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Facebook Leaps into LinkedIn’s Recruiting Sandpit

By November 15, 2012No Comments

At the recent Recruiter’s HUB conference here in Auckland, Paul Jacobs delivered an afternoon session where everyone had to clump together into groups depending on which social media platform they believed held the future for effective sourcing and recruitment.  The largest group, predictably, was the sharp-suited LinkedIn gathering, gazing upon the other groups with expressions of amused disdain.  Then were the smaller YouTube groups, gazing glassy-eyed out the window, the Pinterest group, dominated by women and also confusingly close to the YouTube guys (hey maybe there’s an idea for Pinterest, include video instead of just pictures?)

I was in the Twitter group, everyone talking at the same time and not really listening to what Paul was trying to say.  In the other corner, the smaller Google+ gaggle, all bespectacled and smugly defiant.

The final corner was occupied by a surprisingly large Facebook group.  In fact they were beaten in size only by LinkedIn.  Now as you’re doubtless aware I’m kind of a fan of creative recruitment techniques and particularly having fun in the social recruiting space.  I can count on one hand placements made via Twitter (but hey, it is more than none!) but for LinkedIn I’d need more appendages for counting purposes.  But Facebook?  Nothing so far.  In fact I’ve really used it to check up on a target candidate’s background and make sure there’s nothing too alarming that might prove an insurmountable hurdle later in the hiring process.

So what was this group’s argument?  Simply that Facebook is where the people are.  One billion people in fact, at the last count, with one in every seven minutes spent online around the world, spent on Facebook.

Well perhaps that group knew something else the others didn’t because yesterday witnessed the launch of the Facebook job board.  Essentially an aggregator to scrape together all of the jobs held on other traditional job boards like Monster, JobVite and Work4Labs (cool infographic from them here).  This socially powers those static old job ads by putting them in front of the largest online audience ever and enabling that audience to apply through Facebook and share with their networks.

So what does this mean for us in agency recruitment?  Well we certainly have time to adapt.  Going to the Facebook Social Jobs Partnership app in question you won’t get far searching for jobs in Recruiting/Sourcing in New Zealand yet (although I find it hilarious how this is STILL regarded as a sub-category of HR…one day we will be free!)  But no doubt the time will come when this stretches its way across the Pacific and into our own local sector.  Much commentary has already been made about the negative impact new premium LinkedIn products can have on agencies.  The same will surely apply to this new play from Facebook, but super-charged several times over by the larger audience.

But then I suppose we can still counter with the same argument too.  It is impossible to remain in denial that recruitment is changing irrevocably and will never be the same again.  This is especially true of the old agency model.  But as others have said, we are all in recruitment together, agency, internal, whatever, and the good ones amongst us all share a passion for talent attraction.  Sure, this new development will enable people to tell each other about jobs out there.  But the skills of a recruiter will still mean they harness this new technology in far more effective ways to actually make connections and matches happen.

So I for one welcome this new development and look forward to improving my Facebook recruiting skills in the same way I have with LinkedIn over the past five years.

Oh, and just to finish off back where I started.  The engaging and inclusive way Paul Jacobs used the audience to contribute to his session at RHUB will be replicated many times over on 10th December when “The Recruiting Un-Conference” comes to New Zealand for the first time (#truNZ).  No power point presentations, no name badges and…er…no lunch means this is all about the audience, all about collaboration and sharing of ideas.  I’ll be leading a session (track) too, along with Sean Walters, and our room will be turned into a battle ground to provoke the agency vs internal debate in a constructive, inspiring and fun (oh yes) fashion.  Not only are tickets cheap, they are also very limited, so get involved quickly if you want to experience something unique, cool and enlightening.

Have a great weekend.


Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.