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Couples profiles chief among them -- but its latest, a new jobs board app, could have some real value and lasting repercussions.
Launched Wednesday, the new Social Jobs application is a partnership among Facebook, the Department of Labor and several career websites, including Monster.com and the Facebook utility BranchOut.
The new app is part of Facebook's Social Jobs Partnership (SJP), launched last year, in which the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), DirectEmployers Association, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and Facebook joined forces to create a social platform to connect job candidates with jobs.
"When it comes to economic growth, few issues are more important than matching qualified candidates with great jobs," stated Facebook. "In that spirit, we know that the power of social media -- the connections between friends, family and community -- can have an outsized impact on finding jobs."
[ There's a new professional network on the block: Skype in the Workspace. Learn 9 Ways Skype Professional Network Helps SMBs. ]
With the SJP app, recruiters can share open positions with the Facebook community sorted by industry, location and skills, according to Facebook. BranchOut, DirectEmployers Association, Work4Labs, Jobvite and Monster.com are working with Facebook to feed the app with job opportunities, which numbered about 1.7 million at launch.
Facebook noted that a recent survey by NACE has shown that job candidates and companies looking for new hires are increasingly using Facebook to connect.
The study shows that 50% of employers are using Facebook in their hiring process, and 54% already using the social network anticipate that Facebook will become a more important part of the talent acquisition process in the near future. In addition, according to the stats Facebook shared, of companies using Facebook to find new potential employees, more than half stated the importance of networking and referrals. The No. 1 suggestion by recruiters (87%) is for candidates using Facebook to like the pages of companies they would like to work for.
So, will companies and job candidates be flocking to Facebook and leaving LinkedIn -- whose bread and butter has been recruiting and job searching -- in droves? Not according to Stephane Le Viet, CEO of Work4 Labs, one of the companies working with Facebook on the new Social Jobs app.
"Some of the discussion will be around 'Is Facebook going after LinkedIn?,' and from my perspective, I don't think so," said Le Viet. At the end of the day, what Facebook is really doing, where Facebook can really have an impact, is on the 90% of the market that LinkedIn doesn't cover. LinkedIn is a white-collar tool -- people who use it will always think that Facebook is useless for finding a job. The Facebook board will be for the types of jobs where having a professional network doesn't make that much sense."
Still, LinkedIn's price dropped slightly the day the news was announced.
Do you anticipate your company using the new Facebook app to recruit new employees? Would you use it yourself? Should LinkedIn be worried? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.
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