIn profiles are predominantly written as static marketing documents to sell a career history.
Facebook job profile data is bang up-to-date
Not only does Facebook have scale it has accuracy and timeliness – 76% of Facebook members use the site every day compared to 51% on Instagram, 42% on Twitter, 25% on Instagram and 18% on LinkedIn according to a Pew Research Centre study of US social network users in April 2016.
Facebook profiles are expected to become even more current due to the new functionality that allows users to apply for jobs posted on Facebook. Applications are pre-populated with a user’s Facebook data (it can be amended), then sent to the employer via Facebook Messenger.
This new job application feature means more Facebook users will add employment and education information to their Facebook profiles and are motivated to keep it fresh. Each user who does so is helping to make Facebook’s data more valuable as a recruiting and sourcing database.
Job ads are just one source of potential revenue for Facebook from recruitment. Sourcing talent is another and potentially much the larger one. Sourcing professionals at large corporations are responsible for finding potential future hires and engaging with them to add them to their recruitment pools. This requires sophisticated search functionality to identify prospective candidates.
Facebook Job Posting & Matching jobs to candidates already in place
Facebook already has the required technology and processes to offer recruitment services. The new Facebook job posting service (starting last week in North America) allows businesses to post vacancies on the News Feed and host them on a new jobs bookmark on their company’s Facebook page. The jobs posts are free for the moment.
As reported by TechCrunch, businesses can boost the size and relevance of the audience by paying for an ad that puts the job post in front of a large and highly relevant audience based on previous employment, education, location,interests, behaviours etc. This takes advantage of Facebook’s advertising platform which is widely considered to be the best of any social media companydue to its capability to target advertising to very specific collections of people (see Harvard paper). This gives Facebook a critical competitive advantage compared to other careers and jobs posting sites.
Facebook’s move into job ads can also take advantage of existing Facebook features, allowing job advertisers to reach followers of their brand. It will alsoencourage Facebook users to ‘like’ brands they may be interested in working for. In addition, businesses can benefit from Facebook’s viral effect where users will share interesting job posts with friends and/or groups.
If Facebook commits to building and further developing both the Facebook Job Posting tool and the advanced Search Tools and make it encompass the Job Profile Fields, we’ll then start to see a huge potential here. These tools would support searches based on explicit data such as job title, qualifications, employer, industry sector and location as well as implicit data like links to friends, or ‘likes’.
In summary, it could be a game changer if Facebook adds recruitment search functionality to what is potentially the greatest recruitment database the world has ever seen.