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Hey Facebook: Get a Real Job

by
Piotr Korpak
Nov 15, 2012, 1:20 pm ET

Big news came from Facebook: the largest social network in the world enters the 400 billion-worth market of job search and recruitment!

I’m not sure about others, but this is where my excitement ends. I think Facebook just blew it.

First of all, Facebook should do better.

A leader of dot-com revolution 2.0 with market cap of $100 billion and a billion users collected in eight years enters one of the biggest and a highly fragmented markets and gives us … a job board.

Could we expect more from them, after working days and nights for couple of last months minimum? Definitely, we should.

It’s not the right place or time to discuss specific ideas (not for free at least — you hear me Mark?) but what Facebook did here is like improving the old-school Walkman when there are iPods available.

There’s no revolution.

Imagine you have personal data on billion people around the world. You know almost everything about their day-to-day activities (creepy, isn’t it?). Lots of them provide full employment history as well. Though only 22% are over 45, it means 220 million people anyway (LinkedIn has 175 million users in total!).

Would you really apply the slightly extended solution Monster has offered for years? I highly doubt that.

Social network should really go social.

Ninety-percent of candidates are not engaged in job searches anymore. The future of recruitment is social – it’s all about reaching the passive candidates, building relationships and communities.

Facebook claims its users have on average 229 connections and show high level of daily engagement. Great. Or rather, great potential.

Aggregating job offers and adding a ‘like’ button to them (not a novelty in this business…) is nowhere near making the full use of that potential.

Now, the curious thing is that it will work.

Why do they do it after all? For money. Can this bring money? Hell yeah. Mission accomplished.

Facebook’s stock price rose over 12% yesterday, reflecting investors’ optimism on how the new feature should impact the company’s bottom line. The mass is simply too huge for the idea to fail. Even though it’s seriously flawed.

On the other hand, I think that’s not all.

At least I hope it isn’t.

I entered the recruitment business myself because I believe it’s broken. It’s utterly inefficient and should be fixed for the sake of all of us.

There are very few companies that have resources to change it but Facebook certainly is among them. Wasting this potential with a job aggregator would be a mistake we cannot afford.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  1. Howard Adamsky

    Good article. Nice to see a new voice.

    “A leader of dot-com revolution 2.0 with market cap of $100 billion and a billion users collected in eight years enters one of the biggest and a highly fragmented markets and gives us … a job board.”

    Agreed. A job board is embarrassing. Honestly now.

    Ninety-percent of candidates are not engaged in job searches anymore. The future of recruitment is social – it’s all about reaching the passive candidates, building relationships and communities.

    Strongly disagree. Those who are upwardly aggressive and want to manage their careers will always be looking for the next great opportunity. Passive candidate is, to me, a geriatric terms whose time has come and gone. Our society is far too complex; political, technical and neo cultural shifts influencing outcomes on a daily basis. To call folks “passive candidates” seems to be simplistic at best.

    I call your attention to an article called “The Myth of the Passive Candidate” published here. Great stuff and a brilliant read.

  2. Eric Putkonen

    Good article.

    I must say though, it is not even a passable job aggregator.

    I go on indeed and type recruiter with my zip code and get a ton of results.
    I go on Monster (on of the places Facebook supposedly aggregates from) and I get 24 results.
    I go on Facebook’s new app – I get 0. That’s right…none.

    Not only is this wasting potential with a job aggregator…but it is creating a job aggregator that can’t compete with what is already out there with more market share.

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  4. Piotr Korpak

    @Howard
    Thanks for the comment, I’m glad we agree on the job board part.

    About the ‘passive candidates’, I guess it’s a never-ending story that would require a longer discussion and in its core is more about the wording than merit.

    As you mentioned, our society is far too complex to take a simplistic approach and divide it into active and passive candidates. It’s not a binary choice and we shouldn’t take it as such. The line between active and passive becomes less evident every day, making the discussion even harder.

    I agree with you on ‘people managing their careers’ part but believe it doesn’t exclude them from ‘passive candidates’ category. Quite the contrary, people tend to take more social approach these days, focus on making connections rather than searching jobs and sending CVs. The underlying motivation is the same but the way they do it evolves.

    I read your article, indeed nicely written, though some things have changed since 2005.

    ——-
    @Eric
    Thanks for your input.

    You’re right – it seems like not only the concept is wrong but the execution fails too.

    Still, I have a feeling that what we see is not Facebook’s final word.

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