Facebook + Job Board? Cognitive Dissonance

Think about the amount of time you spend (and waste) on Facebook. Yes, you’re addicted to Facebook, and sooner than later, the number of Facebook addicts will exceed 1 billion. Those are formidable numbers, right there. Think about the marketing-related and other delusions wrought by the thought of a billion Facebook addicts. Yes, it’d be enough to convince the very smartest and wealthiest whizzes of business to embark upon questionable endeavors, all on the promise that it’s the numbers, baby, the numbers.

That lure of the numbers, baby, seems to have led the denizens of Facebook astray. What else can we make of the news, as reported by several sources, that Facebook apparently plans to add a job board to its ecosystem? My reaction, as a business journalist who follows developments in the high-tech market for recruiting and human resources, was more like a reflex: For Facebook to add a job board seems cheesy and unnecessary.

Step 1: Facebook + Job Board; Step 2: ???; Step 3: Profit!

facebook job board cognitive dissonanceA mass message from well-known industry observer Joel Cheesman arrived in my email inbox this Monday. So misguided is Facebook’s idea, that Cheesman comes close to saying Facebook is just waiting for magic to happen. I agree. The subhead above is a riff on an old episode of “South Park.” The underlying joke-slash-truth is that an idea needs a plan before it will bear fruit; otherwise, it’s just an idea, and the odder the idea is, the more question marks replace solid thinking in Step 2. That’s because the question marks represent magical thinking or, charitably, wishful thinking.

And I, too, see question marks galore in Step 2 of Facebook’s apparent plan to add a job board in order to turn a profit. Maybe they wish to employ a job board for different reasons, but an IPO, especially one with all the attendant pressure of Facebook’s, can lead an organization to take desperate measures in attempts to raise revenue.

A job board inside Facebook isn’t exactly the place where a billion addicts want to be when they’re mainlining the network every five minutes or so of their day. Yes, Facebook wants to go head-to-head with LinkedIn in being the go-to social network for jobseekers and recruiters. But LinkedIn users aren’t addicts; they’re methodical and committed professionals in control of their lives.

As Cheesman points out, in his email, Facebook is littered with “a bevy of job search apps that are more-or-less ghost towns or have since been buried, including ones by Indeed.com, Simply Hired and CareerBuilder.” Indeed.com, Simply Hired and CareerBuilder are solid destinations online for job-seeking, each with a future. …that’s not on Facebook.

Social Media + Job Searching = Success

Combining social media and job searching is another equation calling for another blog post. I’ll write it soon. The annual Jobvite survey results on jobseekers’ and recruiters’ use of social media was just released, and the numbers show that social media is the place to be, if you want to find a new job or new career. That kind of news has #CareerGravity written all over it. …

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