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Facebook Unveils Job Postings And Applications, Taking On LinkedIn, Glassdoor

Facebook doesn't only want to be a tool to connect family and friends. It also wants to be a utility for businesses.

The company said on Wednesday it is launching new tools this week to allow businesses in the U.S. and Canada to create job postings through their Facebook Pages, and for job seekers to apply for those openings directly on the social network. The new tools put the company in competition with other recruitment and jobs platforms such as Microsoft owned LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Monster.com. Facebook's tools are geared toward small businesses, which employ about half of U.S. workers and represent about an important market for Facebook's advertising business.

While businesses can create job openings on Facebook for free, they must pay to boost postings through targeted campaigns in news feeds. The feature also gives Facebook one more reason to keep users on the social network and by extension, serve more ads. Job postings will appear on the company's new "Jobs" bookmark on desktop and mobile and on Facebook's Jobs page, in addition to news feed.

Facebook's VP of ads and business platform Andrew Bosworth said the company decided to build the tools after noticing that businesses were already posting about job openings on their Pages. A survey of small businesses commissioned by Facebook also found that small businesses' number one challenge is hiring, which supported the project, Bosworth said in an interview.

"This was a real opportunity sitting in front of us," Bosworth said, noting at tests of the tool so far have "exceeded expectations."

Facebook's jobs features can be accessed entirely on mobile. Businesses can customize their applications with interview questions and other details such as salary and job location. When users click to apply for an opening, Facebook will automatically populate the application with portions of their public Facebook profile. Users can edit every part of their pre-filled form except their name and profile photo. Submitting the job application then generates a Messenger thread with the business, which can track and review applications.

"A lot of job seeking behavior is casual, and this doesn’t take a huge investment," Bosworth said. "These are tools that people want and will make their lives easier."

Facebook has steadily been growing its suite of enterprise services. In October, the company rolled out its workplace-messaging platform called Workplace, an internal chat and collaboration tool for businesses. More than 1,000 organizations currently use the tool, previously known as "Facebook at Work."

Workplace also generates revenue. While the tool is free for nonprofits and educational institutions, other organizations pay a monthly rate based on the number of monthly active users: Businesses pay $3 per employee for the first 1,000 employees, $2 per employee for 1,001 to 10,000 users and $1 per employee for more than 10,000 users. The service includes unlimited file, photo and video storage and unlimited groups. Facebook faces a host of competitors in the business messaging space, from Slack , to Microsoft's Yammer and Jive by Jive Software.

Press release attributed to Forbes.com