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facebook-vs-linkedin

Hey Stick buddies,

Let me ask you a question. Did you ever think you could like your friends’ photos, update your status and apply for a job all on one social media platform?

No?

Well soon you can, as Facebook might be muscling-in on LinkedIn’s recruitment activities with ways for business Pages to promote job listings and receive applications. Bearing in mind that LinkedIn currently makes most of its revenue from recruiters paying for job adverts and headhunting, I’d imagine this move will be giving LinkedIn one or two sleepless nights (poor things).

linkedin-and-facebook-graphic

First things first – should we mix business and pleasure? 

Before we tackle the technicalities around how Facebook are planning on executing this, or who’s likely to win the battle, let’s tackle the moral and social aspect around this potential development.

Personally, I’m not so sure that a social and business environment should be mixed. For me, the joy of using LinkedIn is the purity of its B2B nature. Woe betide anyone that posts with a purely social focus – they get their knuckles well and truly rapped by fellow-LinkedIn’ers. They’re reminded that LinkedIn is NOT Facebook, and is most certainly NOT for cat memes, partying pics or posts about what you had for lunch…and I say quite right too. It is this purely professional environment that I use LinkedIn and also get a lot of value from it.

“Woe betide anyone that posts [on LinkedIn] with a purely social focus – they get their knuckles well and truly rapped by fellow LinkedIn’ers.” 

On the other hand, Facebook offers a predominantly social environment – even the business content that’s on it has a soft, social edge…or at least it should. Plus, I’m not so sure I want a potential client’s or employer’s first impression of me to be my Facebook profile. Not that I have anything to be shy about you understand (and to prove it I’ve pasted a screen grab below). But for me, it’s a case of Facebook is for social, and LinkedIn is for work. Put simply, Facebook’s for letting your hair down, and LinkedIn’s for pinning it up.

em-facebook-pg-grab

“Facebook’s for letting your hair down, and LinkedIn’s for pinning it up.”

What stage are Facebook at with the new Job Posting functionality?

Facebook is currently at the experimentation phase, testing a variety of recruitment features. A Facebook spokesperson has said:

“Based on behaviour we’ve seen on Facebook, where many small businesses post about their job openings on their Page, we’re running a test for Page admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates.” (Reuters, 2016)

So how will it work on Facebook?

  • Jobs TabJob postings will show up in a Jobs tab of the Page, creating a dedicated landing place where companies can send job seekers. Businesses would get the added benefit of potentially gaining new followers whether or not someone enquires or applies about the available position, compared to a relatively static Careers page on a company’s website.
  • “Apply Now” button and ease of application: Job postings will include an “Apply Now” button that launches a standard job application flow, but pre-populated with information from a user’s public profile. That could help people quickly apply for multiple jobs without typing in bundles of information.
  • Recruiters notified via Facebook Messenger: Submitted applications will be received by the Page as a Facebook Message. Though this could boost Facebook’s push to get businesses using its chat feature, it might also be tricky for companies to separate out job applications vs. customer support requests that 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.
  • Opportunity to reach large numbers: 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 here are combining their omnipresent reach, personal data and engagement.

click-here-apply-now

But surely Facebook’s News Feed is too cluttered already, so any job postings will just get lost amongst the noise? 

It seems that Facebook have thought of that one too. Typical. Yes, they’ve created special formatting that will differentiate job postings from other content.  A new Facebook option in the status update composer allows Pages to formally share a job opening with related details like job title, salary or if it’s full-time versus part-time.

Facebook’s wealth of data means users can take their profile information and pre-populate multiple job applications.

So, can LinkedIn keep up?

I sincerely hope so, yet it seems Facebook’s immense power boils down to two things:

  • large numbers and targeting capabilities
  • captive audience

Let’s deal with them in order.

1. Facebook’s large numbers & targeting capabilities:

Pretty much everyone has a Facebook profile. They 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, they are likely to eventually see the ads.

In 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. Whereas Facebook could reach people not even considering a new job, yet might be tempted by a higher salary.

Yikes.

2. Facebook’s captive audience:

It’s the same reason Facebook has been able to build colossal brand and performance advertising businesses despite Google’s traditional dominance. You might search on Google once you know what you want to buy, or on LinkedIn if you know you want a job, and their ads can help with demand fulfilment. Yet Facebook offers demand generation…drumming up interest people didn’t know they had.

“Facebook’s for letting your hair down, and LinkedIn’s for pinning it up”.

So who’s likely to win? 

I, for one, hope LinkedIn can hold their heads high and fight this one head on. Yes, they’re not as big, and their audience’s daily visits aren’t quite so frequent. But they have the advantage that they’re a pure B2B platform and their users are therefore in an appropriate and therefore receptive mindset. Additionally, LinkedIn users understand that the platform is a business environment, and are actually [often fiercely] protective of that.

Let’s keep them separate, otherwise it’s just another step towards a mash up of work and play rolling into one and living with all the knock-on effects that brings.

Would love to hear YOUR thoughts: 

What do you think? Will you be using Facebook’s new Jobs feature? Do you think it will be beneficial or just an annoyance for users wanting it to stay as a social platform? I’d love to hear your thoughts…please jot them down in the comments section below!

Catch you soon Stick buds,

Emily

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