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“Facebook Will Destroy LinkedIn” Really? What utter rubbish!

 

Facebook vs linkedin
I nearly spat my coffee out, 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.

Really??

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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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