Will Facebook Eat LinkedIN’s Lunch?


Professional job networking site LinkedIN has been a public company for quite some time and so far, it has avoided the fate of Facebook’s stock. While Facebook is the undisputed 800-pound gorilla of the social networking space, LinkedIN can boast of something Facebook wishes it had-a steady and growing revenue base.

Indeed, the uncertain nature of Facebook’s revenues and far from certain revenue outlook have resulted in Facebook stock selling way below its initial public offering price of $38. Facebook can learn a lot from LinkedIN in terms of using a massive database of personal information for job placement and job search purposes.

To be honest, it has been somewhat of a mystery why Facebook hasn’t jumped with both feet in the job search industry since it has a huge 1 billion user base and very finely-tuned personal data indexing technology. As anyone who has taken out a self-serve ad at Facebook knows, Facebook’s targeting technology is quite thorough and detailed. Why not put this to use when trying to match people up with jobs that suit them?

Well, Facebook has made some initial moves. It has opened a job search function but it’s not as robust as LinkedIN’s. I suspect that even Facebook does decide to eat LinkedIN’s lunch, it will have a tough time. I am not saying it is impossible or Facebook won’t eventually succeed, I am just saying it will have to make more adjustments than it’s done so far. Here are just some of the hurdles Facebook needs to overcome to dominate LinkedIN’s space.

Special Filtration and Self-Selection of Facebook members

For Facebook to even get into the human resources matching game, it has to do a better job filtering members for this feature. It has to ask more extensive questions and get more extensive information. Moreover, it has to arrange the data in such a way that it meets the needs of head hunters and personnel departments worldwide.

Most importantly, it needs to market itself as a jobs resource. This should attract more people who have the proper background so they can meet the recruitment needs of companies that already use LinkedIN.

Finally, it has to upgrade its privacy rules and mechanism to ensure that there is an effective way to make information known to employers while at the same time keeping information private to ‘friends’ and family.