August 22, 2011
I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to my prediction that Facebook will destroy LinkedIn
. The debate has continued on the article’s comments page, on Twitter, and on the Recruiting Animal radio show.
- Image courtesy of Gino21410
I’d like to address some of the many good points made on both sides of the issue.
In the comments at ERE.net, Martin Snyder wrote “For my part, I don’t think social is in the DNA of LinkedIn (or they could have BEEN Facebook)” and concludes that “Products and services that enable that evolution will thrive, and recruiting, or the act of hooking up people and opportunity, will be more and more central to everything.”
I agree. Facebook combines social interactions, openness to third-party apps, and brand engagement to create a very compelling environment for recruiters. LinkedIn has many of the same capabilities, but little apparent willingness to innovate.
Which leads me to my next point. Andy Headworth of Sirona Consulting, who calls my post “utter rubbish,”
pointed out that “BeKnown didn’t choose to bypass LinkedIn; it had its API access revoked by LinkedIn because they were trying to use the valuable LinkedIn data to populate the BeKnown personal profiles via Facebook.”
So LinkedIn wasn’t just bypassed by Monster, it actively chased Monster away? That’s a perfect example of LinkedIn’s lack of vision. That decision to cede an innovation to not just one but two rivals may go down in corporate history alongside Borders’ decision in 2001 to let Amazon handle the store’s online book business. Ten years later, who came out on top?
Even recruiters who don’t agree with my prediction that LinkedIn will be irrelevant by the end of 2013 still see that the professional site is in trouble.
In an article titled “Why Facebook Will Not Destroy LinkedIn
,” LatinOcean founder Jorge Albinagorta wrote, “I am not saying it will never happen; rather I am arguing that the social links – which can nurture professional links (e.g. I want to work at Adidas ‘cause I love the brand, and my cousin tells me training for salespeople is great) – are at this stage a huge haystack to look for needles.” He goes on to add, “I am looking forward to seeing a network, environment, app, etc. giving LinkedIn a run for its money.”
On the lively and entertaining Recruiting Animal show
, I was challenged about numbers. “Animal” suggested that many of Facebook’s 750 million users weren’t of working age or lived outside the US. Let’s take a closer look.
According to CheckFacebook.com, a daily tracker for the social network, 153 million users are in the United States. LinkedIn states that 60 million of its members are US residents. So Facebook provides an American audience more than two and half times as large as LinkedIn.
According to the Pew Research Center
, more than 24 million American Facebook users are between the ages of 18-22, the demographic either thinking about internships or summer jobs, or about to enter the workforce. The same study says 3.6 million American LinkedIn users are between the ages of 18-22. Facebook wins by a margin of more than six to one.
Factor in the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey of 20,000 graduating seniors. Ninety-one percent had Facebook pages
; only 32% had LinkedIn pages. How will LinkedIn capture that other 59% as they enter the job market? What is LinkedIn doing to appeal to them? If they do nothing, won’t those grads just stay on Facebook and conduct their job searches from there?
- Image courtesy of Kazukiokumura
As bleak a picture as I’ve painted, however, many think LinkedIn still has a chance. Fellow ERE.net blogger
Ernest Feiteira wrote that “[Facebook] is not LinkedIn’s real competitor. BranchOut or BeKnown are. If LinkedIn realizes this too and they launch an app on FB, LinkedIn will wipe out BranchOut, BeKnown and other LinkedIn clones.”
Is LinkedIn up to the challenge? Will Facebook let its opportunity slip away? Can Google+ change the game? The conversation continues.
October 17, 2007
WSJ 10/9 Emily Steel
Among the hottest Web sites of the past few years were job-search sites such as CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com. Helped by lavish advertising, they became household names. Newspapers, eager to tap the fast-growing online-ad market, teamed up with them.
Now, the hottest names in online recruitment are increasingly specialized job sites. That poses a threat to the growth prospects of the broad-based online job boards and their newspaper partners, analysts said.
In August, the number of unique visitors to CareerBuilder — which is jointly owned by Gannett, Tribune, McClatchy and Microsoft — dropped 2% to 20.2 million, while Monster.com’s traffic rose 4% to 16.3 million visitors. By contrast, technology-focused Dice.com saw its traffic jump 34% to 998,000. At Healthcaresource.com, which posts health-care jobs, traffic rose 36%.
Of the broad-based sites, Yahoo’s HotJobs posted strong growth, with traffic rising 53% to 11.7 million visitors, boosted by recent partnership deals with more than 350 newspapers. “Advertisers are increasingly looking for more-targeted audiences and better-reach sites where they can find candidates that are more qualified,” said Eric Yoon, chief executive of JobThread, which sells recruitment ads on dozens of targeted Web sites. In some of these cases, the cost of placing an ad is a fraction of a post on the big job boards.
Unless the newspaper industry and the big job sites figure out how to fill this burgeoning demand, they could lose market share, said Gordon Borrell, Chief Executive of Williamsburg, Va., research firm Borrell Associates. The market is valued at $5.9 billion but is projected to increase 25% to $9.7 billion by 2011, Borrell estimates. That growth is expected to come both from big companies already advertising online as well as small and medium-size local businesses that mostly don’t use the Web.
“Obviously when you are going to a site that has a much larger user base you can get more applicants. You have more to choose from.” said a spokeswoman for CareerBuilder. CareerBuilder and Monster both note that employers can set multiple filters to weed out unqualified candidates.
“To ensure we always have the best talent in every region, across the county, Monster has relationships with several niche sites that target specific demographics. We also have added visibility in the regions touched by the local media outlets we have forged relationships with,” a Monster spokesman said.
Some Web concerns are taking steps to be more targeted in their approach. HotJobs has built an application on social networking site Facebook and is including tools on the site that enable people to email or instant-message a posting.
Yahoo is creating systems so recruitment ads on HotJobs could appear on other Web sites, using techniques that target the ad according to a person’s interests. For instance, if a person registers on an online profile as a nurse in the Southeast, that person could see ads related to the nursing profession. “This is enabling advertisers to go more into the niches…these people are out there on the Web in all sorts of places,” said Kevin Krim, vice president of product at Yahoo HotJobs. “We can reach out to them there with display advertising.”
Newspaper companies are starting to make other investments, too. The New York Times has invested in Indeed.com, a site that lets visitors search for jobs on all the sites that appear on the Web.
One possibility for broad-based sites is to partner with their niche rivals. The difficulty, analysts said, is such an arrangement would hurt the broad-based sites’ revenue because niche sites can’t charge as much for ads. “The larger boards need to be careful because to some extent they could cannibalize themselves [by investing in or working with the emerging sites],” said John Janedis, a publishing and advertising agencies analyst at Wachovia Securities. “Everything is on the table now. We’ll see how it plays out.”