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For most people looking for a new job online, the social network of choice is LinkedIn. Yes, there are some companies that post new jobs on Twitter, and some that highlight their work culture with beautiful (and filtered) images on Instagram, but there simply wasn’t a real alternative to LinkedIn. That all changed in mid-February, though, when Facebook launched Jobs On Facebook.
What to expect from Jobs on Facebook
On the surface, of course, Jobs on Facebook doesn’t look like a huge threat to LinkedIn. After all, Facebook is pitching the new jobs listing service as a way for small mom-and-pop businesses to get the word out that they are hiring, as well as a way for the casual job seeker (the kind of person who’s always up for a better offer) to find new opportunities.
Right now, you won’t be able to find jobs from the biggest employers, or jobs promising to pay $100,000+ per year. Instead, you’ll find “casual jobs” – the type that companies are looking to fill immediately, and that can be vetted using your Facebook profile rather than more traditional methods (i.e. the resume).
If you watch the teaser video for Jobs On Facebook, you can get an immediate sense of what types of companies that Facebook is trying to target. One of the featured companies is Lakeview Kitchen and Market, which was looking for someone to help out immediately in the kitchen. Another featured company is the haunted house Dungeon of Doom (!), which says that it used to advertise on Craigslist, and now uses Facebook. (By the way, they’ve hired a lucky 13 people using Facebook already.)
How Facebook could disrupt LinkedIn
The funny thing about true technological disruption is that it always happens at the lower end of the market – the part of the market that all the big, entrenched players are ignoring because it’s just not profitable enough. If you read Clayton Christensen’s “The Innovator’s Dilemma” (pretty much the bible for any Silicon Valley disruptive innovation fans), that’s the big takeaway lesson.
And so that’s what makes Jobs on Facebook so alluring. The low end of the jobs market consists of all the casual jobs that probably show up on Craigslist now or that are advertised in a shop window (“Come In, We’re Hiring!”). And the candidates that LinkedIn has always had a hard time attracting are the passive job seekers who are probably already employed, but are still looking (and hanging out on Facebook). The problem with LinkedIn is that nobody really spends time there unless they need a job, although recent initiatives (like LinkedIn Publishing) have made the social network more of a daily habit.
For companies, it’s just so much easier (and cheaper!) to post jobs on Facebook. If you have a business page, you would add a job the same way that you add a status update. Candidates apply by hitting the “Apply Now” button. And Facebook will save all your jobs available in a tab for fans of the page.
Moreover, it’s much easier for people to share jobs with their friends if they spot something on Facebook. How many times have you stumbled upon an article or something funny you see on the web and thought: “That would be just perfect for my friend…” Well, that same type of thinking could happen for Jobs on Facebook. It would just be so easy to share these jobs with anyone, the same way you would a funny meme or a great article.
And, finally, there’s one big advantage that Facebook has that LinkedIn will never be able to replicate: massive scale. Facebook has 1.86 billion users, while LinkedIn has a user base of less than 500 million. Not only is Facebook much larger, but its users are much more active and engaged. Now imagine what happens if Facebook starts running “sponsored jobs” where companies pay to promote their jobs in the newsfeeds of Facebook users.
So, yes, it might be easy to scoff at any new service that lists Dungeon of Doom as one of its main case studies. But that’s exactly what makes Jobs on Facebook so brilliant. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to tip his hand and let LinkedIn know what he’s really thinking: he’s about to take over LinkedIn and change the future of job searching forever.