Facebook to launch a job opening feature threatening LinkedIn
Brendan McDermid/Reuters
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The social media giant is testing a new feature allowing its users to apply for jobs directly via employers' Facebook pages. If approved, this could seriously pressure LinkedIn as the main social media recruiter.

TechCrunch reported that Facebook (NASDAQ: Facebook [FB]) was testing yet another unusual feature that would allow page administrators, or employers, to post job openings, receive applications directly from the interested candidates as well as advertise new jobs all without leaving the social media platform. The Jobs tab has already appeared on Facebook pages of some companies, as part of the testing.

Considering that most of the businesses have already created official social media pages to connect with their audiences on Facebook, with many of the companies sharing news on the upcoming job postings there, embedding a Jobs tab seems like a natural thing to do.

"Based on behavior we've seen on Facebook, where many small businesses post about their job openings on their Page, we're running a test for Page admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates," Facebook spokesman told Reuters.

Even though Facebook has not shared a detailed overview of the new feature by now, TechCrunch experts did it for them. According to the experts, the administrators of companies' Facebook pages will be able to post formal job openings with full job descriptions, salary info and other essential information that appears on a LinkedIn job entry. The job postings will have a special formatting that will make them different from other page posts in the ever-crowded news feed. In addition to that, all new jobs will be visible in the special Jobs tab of the company's page as well as appear in the news feed of the users subscribed for the page. Interested users will also have a chance to apply for a job directly through Facebook page, what potentially eliminates the need to use LinkedIn direct application services.

The big question for LinkedIn is whether Facebook will ask businesses to pay for job-related postings on their pages, as the company heavily relies on receiving monthly fees from job hunters and premium users for using the platform's services. TechCrunch adds that businesses will be offered an opportunity to monetize their job posts to promote them to more people which directly competes with LinkedIn advertising options.

Yet the biggest threat for LinkedIn in this situation is Facebook's unprecedented user base amounting to 1.79 billion active users, with many users filling out their employment and education info that is essential for targeted job postings promotion. Facebook's audience is very different from that of LinkedIn where people go mostly when they are interested in finding a new job. Facebook, in turn, has different engagement mechanisms and its users spend much longer time on the platform. TechCrunch experts say that Facebook's main advantage is its ability to reach people who are not even thinking about applying for a new job and don't make a targeted search themselves, yet they could be also convinced to apply eventually.

"You might search on Google when you know what you want to buy, or on LinkedIn if you know you want a job, and their ads can help with demand fulfillment. Facebook offers demand generation, drumming up interest people didn’t know they had," TechCrunch's Josh Constine wrote.

Therefore, considering that LinkedIn has "only" 467 million users worldwide and is in the midst of acquisition process with Microsoft (NASDAQ: Microsoft Corporation [MSFT]), Facebook might have a good chance to eat into LinkedIn's market share in online recruitment business already now.

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