“Facebook Will Destroy LinkedIn” Really? What utter rubbish!
I nearly spat my coffee out this morning, when I read a blog post over on ERE.net this morning (and I would have been miffed, because it was good coffee as well!)
The article in question was titled, "Why Facebook Will Destroy LinkedIn" and it was referencing an article written in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) where they predict Facebook will rival traditional job boards by 2012.
Joe Light the author of the original article in the WSJ says, "Facebook hires account for less than 1% of the total hires companies are making" [stats provided by Jobs2Web] and yet the author Jody Ordioni believes this is enough of an indicator (with the reasons below) to base her opinion on.
Let me look at the rationale Judy uses to base her thoughts on why she thinks Facebook will destroy LinkedIn. My responses are in italics.
- Judy - "LinkedIn has 120 million members; Facebook has 750 million. Employers understand the concept of fishing where the fish are."
>> Can you search Facebook effectively for people? NO; Can you see full work profiles on Facebook? NO (unless it is via an app like BeKnown for example); Can you then proactively search for other employees in companies? NO; Are employers still VERY WARY of Facebook recruiting? YES; Does everyone have the same 'open' attitude to Facebook like the USA? NO [In fact quite the opposite in Europe]; Is Facebook deemed as a reliable source of talent? NO (it will take a good few years yet IMO); If it was such a valuable recruiting source - why is Facebook still banned by many, many companies in the workplace?
120 million members is still a healthy number of talented people, isn't it? And anyway you don't always have to use the big networks - there is great value (and some would say better value) in using the smaller, more specific networks - Xing, Orkut, Ning, Viadeo etc etc.
Recruiters (internally and externally) should use the WHOLE RANGE of social networks that are relevent to the roles they are recruiting for, not just one (Facebook) just because it is the biggest!
- Judy - "LinkedIn is under attack by a major job board. In June, Monster launched BeKnown, an application that turns Facebook into a recruiting platform. It has 760,000 active monthly users after just two months. Instead of joining forces with LinkedIn, Monster chose to bypass the professional site and ally itself with Facebook."
>>BeKnown didn't choose to bypass LinkedIn, it had it's API access revoked by LinkedIn because they were trying to use the valuable LinkedIn data to populate the BeKnown personal profiles via Facebook.
BeKnown looks like being a good product from Monster, but a threat to LinkedIn? - get real - it is a different type of product that offers a different experience via Facebook. I have seen what is coming with BeKnown and it is a very powerful tool for searching personal networks, but the restriction is still the privacy factor of Facebook, and how much information people choose to share. This will improve over time and will help BeKnown be a good addition to a recruiters armoury - alongside LinkedIn!
- Judy - "LinkedIn is also drawing fire from a startup. BranchOut, founded by former SuperFan CEO Rick Marini, is a similar application with 2.7 million monthly users. Like BeKnown, BranchOut overlays employer information on top of the Facebook interface while shielding personal data (like embarrassing photos) from recruiters’ eyes. The success of these apps shows that millions of job seekers don’t want to leave their favourite website when looking for work."
>>Don't get me started on this product. It may be appealing for the US market where asking people for referrals is common place, but something that relies on people 'sharing' jobs with their networks CANNOT be compared to LinkedIn. 2.7 million active users? Really? I just don't see the long term value in this product other than an app that sits on Facebook that tells you every so often that someone has joined your network!
- Judy - "LinkedIn can’t compete with Facebook’s social marketing. A major part of job searching involves personal references and word of mouth. Facebook is designed for just such interactions, as its “Recommended Pages” on a user’s home page shows. Instead of “Three friends like Pepsi,” users might soon see “Three friends applied to work at PepsiCo.” This sort of peer-to-peer marketing, effective in virtually every other field, will be impossible to duplicate on LinkedIn."
>>- Of course LinkedIn can't compete virally with Facebook - it is 6x smaller for a start!! And as for the '3 friends applied to work at Pepsico' message you might see - I am not sure that people will appreciate people knowing they are applying for jobs - especially if they are working at the time!!
The message is wrong here.
There are different social networks for different reasons. People actually do like to keep their business life separate from their social life (family and friends). Some are happy to mix the two BUT NOT EVERYBODY.
