A year ago, Facebook FB -0.35% made it possible for businesses to create job postings and for job seekers to apply for those openings directly on the social network in the U.S. and Canada. On Wednesday, Facebook announced it is expanding this tool to more than 40 countries.
Businesses and people on the social network can use the feature for free, which is geared toward helping local businesses find candidates nearby. Since debuting the tool last year, Facebook has added features that allow businesses to create job posts, manage applications and schedule interviews, entirely on mobile. Job seekers can set up job alerts for the types of roles that interest them. The international expansion, which is rolling out on desktop and on mobile, could help Facebook compete more seriously with other recruitment and jobs platforms such as Microsoft MSFT +4.28%-owned LinkedIn LNKD +0%, Glassdoor and Monster.com.
Facebook's tools are geared toward small businesses, which employ about half of U.S. workers and represent about an important market for Facebook's advertising business. The ubiquity of the 2.2-billion person social network could help give social media a more formal part of job application processes. Already, about one in four people in the U.S. have said they have searched for or found a job using Facebook, according to an online poll of 5,000 adults conducted by Morning Consult. Facebook is betting that by offering a free and simple process, it can gain traction despite competition from more established jobs sites. Facebook's VP of ads and business platform Andrew Bosworth said last year that company decided to build the tools after noticing that businesses were already posting about job openings on their Pages
Facebook’s vice president of local Alex Himel said Facebook has been focused on trying to make the tool as easy and fast to use as possible. Job seekers’ work history and other information in their Facebook profiles, for example, will automatically populate applications they create on the social network (job seekers can edit their applications; however, any public information on the user's profile will be available to the employer). After applicants apply, Facebook will automatically connect the business Page with the job seeker via a Messenger conversation to enable applications to communicate directly with the company and confirm their information was received.
"Businesses are already looking people online, and we want to give people the tools to control how they show up," said Himel, adding that Facebook "does not allow" discrimination of any kind against candidates.
Businesses, meanwhile, can create job postings from their Page that include details such as job type, salary information and location. Businesses can pay to boost posts to reach a targeted set of potential candidates through news feed, similarly to buying a typical Facebook advertisement. Job posts will also appear on a business’ Page, in the Jobs dashboard and in Facebook's buy-and-sell tab, Marketplace.
Once employers have connected with applicants, they can schedule interviews and set up automated reminders directly through Messenger. The online food shop Edible Arrangements, for example, used the tool to fill seven open positions in three weeks, receiving 97 applications after spending about $20 to boost the job opening on Facebook. An indoor trampoline park in Illinois called Sky Zone received 200 applications within one week of posting 11 positions.
By: Kathleen Chaykowski