LinkedIn has always been the adult in the room when it comes to social media platforms. As other platforms like Facebook looked to harness and monetize their professional communities through marketplace functions, LinkedIn was built around the core concept of business. However, perhaps because of this core concept, LinkedIn has always been inherently biased toward white collar work. To be sure, the trades are present on LinkedIn, but they often take a backseat to professional services and office-oriented jobs.

Facebook is now looking to exploit this vulnerability with the expanded launch of its jobs board (which has been available in the U.S. and Canada since last year.) The feature launched in 40 countries on February 28, and enables job seekers and employers alike to leverage the platform to find one another.

The Features

Facebook's jobs board is open for employers and candidates of all sizes, but is naturally oriented to small businesses, the trades, and low-skilled labor. The jobs board works to create a similar community-oriented approach as Facebook Marketplace does to buying and selling locally, connecting job seekers and employers in a one-to-one manner.

Businesses are able to post job openings to a new "jobs" section of their pages, as well as the Facebook Marketplace and their news feeds. The addition of a jobs dashboard also extends the reach of these job postings.

On the job seeker side, candidates can take advantage of auto-fill job applications that utilizes their existing Facebook profile and submit their application directly on the platform. Further, they can reach out to the employers through Facebook Messenger to follow up or ask questions about the position.

Last year, Facebook partnered with ZipRecruiter to expand its jobs offerings, and it has been well received by users in the pilot nations. Now, that feature is expanding to most of Facebook's 2.2 billion users.

"One in four people in the US have searched for or found a job using Facebook" writes Alex Himel, Facebook's vice president of local. "But 40 percent of U.S. small businesses report that filling jobs was more difficult than they expected. We think Facebook can play a part in closing this gap."

The importance of knowing your platform.

Part of the difficulty that Facebook solves through its jobs board is helping small businesses to know their platform and access the proper channels. There are more ways than ever to reach the public, whether you're posting a job or advertising your brand, but that doesn't mean that your target audience is waiting on the other end of every single channel. This is often the trouble with finding the right candidates to reply to job postings.

Facebook's jobs board has made it easier. For example, a LinkedIn job posting for a cleaning service that is hiring might not get a lot of play on LinkedIn, where white collar business dwarfs these types of companies. On Facebook, however, the focus is smaller and localized, improving the chances that such a job posting will reach the right people. It's not always about the total number of eyes that see your message, but the number of people who actually engage.

"The choice in channel is indeed related to success in driving engagement. For example, we of course know that most organizations today have moved away from newspaper ads, but they are also learning that relying on digitally 'static' approaches like the company job listings might be necessary but not sufficient," said Elliot D. Lasson, professor of the practice and I/O psychology graduate program director at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "[The younger generation] gets their information from feeds presented to their mobile platform dashboards through channels like Facebook and perhaps LinkedIn. It is therefore important for companies to continuously re-examine the channels through which they are engaging their target market whether for job opportunities or otherwise. 

As Lasson puts it, "digital communications channels evolve," and companies that want to stay competitive must keep up with the times. Facebook's massive expansion of its jobs board is just one more example of an evolution in digital communications; in this case, it's a step forward in the development of relationship between employer and job seeker, which will ultimately change recruitment and retention strategies for companies everywhere.