Recruiters (internal and external) need to understand where the talent that best suits their organisations/clients are - whether that be online in the many different social networks or indeed offline. One cap does not fit all.
Henry Ford gave the option of black cars or black cars when they first came out, but that didn't last did it? People want choice and options, and more importantly ones that are pertinent to them. I would suggest that 120 million people on LinkedIn are happy to be on that social network, as the 700+ million people are to be on Facebook.
I haven't even mentioned the development work that LinkedIn are doing to continually improve their product! Wait and see people.
What do you think? Will Facebook take over the world and blow all the other social networks (and job boards) away? I already know the answer to that but do you?
Image credit: wwwdotwhat.com
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Nice rant Andy, I’m absolutely f*cked off with the kind of lazy link baiting writing you are calling out here. Everyday someone publishes an ill thought out post claiming something is going to kill something else….if only life was so black and white and straight forward. I don’t actually care how many registered users BranchOut, BeKnown or even Google+ have, at the end of the day its down to regular users and how those users actually put the sites to use in their daily workflow. So bored with everyone trying to oversimplify what is actually a very complex situation
Agree entirely Andy. In fact what you have said above, namely “Can you search Facebook effectively for people? NO; Can you see full work profiles on Facebook? NO (unless it is via an app like BeKnown for example); Can you then proactively search for other employees in companies? NO; Are employers still VERY WARY of Facebook recruiting? YES; Does everyone have the same ‘open’ attitude to Facebook like the USA? NO [In fact quite the opposite in Europe]; Is Facebook deemed as a reliable source of talent? NO”… totally proves the point that I have been trying to make for ages, and that is, Facebook is great for people who have family and friends far away or those who want to talk inanely about the minutiae of their life or post funny youtube videos, quizzes, other trivia etc. but it is not, and never will be, a reliable recruitment vehicle.
In short, there are far too many better alternatives, but Facebook will survive, purely because of the reasons you, and I, have stated. They are not even really in competition with Linkedin.
PS - If I were an employer it would be a very cold day in hell before I relied on Facebook to find staff. I can’t abide it and increasingly get the feeling that many people who are good at what they do and serious about their career would also never ever consider FB as a recruitment tool.
“Nice rant Andy, I’m absolutely f*cked off with the kind of lazy link baiting writing you are calling out here.”
But writing about a link bait article isn’t link baiting.
“I am not sure that people will appreciate people knowing they are applying for jobs - especially if they are working at the time!!”
Really? I receive emails from people who have started a new job all the time — on LinkedIn, even! The new hires and the employers WANT to publicize the hire. That’s where things are headed.
“I just don’t see the long term value in this product other than an app that sits on Facebook that tells you every so often that someone has joined your network!”
And what does LinkedIn do? It sits there until you use it, sending you occasional emails of people who want to join your network for whatever reason. Apps like BranchOut are easier to get to because they live on your Facebook page, where millions of people spend hours every day. People check FB first thing in the morning! Do people feel that passion for LinkedIn?
I think Facebook, with all its apps and innovations, is the future. LinkedIn is good for hiring top-level executives and discussing marketing strategies, but not for much else. Ask college kids about LinkedIn and they don’t even know what it is. That’s the future workforce right there.
Thanks for the frank response Matt
100% agree - too many people writing about things that they don’t either understand or realise the full implications of.
Strangely enough, the writer of thie original post on ERE is in the HR space - just thought it was very lame, kazy and naive of her to make the statements she did.
As I have said - used in conjunction with other online and offline platforms, fair enough. But to rely solely on Facebook is a little niave indeed!
Thanks for the reply, but there is a difference :
“I am not sure that people will appreciate people knowing they are applying for jobs - especially if they are working at the time!!” <
Facebook will be intrinsically linked to recruitment more and more - I agree with that. But it shouldn’t just be the main focus of recruitment strategy - that is just plain niave!
When recruiting employees - you should work out where the best places you are likely to identify them are going to be, and then work out an attraction strategy (proactive and reactive) based on that information. Depending on the demographic and the skills required, that could be online, offline or indeed one of many social networks.
Not everyone is on Facebook, and certainly not everyone on Facebook is either active or responsive to people talking about jobs. This will of course change in time, but for the forseeable future, using a range of different methods must be the way forward.