With 1.86 billion monthly active users1, Facebook is a major player in the arena of social media. As of February 20172, Facebook launched its own version of a job board, expanding its reach into the job search market and further blurring the lines between personal and professional. Companies now have the capability to easily promote their job openings for free through the job posting feature, and users are able to apply for these positions through a direct message to the profile of the company.
With skepticism about the use of Facebook as a professional tool in recruiting and job search strategies permeating the launch of its new feature, the divide over Facebook’s role and purpose in recruiting practices remains strong. Facebook has been given a bad rap for being a place to post irrelevant content, such as pictures of your dinner, with little to no value for anyone. However, with 79% of internet users on Facebook3, the opportunity to reach a broad number of recruits seems too good to pass up for organizations that are hiring, especially when considering that the recruiter-favored tool, LinkedIn, only garners usage by 29% of internet users2.
Furthermore, Facebook often falls victim to inaccurate perceptions of user demographics, contributing to the notion that Facebook cannot be an effective recruiting tool. Facebook is typically viewed as a tool for younger individuals, but according to research, 84% of online adults between the age of 30 and 49 use Facebook, 72% between the age of 50 and 64, and 62% for those 65 or older3. In addition, Facebook is perceived to be a social media tool for those with lower education levels, especially in comparison to LinkedIn. However, 79% of online adults who have a college degree use Facebook compared to only 50% using LinkedIn3. Facebook users are also often associated with lower income levels. In fairness, 84% of online adults with an income level of less than $30,000 per year use Facebook, but 80% with an income level between $30,000 and $49,999, 75% with an income level between $50,000 and $74,999, and 77% with an income level of $75,000 or more also use Facebook3.
Although Facebook may have access to a large number of individuals with varying demographics, the question becomes whether job seekers are interested in utilizing Facebook for personal interaction only or for professional purposes too. Research reports that 48% of job seekers used social media for their most recent job search4 and that “67% of those who used social media to find their most recent job used Facebook.”4 This demonstrates a clear willingness among job seekers to blend personal and professional when using social media for job search purposes. Interestingly, only 55% of recruiters are using Facebook.4 Why not meet the job seekers where they are?
In the initial weeks after its launch, Facebook’s job posting tool is attracting postings for mostly entry-level positions, technical jobs, and administrative roles within the Northeast Wisconsin market, although some higher-level opportunities are available. In particular, small businesses also make up a fairly large portion of those posted openings. These emerging trends definitely point to the demographics of the early adopters with many small businesses lacking extensive resources for costly recruiting programs, especially for lower-level positions, making Facebook an ideal and appealing alternative.
Although Facebook’s job posting feature is still in the early stages of development, it presents an opportunity worth considering for your organization’s recruiting strategies. With the introduction of the new feature, it is even easier than before to promote job openings with Facebook, not to mention cost effective. And, research shows that, not only are a great number of individuals on Facebook, but the platform also boasts a diverse population of users with an interest in social media as a job search tool.
- Facebook Newsroom. (2017). Company Info – Stats. Retrieved from http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/
- Facebook Business. (2017, February 15). Take the work out of hiring. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/business/news/take-the-work-out-of-hiring
- Greenwood, S., Perrin, A., & Duggan, M. (2016, November 11). Social Media Update 2016. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/
- Jobvite, Inc. (n.d.). 2016 Job Seeker Nation Study. Retrieved from https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Jobvite_Jobseeker_Nation_2016.pdf