Back in November, Facebook started testing out a new jobs tab for Facebook Pages which enabled Pages to post open positions, and job seekers to easily search and apply for them, without leaving the platform. This week, Facebook has confirmed that this new functionality is being rolled out to all business Pages, starting with North American-based organizations.
As explained by Facebook:
"Beginning today, businesses in the US will be able to post job openings, and their future employees will be able to easily find those posts on their Page or in the new jobs bookmark. This new experience will help businesses find qualified people where they're already spending their time-on Facebook and on mobile."
As demonstrated in the video, the workflow is fairly straightforward - when you want to advertise an open position, you click on the 'Create Job' option, which will be added to the new Page post options buttons.
You then enter the relevant details, including a brief description, and publish your job post.
The posting will be viewable on a new Jobs tab which can be accessed by Page visitors, as shown in this video.
As you can see, when someone does go to apply, much of the required information is auto-populated based on your Facebook data - you just fill in the "Why do you think you're a good candidate..." field and you can then submit your application via Messenger.
Page admins will be able to review applications and contact applicants via message, "all on mobile and all in one place". Pages will also be able to use Facebook's advertising system to target and boost their job ads, helping to reach a more focussed audience and generate more interest. At this stage, posting a job is free.
The announcement comes as little surprise, Facebook's been making moves on the career and job seeker front for some time. Last April, we published a post in which we suggested that Facebook could soon be looking to directly compete with LinkedIn by utilizing their vast knowledge graph to power a new career intelligence and recruitment system.
At the time that hunch was largely based on supposition - Facebook's research team had conducted two studies which both pointed to them using the Facebook graph for career insights, one looking at who's more beneficial in helping you find a job (a close friend or an acquaintance), and another which looked at how jobs run in families (whether people's choice of profession is influenced by what their parents or siblings do).
But those studies were clearly indicative - rather than just using their 1.86 billion strong network to better learn and understand people's everyday preferences and interests to power their ad platform, Facebook's also looking to use the same for career development insights and links, which, if successful, could make The Social Network a potential challenger for LinkedIn.
Of course, LinkedIn's knowledge graph is significantly more focused on career insights - even though their network is much smaller, the data they can utilize is directly related to career development and job relationships. Using LinkedIn's data banks, for example, you can track what career paths people with specific interests and backgrounds tend to follow, where they go to school, what they study, and what type of career progression they generally take.
That can be an extremely powerful career development tool, and coupled with LinkedIn Learning - and now backed by the additional resources of Microsoft - LinkedIn is on track to become the key platform for job seekers.
But Facebook's knowledge graph does have a couple of significant advantages - size being the obvious one, but another being that more people are active on Facebook more often, giving them more opportunity for exposure, along with specific targeting to the right candidates.
Where Facebook could really evolve this would be if they were to open up new job ad-specific targeting options like 'Target people in similar roles' or 'Target people with similar profiles as your current employees', which recruiters could theoretically utilize by uploading the e-mails of their current staff.
Neither of those data options are available as yet, and as noted, Facebook's starting out with only US and Canadian businesses. But there is opportunity for expansion and greater utilization of Facebook's vast knowledge graph - as noted, the Facebook research team has already been conducting research on how they can uncover more career related insights.
And this, of course, is before we even factor in the potential linkage to Facebook Workplace, their professional services offering which The Social Network launched in November.
While Facebook and Workplace are, for all intents and purposes, separate entities, there will always be the opportunity for crossover between the two as they're fundamentally linked systems. Now, with Workplace as your in-house operational platform, including all your linked employee data, you could potentially post jobs within that workflow and advertise them on Facebook, targeted directly towards the people best suited for your role/s.
It's not at this level just yet, there's still be a long way to go before Facebook becomes a real challenge to LinkedIn. But the framework is there, the data, the scale.
The suggestion that Facebook could be coming for LinkedIn next is not as far off as it may, initially, have seemed.