Although many companies already have been using Facebook to find workers, the new functionality formalizes its job search capabilities, the company said.
U.S. and Canadian businesses can use the company's new jobs bookmark to list open positions and allow users to apply directly from the site.
Page administrators can track applicants and communicate directly with them using messenger. They also can boost job postings to reach a larger audience.
Jobs will appear in users' News Feeds and also will be listed on individual businesses' pages. Users can click on the Apply Now button to trigger the prepopulation of their personal information, but they will be able to review and edit that information before submitting their application.
Over the next few weeks, companies in the U.S. and Canada will be able to list jobs on their own pages and users will be able to find job listings at Jobs on Facebook.
It is not clear how Facebook intends to monetize the job listings. For example, will there be specific job-related charges for listing jobs? Will there be remuneration if a company fills a particular job through a Facebook ad?
The new functionality is certain to place Facebook into direct competition with LinkedIn for corporate users and individual job seekers. LinkedIn, which Microsoft last year acquired for US$26.2 billion, is the leading social media site for networking and job searching in the U.S., by many accounts.Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn charges monthly subscription fees for job search services, depending on the level of functionality the user desires in terms of networking, contacting recruiters and accessing messaging functions.
Facebook also will be in indirect competition with websites such as Indeed, Monster, Craigslist and others that target job seekers."Social media is the new frontier for marketing and sales," said Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.
By tapping into their employees' social media experiences, companies can leverage their professional contacts to reach a wider audience.
A major test for Facebook's new job search capabilities is whether users will feel comfortable combining their social media activity with professional job searching, warned Zach Fuller, paid content analyst at Midia Research.Security considerations likely will give some users pause when it comes to allowing potential employers to access their private information.Whether consumers are comfortable merging the work and social aspects of their lives will prove to be the critical factor, particularly given the potential privacy issues.
The jobs features are a bid to grow Facebook's base of business customers and provide additional capabilities for them to interact with customers. Facebook last fall enhanced its call-to-action functions to give customers more ways to communicate with -- and make purchases from -- their favorite businesses.