The Facebook Job Board Debacle 7 Comments


By now you would have heard Facebook has launched a new jobs app, in partnership with 5 organizations. As you would guess, the experts and news organizations are stating LinkedIn should be scared as they have been “put on notice”.

After receiving some feedback and taking a look at the app, there are some substantial obstacles to overcome before LinkedIn ever has to worry. In fact, they are probably cheering at how bad this is.

The examples:

  1. Search Results.  Boasting 1.7 million jobs posted, one would expect some jobs to show up in the search results. I conducted a basic search for a recruiter job in Minneapolis.  3 of the 5 tabs show no postings, while the other 2 show jobs that aren’t even close to a recruiter in Minneapolis.
  2. The tabs.  Why would you force job seekers to maneuver between tabs and not integrate all of the job postings into one list of results?
  3. Search relevance.  As mentioned the search results were lacking, but the relevance was worse. Ex. a document shredder in California was one of the top listings for the Recruiter in Minneapolis search. What’s even more interesting is some of the sites (tabs) show zero listings but if you go directly to their job board (not through the app) the listings are endless – and accurate relative to the search terms.
  4. Apps within Apps. If you see a job you’re interested in you are forced to leave the facebook jobs app and either view that job on one of the web sites listed, or view it through the app which the listing came from – forcing job seekers to install and use yet another app.
  5. Networking. You’d expect better from Facebook and industry leaders. How ironic is it you cannot even view your connections and how to get introduced information within the posting? I take that back, you can, if you leave the site and install one of the apps.


What’s laughable is the context of some of the articles and the headlines which show the success and the new 1.7 million job listings on Facebook – as if recruiters have flocked to the app to post their jobs in the past 24 hours.  The reality is every single job listed on the app was already posted somewhere else – and was searchable by job seekers.

Forget what I think, here is some feedback aggregated through other postings about the app:

  • Tried a search and got the spinning wheel of death for over 5 minutes. What a piece of crap.
  • A Database Error Occurred, Unable to connect to your database server using the provided settings, Filename: core/Loader.php, Line Number: 232
  • Cool idea, poor execution. The first apply now button I hit was a broken link.
  • Error message: Spark Notes Version –> I’m staying with LinkedIn
  • Another band-aid on a bleeding wound.
  • The application doesn’t do anything more than what other job boards already do. So what?

My recommendation for job seekers is to continue using top aggregator sites like where nearly all postings already are, and networking sites like LinkedIn which allow you to apply directly to a company without creating a profile in a database, or through another app.


About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Thursday, November 15th, 2012
  • This Post Has 7 Comments

    1. Doug Berg says:

      What a epic fail. They are in bed with the wrong people informing them on the part of the industry that should be one of their shining star revenue streams (hello, LinkedIn is worth BILLIONS because of figuring this out – no wonder FB stock is so low).

      Nearly anything would have been better than this. Darn it, as I love FB, and was hoping they’d do something brilliant here. I don’t know who’s leading this effort over there – but this is tragic.

    2. Right on, Jason.

      To your point — (and, have been in the job aggregation business for years, and do it very well.

      However, job seekers should use these sites as a reference tool – not as a primary method for applying for a job. Job seekers should set-up search agents on these sites and then forget them. Spend your time researching companies you want to work for – and have something concrete to offer – and build relationships with employees at these companies to get a referral. That way, you’re not in as stack of hundreds of resumes companies receive for every job posting.

      Figure out ways to differentiate yourself and connect with real people – not applicant tracking systems!

    3. Shannon says:

      Great overview and information … I particularly like, and agree with, your recommendation to just continue to use aggregator sites. My company posts jobs on Monster, yet they were not accessible via the app which is yet another FAIL. I even reached out to Monster and have heard nothing.

      Good intentions … yes. Great idea … yes. Just POOR execution. I wonder if they did any job seeker or recruiter focus groups during the implementation phase / beta testing. There’s still time to improve, I suppose.

    4. Alconcalcia says:

      What this demonstrates to me is that in the mad rush to get on board the social media recruitment train, Facebook have come otu with some half baked, ineffectual vehicle that those who better understand the business of recruitment are quick to shoot down in flames. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, because you have 1 billion members does not automatically mean you are the best place to come looking for candidates or jobs. There are already much better, slicker, more focussed channels out there. Facebook is merely jumping on a bandwagon they probably don’t have any right to be on. They should stick to what they are good at… I can;t recall what that is right now. Being a glorified chat portal to share pictures of your pets and children on, yes that’s it! Many serious career professionals don’t register with Facebook, and those that do are very unlikely to give you a full rundown of their professional expertise in their profile. If you want to recruit low level staff for a superstore or reach teenagers, or rednecks pretending to be 13 year old girls then hey, I could just about see a market for Facebook in the recruitment arena, but, as I say, better, more focused and established channels where career minded people hang out already have things sewn up. It’s just another half baked Facebook idea that won’t fly.

    5. Taylor says:

      Jason, your conclusions are logical if you start from the assumption that FB intended to compete with LinkedIn…and I don’t believe that’s actually the case. The new app will help job seekers find real-time positions from multiple streams. It’s positioned to be a job seeker’s tool, not a recruiter’s tool – and the announcement is pretty clear on that. It also seems to have been designed to be mindful that job seekers may not want their job search activity popping up on their timelines for their friends, family or work colleagues to see.

      I do like that this delivers jobs across demographics and levels into a searchable format – jobs from part time waitstaff to senior vice presidents. I also like that this is a new approach, something different than job boards and aggregators. No one is trumpeting the FB app as the alpha and omega of the job hunt. This, like other channels, will connect to jobseekers where they are and should be one more arrow in THEIR quiver in the search for employment.

      It’s quite interesting to see who and how many people are rushing to rip this apart and tell the world why it won’t work. A few decades ago, a similar chorus was heard regarding the use of the internet to recruit anyone other than a techie. I’m going to ensure our jobs are available to FB users via the app and measure the efficiency and effectiveness over the next 12 to 18 months.

    6. Stephen O'Donnell says:

      I believe FB have made it deliberately basic, in order to get the recruitment ball rolling, and use content from the partners. When they do upscale it (and sell their own ads directly), they will allow jobseekers to have a separate profile layer for users with selected professional info. Branchout and Beknown are indeed flops because they don’t seem to “get” facebook, and they are limited in what FB will let them do. LinkedIn is safe for now, but it could be a future threat.

      I run The National Online Recruitment Awards in the UK, and has also written on this topic.

    7. James Wason says:

      Seems like Facebook wants to be the no.1 social networking in helping people find jobs and in online recruitment. I think they either need to acquire them or come up with their own version of the tool rather than partnering with third party apps.

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