Monday, December 12, 2011

Facebook for jobs? It’s time to SWOT up.

Our blog has moved. You will find this blog post and fresh content on our new Talascend IT blog.
by Josh Kaplan

If you’re job hunting on job boards and corporate websites, you might be missing something right in front of you. It could be time to take Facebook more seriously.

18,000,000 Americans found their current job through Facebook. Not a date for Saturday night. Not a great new Vietnamese restaurant downtown. Not a video of a giant panda sneezing. They found a job. That’s equivalent to the combined populations of New York and L.A.

If professional connections are the serious side of social media, then Facebook is getting serious. And why wouldn’t it? At the end of the day, contacts and relationship management are the key to a strong career path and while Facebook may have been created as a means for people to share personal and informal information, its incursion into the world of work was inevitable.

For jobseekers, that means it’s time to think about how they use Facebook and where the dangers and possibilities lie. This week, we use a very business-led model to help you navigate the issues. We present a SWOT analysis of Facebook’s potential for jobseekers.


Facebook has all the obvious benefits of any online media. – 24/7 access, live access and real time news and events.

If job advertisers want to reach the 35-50 year old market of engineers in Frederick, Maryland – they can. And they don’t have to pay for all the extraneous exposure. Expect to see this activity increase, especially among smaller employers with limited budgets.

Passive Job Seekers
Relevant jobs can land on your Facebook profile without you even asking for them. The best candidate for any job is a passive candidate. If you’re a company trying to recruit, finding a candidate from among active users on Monster or CareerBuilder may result in a great deal of competition with other employers.

500,000,000 people means massive potential in any context. Period.


Generation gap
A great many of the key skills in most demand, particularly in engineering, are only available among a demographic group that is relatively inactive on Facebook.

Current functionality
While talk of Facebook-Jobs continues, current functionality,  does not allow users to silo content in the same way that Google+ does, so that your football buddies see one thing and your business contacts see another.  G+ may be dead on arrival, but it would have been of greater benefit for jobseekers in time.


Future Functionality
Whatever Facebook lacks, it can develop - and based on its track record, it probably will.

Overall Market share
In the online job world, market share is very important. Monster is great example. If you’re first, you have a major advantage in attracting investment and reinvesting in marketing to further boost your intake. At that point, it’s your ball to drop. Facebook does not drop the ball very often and they are a light year out in front of the pack.


Work / Life balance
It remains to be seen if Facebook users en masse simply don’t want to integrate their personal lives with work. They may look for an entirely different product, just on principal. (Someone run down to the basement and dust off Google+?)

Fear of Embarrassment
We’ve all seen those e-mail examples of Facebook mistakes and misjudgments. It has ended marriages and careers too. Many people may choose to stay on Linked-In rather than risk their career and reputation by linking their CEO to their college roommate. This may threaten Facebook’s ability to control the market.

So there it is, early days for Facebook as a dominating online job resource. One thing is certain, it is currently playing a role in landing people work. The question is whether it can bring one of the side benefits of its model into a central role without compromising its central purpose.