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Move Over, LinkedIn: Facebook Just Joined the Recruiting Game

Who's on Facebook these days? Your future employees. Learn about the features, pros and cons of this new recruiting tool -- and determine if you should add it to your hiring toolbox:

In Facebook's continuing quest for internet domination, they recently rolled out a job application feature to directly compete with LinkedIn. Candidates are already using Facebook to research companies and find out about openings, so it seems like a natural fit to allow users to apply directly through the platform.

Should your company be utilizing this feature to find candidates?

How Facebook Job Listings Work

Business pages are now able to post their job openings directly to their News Feed as status updates, as well as house those postings on a newly rolled-out "jobs" tab. When users see a job opening, they can simply click "Apply Now" and send an application directly using a simple, prepopulated form transmitted through Facebook Messenger.

Of course, Facebook wants to monetize the feature, so businesses that want to amp up their exposure can pay to post their jobs to users outside of their network as targeted advertisements.

An Ideal Strategy for Those Left Behind by LinkedIn

This could be a boon for companies looking to hire entry-level and hourly employees. LinkedIn has cornered the market on medium and high-skilled full-time roles, and their focus on having users build an impressive resume leaves part-timers and hourly workers out in the cold. It's also a destination for unemployed or active job seekers. Happily employed people don't typically have a reason to go out of their way to logon to LinkedIn.

Facebook could provide a sweet spot for employers to connect with hourly, entry-level and passive job seekers engaged in casual research on "what's out there." The "Apply Now" feature can entice someone engaged in such browsing to take the additional step of applying, since they are already logged in to Facebook and the system does not redirect them outside the platform.

The new jobs features on Facebook can also be a way for small businesses to gain exposure for their job openings. Nearly 40 percent of all small business report that hiring is much more difficult than they expected. For smaller organizations that don't have a large social following to organically share their posts, turning their job listings into ads and targeting local users could help them connect with candidates they may never have been able to reach.

The Drawbacks to Facebook Job Listings

There are some drawbacks to Facebook's job listings. First and foremost, many people go to great lengths to protect their personal social media profile from being spied on by hiring managers. Applying directly through Facebook could make it easy for companies to dig around in a person's social footprint, deterring some Facebookers from using the feature.

Additionally, Facebook's job listing feature is not the ideal platform for high-volume jobs. Applications are sent to companies through Messenger, which means social media managers would have to navigate a constant influx of application notifications nagging at them throughout the day. Alternately, applications can be forwarded directly to an email address. Beyond this, there is currently no meaningful way to tag, sort or track incoming applications through Facebook, which could create a logistical nightmare for a post that attracts hundreds of applications.

Should You Go All in on Facebook?

The recruiting game is always changing, and that change has been rapid in recent years thanks to advancements in technology. A savvy way to keep your company tuned in to those advancements is to work with a staffing firm that stays ahead of the curve.

Partnering with a firm that specializes in your niche is still the best way to expand your candidate pool and connect with the best and the brightest in your field, without spending time and money trying to navigate and master the newest tools in recruiting technology. Experienced firms have proven methods for shortening your time to hire, improving candidate quality and keeping your business moving forward, without damaging your bottom line.

If Facebook's recruiting feature seems like it might be a good fit for your company, give it a try, but it's important to remember that this is a new program, the "kinks" haven't all been worked out, and it won't be ideal for every job opening or every business. Social media is a critical tool in any recruiting strategy, but it should not be the only means by which you look for candidates for your job openings.