Here’s another reprint from my Salary.com column.
I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around the value (or not) of the new Facebook Jobs app. I’ve been reviewing some white papers written for recruiters and I’m just not sure…yet.
Don’t job seekers already have hundreds, if not thousands, of places to seek out jobs?
Besides the name boards (Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, SimplyHired, Dice, Vault, LinkUp, etc.), company boards, government boards, trades, local and community job boards — do we really need more places to post and/or locate jobs?
The only platform with absolute, proven value right now per the recruiting community is LinkedIn, which currently owns the space much as Monster did a decade ago. If this new Facebook app has the ability to filter candidates through, and to, true job matches, then I’m all for it. If, however, it’s just another company seeking to monetize its database then I don’t see the added value to the end user — recruiter or job seeker.
What about all that personal stuff that appears on a person’s Facebook page?
There is plenty of stuff an employer might consider questionable or downright objectionable on Facebook. Most of the content which appears on a personal Facebook account page is posted by the owner. But then there are those uncontrollable postings that originate from “friends.” Remember Spring Break 2010 in Cabo? Really?! Did Alisa really need to put those pictures up? Or what about that video of Bill’s way-over-the-top win in that tequila shot contest?
We’ve all had our moments and these potentially good people who would make wonderful employees may be categorically eliminated from consideration. (Imagine what your CEO’s FB page might look like if Facebook had existed back in the day!)
LinkedIn vs. Facebook
A person’s LinkedIn profile is much more sacrosanct than their Facebook page. It stems from the mindset and origin of the platform which still maintains a strong B2B mentality. I have the ability to control what appears on my LI page, which is important since I seek to maintain propriety in my business dealings. This would particularly be the case were I job-seeking.
Facebook, on the other hand, started out as a college-only “who’s hot & who’s not” site which has evolved into an everything-for-everybody-and-every-interest-under-the-sun site. They might be too far past the tipping point to go back to job search.
Facebook is somewhat searchable (even without friending) and every recruiter out there “Googles” potential candidates. (That is another entire discussion but for the sake of this post just understand that it does happen–good, bad, right or wrong.) So if I’m directed to a job post from a friend do I have to do an…
Do I perform a “Facebook-ectomy” and remove any potential postings that could impact my employability? Yeah, probably. But once something is posted online it’s always online, so what’s the point? Do you go out and un-friend your buddies and risk alienating your online friends? Maybe.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I think Facebook is more the “guilty pleasure” as well as news and events tool than it is the conservative platform that employment necessarily requires.
But what if…
If this is the platform that can help the job seeker narrow his/her search down to the 5 to 10 suitable jobs (location, ability, access, etc.) much the way that recruiters are able to review hundreds of resumes to determine those 5 to 10 candidates who end up in the all-important in-person interview — then I’m all for it. That’s the model some brilliant Facebook engineer needs to present to the world.