Forget LinkedIn, Why You'll Find Your Next Job Using Facebook

The social network is seeing a shift away from something to hide from employers, to a tool actively used by job seekers.

Move over LinkedIn, Facebook may just be the next best recruiting tool, according to Stéphane Le Viet. As cofounder and CEO of Work4, a four-year-old online recruiting firm, Le Viet’s seen employers such as Gap, UPS, Intel, L’Oreal, PepsiCo, and Hard Rock Café successfully tap social networks via its service to hire qualified candidates.

While we’ve examined the potential of Twitter to scope potential employers, Le Viet’s take on Facebook seems counterintuitive at first blush. After all, isn’t everyone on the largest social network just connecting with friends?

Exactly, says Le Viet. "What you do on Facebook is share content all day long, so sharing [ information about ] jobs is pretty natural," he posits. When you consider that employee referrals are the best (and quickest) source of high-quality hires, Le Viet says, "Facebook is the best place in the world to make that happen because you know the people in your network a lot better than on LinkedIn."

And we tend to spend a lot of time there. According to Internet analytics company ComScore, 10.9 million workers searched for jobs using mobile devices in August 2013 up from just 3.8 million in August 2012 and we spend about 17% of the time on our phones on Facebook.

Facebook's Size Advantage

While it’s true that LinkedIn is the platform of choice for recruiters—they use it 93% of the time to search, contact, and keep tabs on candidates in the hiring process—according to data from Jobvite, Facebook is gaining popularity.

The same survey found that 65% of recruiters use Facebook to post about company culture and 25% use Facebook to vet candidates after the interview process. Le Viet says no wonder. "Facebook has scale and targetability," that even job sites such as Monster and CareerBuilder can’t match.

Though Facebook user base is arguably larger than any job board, with billions in a potential pool of applicants, "When it comes to recruiting ability, targeting is why places like Monster and Craigslist are quote-unquote failing," Le Viet argues, "because anyone can apply and employers are flooded" with applicants who aren’t a match for the open position. "It’s just a lot noise," he adds.

Targeting both employees and employers

Le Viet explains Work4‘s tools allow any employer, from a big brand to a small shop, to create targeted Facebook ads as well as a section for job listings on a business page. The bonus, he points out, is that the employer can target existing fans of the brand, which could result in a more enthusiastic employee.

Though Work4 has filled a substantial number of hourly wage and blue-collar jobs via its tools—a space which LinkedIn doesn’t have much of a presence—Le Viet says that even college grads and higher-level professionals are being hired through its service.

Le Viet says that targeted Facebook ads garnered 5.88 million impressions and 153 pre-qualified candidates for one of the open positions at L’Oreal. Work4 has "shared" about 12 million jobs to date, a 29-fold increase over last year.

And while Work4 is busy helping companies large and small to attract talent, one woman turned the tables on targeted Facebook ads and got herself a job at Work4. Leona Chu worked in digital marketing at Citibank when she created her own ad, specifically targeting recruiters, HR and management-level employees of companies where she wanted to work. Le Viet says that type of ingenuity got his attention and Chu was eventually hired. She then took out another Facebook ad to say thanks.

For any job seeker, Le Viet says, "Now that we have an online identity, the question becomes how you curate your own visibility." Employers are watching.

[Image: Flickr user N i c o l a]

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  • I'm tired of being a "Target" of someone's advertising. I go to facebook to catch up with friends and I find all of the intrusions and apps posting on our behalf extremely annoying. The ads are driving people away from Facebook. It's like that friend that is hooked on Amway or selling insurance. They take advantage of "Friends" and that always feels yucky. I agree with the other comments...this might be good for low entry level jobs. Very uninformed to compare facebook with LinkedIn.

  • Jim Durbin

    Facebook is used by job-seekers to research companies, to connect to friends who work at those companies, to share jobs to employee networks, and for large companies, to connect to the careers site.

    I call it the undercurrent, because while Facebook isn't built to facilitate recruiting the way LinkedIn was, Facebook is used by job-seekers more than LinkedIn (which is primarily a resume posting service for the candidate).

    Changes in how Facebook collects data could instantly drive millions of people into applicant pools, and some of those changes are starting.

    In two years, recruiters will be using Facebook as much as they use LinkedIn now.

  • Vikram Nair

    Very misleading title. It should read : Some companies looking for entry level staff are definitely seeing a lot of ad impressions on Facebook, and maybe even some quality entry level hires. Stay on LinkedIn everyone else.

  • I'm not seeing this. I see companies seeking better ways to screen prospective employees and find better matches for skills, none of which are facilitated by Facebook.

  • Rich Wang

    This man's premise is based upon a heavily skewed selection bias of large corporate employers filling low wage jobs. This is hardly the space that LinkedIn serves.