Amidst reports that the social giant Facebook is set to launch its own professional networking site, we take a look at the positive impact Facebook at Work could have on the world of recruitment.
In general, the way in which we connect with one another online goes something like this; Facebook meets our social needs, sites like LinkedIn and Yammer cover our professional needs, and other leading networks like Twitter and Google+ do a great job of bridging the gap.
However, given Facebook’s omnipresence in the online space, it was only a matter of time before the social giant expanded its reach to the workplace. As the latest manoeuvre in his company’s apparent quest for world domination, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced a move into the virtual workplace by way of new site Facebook at Work.
Currently under development, Facebook at Work will promote branching out and industry networking, as well as in-house communication. It will also allow users to discuss existing projects and collaborate on online documents. In this way, it might be said to bring together the best of LinkedIn with the best of sites like Google+, which allows multiple users to work on documents via platforms like Google Drive.
On social media, news travels fast, and Facebook is renowned for its sharing capabilities. Consider the phenomenon of the viral. Owing a lot to Facebook and Twitter, on the first day of its upload the Kony 2012 video by Invisible Children was viewed 34,000,000 times. While in recruitment the context is obviously very different, the principle remains the same.
Just think of the potential effects Facebook sharing could have on recruitment drives. Recruiters and employers will have the opportunity to share information relating to their campaigns in dedicated groups, as well as the opportunity to target individuals based on things like relevant skills and industry experience.
Users will discover and share industry-relevant recruitment information via the groups and companies they follow online. In this way, companies may have the chance to find staff they would otherwise have missed out on.
To effectively dominate the market, Facebook at Work should look to solve typical problems users experience with LinkedIn or Yammer.
One example is the LinkedIn feature which notifies users whenever someone has viewed their profile. While this does prepare the user for any communication that might follow, it can also be seen as possessing awkward social implications, as users may often have to think before they click. Facebook is better at promoting anonymous profile browsing, an asset that those in the business world might appreciate.
Features that allow multiple users to access and contribute to documents might prove especially valuable. The new site has the potential to help employers when it comes to setting tasks and challenges. By having applicants work on documents and upload material remotely, companies and candidates will be able to save considerable resources. A company’s time and money can be ploughed back into finding the right work situation.
The familiarity of the Facebook brand and interface will be instrumental to Facebook at Work’s success. For 1.35 billion active monthly users, the social site is recognisable, common territory. Applicants may therefore engage with it more effectively than they might other, less familiar platforms. While we won’t know exactly how the site will look and operate until its launch, it is supposed to approximate current Facebook models in design, features, and function.
This has a flipside. While Facebook is used the world over, in recent years it has also become associated with some negative issues, particularly in terms of security and privacy. As Rene Millman of IT Pro comments, “The firm could find it difficult to convince businesses it is the best place to conduct internal communications, let alone [store] its confidential data.”
For applicants and employers, the danger lies in separating the personal and the professional. Applicants need to feel reassured that they are being appraised on the value of their professional merits rather than any inane material found on their personal Facebook profiles. According to the initial announcement in the Financial Times, Facebook at Work will allow users to keep their personal information entirely separate from their work profile.
Until Facebook at Work debuts, however, no one can be sure of how effective a recruitment strategy it will be. One method that’s been proven in the Internet age is LaunchPad’s video interviewing software, saving you all the hassles of face-to-face interviewing. Check out our blog post on social recruiting for tips and take a look at our site for information on how we can help you through every stage of the recruitment process.
The recruitment business continues to move into the future. Make sure that you are moving with it.