In the blue corner it’s the reigning professional network, with over 150 million users, thousands of groups, and members from all Fortune 500 companies – LinkedIn…and in the ‘other’ blue corner, with over 900 million users, 69 million likes, and a recently launched app center, it’s none other that the social networking giant Facebook. Let’s get ready to recruit! (It’s okay if you tried to impersonate Michael Buffer for that last line…I did)
Most experts would agree that it was only a matter of time before LinkedIn felt truly threatened by Facebook, and sadly that time is upon the currently number one ‘social recruiting’ network.
Earlier this week I commented on a JobVite survey which cited LinkedIn as being the most popular social recruitment medium. According to the survey results, 93% of recruiters favored using LinkedIn, compared to 66% and 54% for Facebook and Twitter respectively. LinkedIn advocates could see that gap close significantly as the social networking giant Facebook announced plans to launch their own job posting board later this summer. According to reports, one being a recent Forbes.com article, the company is currently working with popular social recruiting applications such as BranchOut, JobVite, and Glassdoor to help design their job posting board which will be an aggregator of sorts (effectively pulling job postings from various third parties and making them available in one place). In effect the company will do what the popular job board Indeed.com does, only on a much…much larger and social scale.
To put Facebook’s opportunity in perspective consider that while LinkedIn has over 150 million active users, Facebook has roughly 900 million – even the popular Indeed only has about 60 million unique visitors. So just how much of its users would Facebook need to engage with its job board to make it a more popular recruitment tool? No need for calculators folks, luckily for you I’m very good at these things. By engaging 22% of their users (roughly 200 million) Facebook can instantly become more attractive to job seekers and employers alike. Add in Facebook’s ability to use the massive amounts of social data it collects on each user to target relevant jobs throughout the network and you will probably have the new Mecca of ‘social recruiting.’ While 22% percent may seem like a large number to those of you obsessed with various forms of analytics, take into consideration that ‘Facebook Jobs’ would already have a considerable user base since BranchOut and Glassdoor – both of which have apps that run alongside Facebook – together have close to 7 million users already.
One major hurdle that Facebook will have to consider, however, is making sure that they can guarantee a distinction between the professional and personal profiles of users. This is a big concern for the many users out there who want to keep their professional and personal profiles separate. For instance, an account representative here at CR Fletcher Associates mentioned that one of the reasons she didn’t join BranchOut was because “they used the same profile pic as her Facebook profile.”
Facebook’s many business related applications seem endless at the moment, and as to whether ‘Facebook Jobs’ can dethrone the reigning social recruiting champion LinkedIn, only time and users will tell. However, providing they can make a clear distinction between professional and personal profiles it should not be too difficult.