Face/Off – Facebook vs. LinkedIn

When Castor Troy became Sean Archer and Sean Archer became Castor Troy, the movie Face/Off got a little crazy. I’m a fan of Travolta and Cage so it was lighthearted entertainment for me.
What is really interesting and a lot less lighthearted is the current heavyweight face-off between Facebook’s slow and gradual move into the recruitment software space versus Microsoft LinkedIn.
Back in the day there were third party recruitment apps like BranchOut and BeKnown on Facebook which attempted to turn the social personal network into a professional one. They failed. Facebook then was very much a personal network. What about Facebook now?
Like male teenagers, BranchOut and BeKnown shot out of the blocks ahead of their time. Facebook will have learnt these lessons, and in recent weeks we’re hearing more and more about their testing of various components of what is a developing recruitment product. First it was Facebook for Work, then a couple of months ago this article on Facebook Jobs surfaced, and was recently followed by an article about Facebook testing a resume upload feature here.
The resume upload feature is particularly interesting, almost because it’s so innocuous. The feature appears to simply integrate work experience into the pre-existing ‘work’ section of your profile bio, one of the first things people see when friending you on Facebook. It’s the kind of detail that’s unobtrusive, but a powerful tool if you want to turn your Facebook account into a platform for networking and finding your next roll.
I wrote a blog back in July titled Blurred Lines – The Human Network talking about the blurring of social and professional networks.  I see this as Facebook’s biggest challenge here in Australia specifically. Based on backyard conversations and comments on various posts, it’s close to a 50/50 split on people who still maintain that Facebook will always be personal for them. For half of us, never shall business or professional mix with personal. I wonder if this will be the same in other parts of the world?
Facebook already knows more about you than you do. It listens to your conversations, tracks where you go, what you like, how you feel, the list goes on and on. Imagine all this data on you, being used in a job search capacity! This is where machine learning and AI would really start to come into its own. It could potentially match you with other people and companies based on all this data contained in Facebook and potentially from your actions outside Facebook as well. It is mind boggling and slightly scary just how all-encompassing it could get.
Example: You’ve expressed to your friends in person and over the phone that you are actively looking for new job opportunities. Facebook is listening. It already knows your interests, could potentially rank you against your peers, it knows your potential culture and values fit through all the likes and comments you have made.
Company A has a profile on Facebook with a lot of engaging content, followers, and likes. They are currently advertising for a role. Facebook has been learning about this organisation through employees on Facebook as well as followers, likes, comments, and posts.
Using AI, and machine learning Facebook could potentially identify and align your values and experience and make a recommendation to Company A about you, and you to Company A. 
I’d love to see the quality of hire and retention data of such a process, since you would think Facebook would be able to do this very well.
From an experience perspective, Facebook’s versatility in function means that both the individual and the company could potentially work through the entire process without ever having to leave the platform. Facebook messenger could be used for voice or video calls and chat bots used to answer more transactional type of questions. From a candidate experience perspective, I really like this.
At some point this will be monetised. And it will be really interesting to see what the strategy is around this. Will it be a cost per ad plus additional costs for boosts or a cost per click approach?
Will this be the death of LinkedIn and job boards like SEEK? No. Will it have an impact on their revenues? Hell yeah. Whilst these sources will always be present, their dominance will dwindle as Facebook develops its product and gains a foothold.
What about Google? Like Facebook, Google is also in a more dominant position in my opinion than LinkedIn and SEEK. Much like Facebook, it understands you by your online behaviour, can serve job ads to you and make similar recommendations by your behaviour and interest. Job boards just aren’t able to do this, they don’t have this data available to them.
This is probably why you are seeing so much traditional advertising on TV for Indeed and SEEK at present. LinkedIn’s acquisition by Microsoft may help to soften the blow, but Google and Facebook would be concerning for LinkedIn as its revenues begin to stagnate.
We’ll certainly continue to see the Google and Facebook rise, but we won’t see the LinkedIn and Job Board’s demise. Not just yet anyways.
Which actually makes me interested in your opinion: will you be embracing Facebook for job searching or will you maintain a separate profile for personal and professional?
Images: Shutterstock

For more insight into the future and how to prepare for it, grab a ticket to ATC2018. Early bird tickets available now, don’t miss out!

Related articles

One Response to “Face/Off – Facebook vs. LinkedIn”

  1. Good article, Stan – thanks for sharing. I’m surprised more people aren’t publicly connecting the dots on Facebook’s moves as you said. No dull moments in HR Tech…


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up to our newsletter

Get a weekly digest on the latest in Talent Acquisition.

Deliver this goodness to my inbox!