Continuing its drive to be more lucrative for its investors, Facebook this week is rolling out an interesting application it could have added years ago: a job search engine.
The job-search app lists over 1,733,000 jobs (who knew that many were still available in this economy?) as of Wednesday afternoon, culled from four top job-listing sites: BranchOut, Monster, JobVite and Work4Labs.
Users can enter search keywords, category and subcategory and search, with the ability to check off jobs designated as veteran-friendly.
For example, the keyword "writer," category Editorial/Media/Journalism and subcategory journalism yielded jobs at Yahoo! for a technical writer in Singapore; at Mantech in Washington, D.C., also for a technical writer; and at Pearson in New York for a proposal writer, among 97 other matching jobs.
"By allowing job seekers to view and share job openings based on personalized criteria, like location and industry, the Social Jobs Application builds on our broader effort to help people use social media to find jobs in the U.S.," said Marne Levine, Facebook's vice president for global public policy, in an online statement announcing that the app was live.
The Social Jobs App stems from the collaboration of Facebook with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the Direct Employers Association, to create the Social Jobs Partnership last year in an "initiative that leverages social media to connect great jobs with great candidates," Facebook said.
While helping some of its 1 billion users find work is a noble undertaking, its also good for business, keeping users engaged on the site and likely bringing in income from partners.
The announcement sent Facebook shares up 12.59 percent at closing, or $2.50 cents higher at $22.36, while the career-building network LinkedIn closed down 0.49 percent, at $98.77. The announcement came as around 800 million new shares hit the market.
What Took So Long?
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us he was surprised it took Facebook this long to get on the online employment and recruitment bandwagon.
"After all, the company's been around just a bit longer than the recession and anyone who knows anything about employment understands the importance of social connections in finding and landing jobs," King said.
King sees the move as a bigger threat to LinkedIn, which connects users profiles, than to Craigslist, which features jobs listing among other items.
"LinkedIn is more formidably direct social networking, so Facebook may be trying to take them down a peg," King said. "Plus, bigger and better companies than FB (such as eBay) have spent millions in pursuing Craigslist without much evidence of success. In any case, this could very well qualify as evidence that Facebook is trying to provide value to its users beyond the usual likes and updates."