As if anyone needed another reason to be on Facebook, the social media giant is moving to undercut LinkedIn and become the leader in professional networking and job recruitment. Recent updates just made job advertising over Facebook easier and companies are starting to take advantage of the vast pool of young talent available via this platform. A professional Facebook page is already a reputation asset for both businesses and individuals, but the potential for recruitment and job research through Facebook’s vast network makes it even more valuable.
Social Media and Reputation
At ReputationDefender, we recommend that all our clients maintain a positive presence on social media to help build a business reputation. Professional profiles are an excellent place to share content and direct traffic back to the company’s website; they are also easy to rank, helping to fill up page one of a brand’s Google search.
With over 1.5 billion users, Facebook holds the title for the biggest online community and an active Facebook profile is a must for any business. Almost everyone who used the internet has a Facebook profile; in fact, studies have found that the average person spends one out of every seven minutes online on Facebook. However, beyond the obvious advantage in audience volume, Facebook’s interactive platform lends itself to multimedia content. Images and video have a lot of ranking power, both negative and positive. Posting company content on Facebook generates clicks and shares, and helps to ensure that Google quickly recognises these as the most relevant results to rank on page one of a brand search.
Facebook is an important reputation building tool for businesses, but it’s often seen as second to LinkedIn when it comes to professional networking. With 467 million users in the third quarter of 2016, LinkedIn is much smaller than Facebook, but Forbes magazine has called it the ‘virtual rolodex for business people’. Traditionally, LinkedIn is the go-to site for talent recruiters and people searching for career building opportunities, but this is beginning to change as companies attempt to appeal to young professionals who spend more time on Facebook.
A Generational Shift
Facebook began as a college socialising platform, while LinkedIn has always been a professional networking and recruitment site. However, the majority of LinkedIn users are now well over thirty, professionals already established in their career. Meanwhile, more than 50 percent of the workforce is under 35. A new generation of millennials grew up using Facebook to communicate as teenagers, so it’s natural for them to plan their careers by seeking out the companies that interest them on the same platform. The types of content shared on Facebook appeal to young people, and this helps them get a feel for the workplace culture they can expect if they are hired.
To speed up the shift, a new ‘Jobs tab’ on Facebook is designed to connect this audience with companies wanting to hire. The new feature allows page administrators to create a job posting and link it directly into the News Feed. Like advertising on Facebook, these posts can be sponsored so that they appear to a targeted audience of potential candidates based on their employment history, education and interests listed on their Facebook profile.
Facebook’s new addition is in direct competition to LinkedIn and to third party apps such as Work4 and Workable, which in the past have enabled companies to embed a job posting into their page. However, the Jobs tab will make this easier. Applicants can check out a company’s career page and see if there are any openings with a single click. Facebook provides fields for companies to enter details like salary, job title and expected hours, making it easy for candidates to decide if the position is interesting. An ‘Apply Now’ CTA pulls up a pre-filled form using information from the applicant’s Facebook profile and the request is sent as a private message to the company’s page administrator.
Companies Have Recruited Successfully Via Facebook
In early 2016, the North American chain Earls Restaurant launched its Earls Wants You Facebook recruiting campaign. Earls chose Facebook over Twitter or LinkedIn partially because leaders felt this platform allowed them to ‘convey the company’s culture more accurately’, resulting in a better fit for the position and a greater likelihood that the applicant would become a long term employee. The younger age of Facebook users is also seen as an asset by many companies looking for entry level candidates or interns. LinkedIn may be a good platform to find experienced professionals, but many HR recruiters are looking for people they can train and mould to fit the organisation’s individual style.
Facebook’s potential as a professional networking platform shouldn’t be overlooked, even though it’s still primarily a social media site. Millennials are notorious multitaskers, and young college students chatting with their friends are likely to be looking up the companies they are interested in working for at the same time. Facebook is also a relatively new recruiting platform, so being one of the first to use it gives companies an edge. This can help them gain talented young employees and establish valuable reputation capital with a new generation of workers.
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