There’s been a lot of talk about the Facebook job board and just what it might look like. The speculation is really around if Facebook are looking to take a chunk out of the job board revenues. Being the dominant force on the internet for user numbers and potential, it is easy to see the potential for a job board that lives on Facebook, but I have never really seen this as the intention coming out of Palo Alto.
The way I see it is that Facebook have a clear vision to become the internet. The more services Facebook can offer, and the more areas of our life they can support in a meaningful way, the more time we will spend in the channel, and career is a big part of life. The job board fits in to this vision perfectly, and the more services Facebook can offer, the more they get to know about us, our likes, interests and habits. This is important because like Google, the more they know about us, the better they can target advertising to our needs, and the better the advertising matches our needs the more click through, which means more $’s. It also stands to reason that the longer we spend in the channel over other parts of the web, the more opportunity to serve up ads and sponsored posts.
My view is that for this reason, the job board is going to be a giant aggregator of jobs from the boards around the world with local search and filters, and Facebook friendly features. These are probably going to centre on keeping notifications, messaging, registration, search and applications within Facebook. User behaviour on applications like Work4Labs shows that users like to stay in channel and in an environment they are comfortable in. When it comes to recruiting, they want destinations to be app based with an easy opt in and out, and no public notifications or wall posts that might alert connected colleagues. When it comes to connecting in Facebook, users want to be fans but they don’t want to be friends. We don’t mind giving access to our data like contact details and our social graph, but we don’t want to give access to our pictures, our wall or personal details. Facebook have been able to observe this from the many career and job hunt apps that have been launched, and I would expect these principles to feature highly in the new job board.
There are seven features that are beginning to get integrated in to the leading Facebook job apps that are changing the way job seekers connect with companies and investigate opportunities:
This maps the user’s social graph with the company to show who you are connected with at the company with the job opportunity. The more sophisticated versions prioritise results by relationship and interaction combining “influence” with footprint. This enables users to message friends to request an introduction.
Join our network
This feature enables users to request relevant updates according to their social profile without committing to applying. It is simple one click, taking social data from other parts of the internet to create a searchable profile and tagging. I’m expecting to see this feature grow and grow, and become the primary source for candidates in the future.
Talk to rather than apply
Applying for a job is a big commitment. Many possible candidates get lost or drop out at the thinking about it stage. Talk to connects recruiters with the interested earlier in the process to answer specific questions and help the user to make the choice over the fit of the opportunity and the company culture and values.
Amazon were the pioneers in matching users and making recommendations based on similar interests. It started with “people who liked this book also liked these” and then became more sophisticated based on matching profiles and intuitive learning about you based on a user’s previous habits and actions. The more you interact, the better the technology “knows” what to recommend to you.
Share with specific friends
Matching jobs with your social graph to give you the option to send the job as a notification or message to a friend who matches the requirements of the job. This plays on the social desire to share and help your network if you can. Whilst users may be reluctant to share jobs in to their stream carte blanche, they are often wiling to send relevant opportunities to specific friends.
Companies in the service sectors particularly retail and catering who have similar jobs in close proximity display opportunities in a map format that enables candidates to express interest or apply for multiple jobs at the same time. Matches are based on geography. In the same way, a job board can display all the jobs matching a candidates wants in a specified geographical area.
I’m expecting to see these features incorporated in to the job board, as well as integration with the more established apps. All of this will lead to Facebook increasing in popularity as a channel for job search and recruiting.