The economy hasn’t recovered at anywhere near the pace people were hoping for, which means the job market continues to be a real challenge. Thousands of unemployed are competing for limited openings, often taking a much lower salary simply for the peace of mind that comes with a steady paycheck. But thousands more continue to struggle, spending months and even years unemployed, getting by on piecemeal work. Job boards are a huge resource for folks still looking, and it seems that the largest social network in the world is about to get in on the action. According to a recent report seen on the Dow Jones Newswire, Facebook is on the cusp of launching its own online job board.
The story was broken by Dow Jones’ Joseph Walker, based on anonymous sources close to the situation. According to his report, Facebook’s job board may launch before the end of the summer, and will pull together posts drawn from a series of third-party boards that have a long track record of helping people find employment. Expected partners will include Jobvite, Work4 Labs and BranchOut, and Facebook will pull all of those listings into one place, making it easy for members to search through all available opportunities. Pressed for a comment, a spokesperson from Facebook refused to corroborate the speculation.
As with all Facebook updates, the goal of the job board will be to expand user engagement with the social networking giant, rather than a dedicated push by Facebook to become a player in job searching or recruiting. As far as the sources know, Facebook will launch their aggregated job board as a free aspect of their service, and won’t be monetizing it in the near future. Launching a job board also gives Facebook an additional weapon against competitive social networking sites that focus on work-related interactions, such as LinkedIn. Although how much the board will affect LinkedIn and other professional sites remains to be seen. Many users prefer separating their professional and personal lives on different websites, and may be cautious about allowing potential employers to contact them on the more relaxed and social Facebook platform.
The job board may be the first action arising from Facebook’s connection to the U.S. Department of Labor. They announced a partnership back in October, with an eye towards helping the unemployed find new opportunities. Under the banner of the Social Jobs Partnership, Facebook and the Labor Department will work together to make job listings more available, even spreading virally through the active Facebook network. It is curious that Facebook isn’t willing to confirm the job board if this is the case, though they may be treading carefully after Silicon Alley Insider broke the story of a massive disagreement between the co-founders of Facebook earlier this year. A series of instant messages and emails were published, sent between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin that painted a picture of a real clash, due to Saverin launching his own job site, called Joboozle. In those emails Zuckerberg made it clear that a job site was in the future for Facebook. Perhaps he would have been better off noting his disagreement through mail sent by errand services San Francisco, instead of the easily discovered emails. Either way, Facebook is clearly hunting for increased interaction with the tens of thousands of unemployed hoping to relaunch their careers.