Facebook rolls out job posts to become the blue-collar LinkedIn

LinkedIn wasn’t built for low-skilled job seekers, so Facebook is barging in. Today Facebook is rolling out job posts to 40 more countries to make itself more meaningful to people’s lives while laying the foundation for a lucrative business.

Businesses will be able to post job openings to a Jobs tab on their Page, Jobs dashboard, Facebook Marketplace, and the News Feed that they can promote with ads. Meanwhile, job seekers can discover openings, auto-fill applications with their Facebook profile information, edit and submit their application, and communicate via Messenger to schedule interviews.

TechCrunch first spotted Facebook testing the Jobs tab in late 2016 before it rolled out in the U.S. and Canada last year. Facebook partnered with ZipRecruiter to bring more job openings to its platform. And now the features are rolling out in Brazil, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain on iOS, Android, and the web.

“One in four people in the US have searched for or found a job using Facebook” writes Facebook’s VP of Local Alex Himel. “But 40% of US small businesses report that filling jobs was more difficult than they expected. We think Facebook can play a part in closing this gap.”

Now users in the new countries will be able to use the Jobs dashboard found in the Facebook web sidebar or mobile app’s More section to discover jobs using filters like proximity, industry, and whether they want a full-time or part-time gig.

The Job posts rollout could help Facebook steal some of the $1.1 billion in revenue LinkedIn earned for Microsoft in Q4 2017. But the bigger opportunity is developing a similar business where companies pay to promote their job openings and land hires, but for lower-skilled local companies in industries like retail and food service.

In this space, job applicants often don’t have glowing resumes and education histories that look good on LinkedIn. They might not even be on the site, and if they are, they probably don’t spend much time there. But they may already have their limited professional experience listed and they spend a ton of time casually browsing the site. This lets Facebook connect them with job even if they weren’t actively seeking a position, and quickly apply to lots of different positions by piggybacking off their profile info.

Troy, the owner of Striper Sniper Tackle in North Carolina had trouble finding people with the specific skills he needed until he posted the job on his Facebook Page. He received 27 applications immediately, and hired 10 people” Facebook writes. Those jobs probably wouldn’t appeal to LinkedIn users, and some of those who applied probably didn’t think they were job hunting when they opened Facebook.

“Since 2011, Facebook has invested more than $1 billion to help local businesses grow and help people find jobs” Himel writes., referencing the Community Boost program that trains businesses and job seekers to better use the Internet…including Facebook. “In 2018 we plan to invest the same amount in more teams, technology, and new programs. Because when businesses succeed, communities thrive.”

The challenge for Facebook may be convincing users that they can still be themselves on the social network. Facebook stresses that potential employers can only see what’s public on an applicant’s profile. But some users still might be paranoid that their party pics or niche hobbies could scare away hirers.

The move again proves how powerful being a default daily destination is. Over the past few years, Facebook built a giant business by becoming an alternative to YouTube where people serendipitously discover videos instead of purposefully coming to watch certain ones. That same strategy could make Facebook a massive gateway to local jobs. And it’s coming at a time when Facebook is desperate to prove it can be meaningful to people and make their lives better, rather than just being a time sink.

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