Having spent more than some time in the HR and recruiting industry, I've seen the fall of traditional news media 'help wanted' ads, the growth of the job board industry, the decline of the job board and now the rise social media. While many have claimed each of these news and media distribution channels are the answer to our recruiting salvation, I disagree. I completely disagree.
Each one of these platforms offers the ability to reach a group of job seekers that is different and diverse. Because the American public is more diverse and different than ever before, this is why Facebook's play in the job board marketplace is so appealing.
June's Department of Labor numbers lists that 12.7 million Americans are out of work, and yet if you ask recruiters and organizational senior leaders, they say that hiring qualified candidates is more challenging than ever. It is not the free and fluid job market that one might expect given our economy. In fact, it's down right difficult to fill a single position. Hiring managers sift through the hundreds of resumes with a growing percentage of these candidates not being qualified for the position.
The job market right now is just like the supermarket during an impending snowstorm here in the Midwest, but in reverse. Customers out of fear rush to their nearest grocery or local market clearing the shelves. It's a frenzy as people fight for bottled water, canned goods, and batteries many not even needing the additional supplies. Weather, like the hiring process and the economy is not a science and not 100 percent predictable. Companies advertise their opening using what I call the "spray and pray." They send out their message to every job seeker hoping for a response, thereby creating a feeding frenzy of under-qualified, non-qualified, and desperate candidates. Qualified candidates are overlooked. Companies do nothing to explain the reason why the job seeker was turned down for the offer, and the frenzied cycle repeats again and again.
Facebook's entry into the job board market could change all that. They offer the largest collective group of users throughout the globe, over one billion strong with Americans spending nearly 400 minutes a month on the world's largest social network. Their platform offers companies and human resource managers up to the minute insights into their user base from photos to interests, and conversations not to mention killer trends and analytics. LinkedIn use is at just 17 minutes a month -- see a push from Facebook in the coming months to suggest that users fully complete their profiles including their work history and experience as they prepare to launch their job board as part of the Social Jobs Partnership. "Jobs" will be a collaborative effort which is what makes them very different from their soon to be social recruiting rival, LinkedIn.
Inside sources say Facebook won't be launching the traditional job board we are familiar with. Facebook will partner with non-profit organizations like Direct Employers and the National Association for Careers and Employers, government entities in addition to HR technology vendors like BranchOut and Work4Us. This is a solid strategy for Facebook as there are a number of technology companies and job boards who are 'all in' having established platforms, services, and apps for job seekers, recruiting, and hiring contained within Facebook. LinkedIn, however, has partners parting ways with Twitter saying ado to LinkedIn last month.
Facebook is right to be cautious in establishing their key relationships. They are not an expert when it comes to the employment market or the human resources tech space. Otherwise, they would have leveraged their site's marketplace section in 2008 during the recession when companies first turned to social recruiting as a legitimate option in which to hunt, recruit, and fill open positions. Ninety-three percent of recruiters say they used LinkedIn or plan to in 2012 for recruiting versus Facebook which stands at 66 percent use in a 2012 Jobvite Study.
Facebook provides employers a real opportunity to leverage the entire job seeker as an individual customers, candidate, employee and consumer. Employers can and should build a long-term relationship built on trust, brand, and conversations. This combined with their potential analytics offerings can provide companies the whole story when it comes to job seeker and employee patterns, trends, likes, and dislikes and beyond.