Facebook Has This Horrible Surprise for LinkedIn

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With the launch of the Social Jobs Partnership on Wednesday, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) added a new dimension to its social networking business.

In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), and several other agencies, the company has aggregated 1.7 million listings from BranchOut, DirectEmployers, Work4Labs, Jobvite, and Monster.com (NYSE:MWW) into a single platform. The application enables Facebook users to search for jobs by industry, location, and skill, apply to open positions directly, and share jobs with friends.

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“When it comes to economic growth, few issues are more important than matching qualified candidates with great jobs,” Facebook said on the company’s blog. “In that spirit, we know that the power of social media – the connections between friends, family and community – can have an outsized impact on finding jobs.”

Even before the application’s launch, Facebook was used by recruiters for hiring, a fact the company highlighted in its announcement of the Social Jobs Partnership. Citing a recent NACE survey, the social network said that 50 percent of employers surveyed use Facebook in the hiring process, and 90 percent found that Facebook has decreased the amount of print advertising needed for recruiting purposes.

But the application is not a Facebook-dominated initiative. “Nearly a year ago, the U.S. Department of Labor joined the Social Jobs Partnership to explore better ways to connect people with job information through social media,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis regarding the application. “Through the expertise of our partners and the foundation of an industry-supported open source job posting schema, the Social Jobs Partnership is helping get America back to work.”

Now LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) has a direct competitor. Although the company has a three-year head start on the Social Jobs application and a well-established enterprise recruitment tool, Facebook already has a much larger base, with 1 billion accounts compared to LinkedIn’s 175 million. The social network also has a much more varied user demographic than LinkedIn, enabling Facebook’s application to support a greater range of entry-level and hourly positions rather than the salaried openings that LinkedIn primarily offers.

Shares of LinkedIn were trading down 1 percent, at $98.16, midday on Wednesday following the launch.

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