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Facebook threatens LinkedIn with job ads

Facebook is beginning the roll out of a new feature that allows job seekers to link up to hiring managers without ever leaving the platform.

The update allows business Pages to post job listings the same way they’d typically compose a status update. In addition to linking, sharing, and/or commenting, users also get the option to apply for the position using a baked-in “Apply Now” button. A quick press allows interested parties to fill out an application and submit it using Facebook messenger.

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The feature seems like a win-win for both Facebook and job seekers. Aside from additional monetization potential, Facebook now has a leg up on LinkedIn due to the behavior of users on the site. Sharing, or tagging a friend, is commonplace and it stands to provide additional bang for the buck — in addition to excellent targeting — that LinkedIn can’t really offer.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, can’t be too thrilled with the news; the bulk of its revenue comes from these job listings.

Submitted applications will be received by the Page as a Facebook Message. Though this could bolster Facebook’s push to get businesses using its chat feature, it also might be clumsy for companies to mix job applications in with the customer support requests they typically get via Facebook messages. The potential option to forward job applications to the email address of the company’s recruiter might work better.

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Businesses will also be able to pay to show their News Feed job postings to more people, directly competing with some of LinkedIn’s ad offerings. Facebook’s opportunity here combines its ubiquitous reach, personal data and engagement.

Announcing the new ad options, Facebook says:

It’s easy for Page admins to create a job post, track applications and communicate directly with applicants. After posting a job, Page admins will be able to review applications and contact applicants on Messenger, all on mobile and all in one place. And as with other posts, they can boost job posts to reach a larger or more relevant audience.

Job ads are rolling out in the US and Canada from tomorrow, and will be available to both desktop and mobile users.

Pretty much everyone has a Facebook profile, which are often filled with extensive information about their past jobs titles, employers, education and interests. Recruiters can target job posting ads with all this data so they reach people with the right credentials. And because people browse Facebook constantly, those users are likely to eventually see the ads.

For comparison, not everyone has a LinkedIn profile. It has 467 million members compared to the 1.79 billion on Facebook. Many LinkedIn users only visit when they’re updating their profile about a new job, or are actively looking for one. But Facebook could reach people not even thinking about a job, yet could be convinced to apply for the chance at a higher salary.

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