Last week, Facebook released a new feature which has the potential to shake up the world of recruitment. And like most things the social media juggernaut does, the move also has significant implications for marketers for a variety of reasons.
The feature - called simply "Jobs" - enables businesses to post vacant positions on their Facebook Page, and users to easily apply, using information automatically populated from their Facebook account. The option is currently being rolled out to North American businesses.
To check out jobs listed, users can go to https://www.facebook.com/jobs to search for opportunities by keyword, location, industry and job type. Alternatively, you can see the jobs available at any given business using the service by going to that organization's page and clicking on the new "Jobs" tab.
Advantages and Shortcomings
As someone who's in the unique position of being a marketer at a marketing recruitment firm, I'm especially interested in how this could affect marketers, professionals, and recruiters.
It's a clear move by Facebook to not only add value to users, but it could also be seen as an effort to steal attention away from social networking rival LinkedIn, which is considered by most as the social network for professionals. Facebook's hoping to use it's significantly larger audience and reach to offer a more appealing job posting option, which can also be coupled with Facebook's powerful ad targeting options to refine the focus of your job ads and target the best potential applicants.
Given the platform's ubiquity - and importantly, the amount of users for which Facebook is now a part of their every day interactive process - there's significant potential for The Social Network to surpass LinkedIn, particularly for casual and part-time job seekers who may not be as active on the professional platform.
But there are some issues. I've been experimenting with the new Facebook Jobs feature for some time now, and there are some aspects of the experience that concern me as a recruiter. These may, of course, be updated over time, but right now, it's not quite as refined as it could be.
First off, the UX for publishing a Jobs post is, frankly, awful.
For example, here's a new content marketing position I'm adding:
There's no obvious way to format the job description in a more coherent manner. Notice that in the preview, it's all mushed into an incoherent wall of text. Line breaks don't work.
There may be a workaround for this - cutting and pasting from another plain text format or including code qualifiers - but for the general user, the presentation is not optimal.
Worse yet, once your new job posting is published, there's no way to edit information about the job itself, only the accompanying "Introductory Copy". If you make a mistake, you have to delete the post and start again from scratch.
Furthermore, there's no enforceable gateway to apply. Anyone who sees the post can click the Apply button and submit an application - you don't even have to include your real name or contact information. And there's no option to attach a resume or similar document.
Ultimately, this function holds a lot of promise. But it needs some polish if Facebook wants to unseat LinkedIn as the social network connection for job seekers and employers.
Immediate Implications for the Marketing Department
Facebook's Jobs feature probably won't have any huge impact on the day-to-day work of most marketing teams. However, there is one element that needs to be considered.
Traditionally, job posts and talent searching has been left to the HR department or a third-party recruiting partner - and while people in those fields might be quite intelligent, they usually don't have the digital aptitude and social media savvy that comes second nature to experienced marketing pros.
That's important to consider in this situation, because Facebook Jobs end up right on your business's Facebook Page and can appear alongside the rest of your posts. That's valuable marketing real estate - and something that shouldn't be handed off lightly. On the other hand, it could also prove to be a huge talent-finding asset - not something marketers should hog to themselves.
I recommend any marketers responsible for managing Facebook Pages, marketing, and communities proactively reach out to their internal recruitment team to establish a strategy and process for publishing job opportunities on corporate pages. That way you can ensure your Jobs posts reflect the brand tone and format of the rest of the Page.
Considerations for Your Career
In the past, what I've seen is that most people are pretty good at keeping their LinkedIn accounts fairly professional and clean. However, they let their guard down when it comes to more "informal" social networks like Facebook.
That's something you need to consider carefully if you apply to any jobs through this new process - I've already received some applications from candidates whose personal profiles were quite covered with all kinds of "interesting" content and opinions that would immediately disqualify them. Remember, if you're applying through Facebook, you're inviting recruiters and employers to evaluate the way you represent yourself on the platform.
If you do choose to apply, do the hiring manager on the other side a favor and include accurate contact information and an explanation of how to get your resume.
And ignore the temptation to neglect LinkedIn altogether. A LinkedIn profile is still a valuable career growth asset for any marketer, and you may find some opportunities there that will never be available on Facebook.