Facebook and the United States Department of Labor today announced a partnership to help the country’s unemployed find work, the LA Times reports. Together they’ve launched the Social Jobs Partnership Facebook Page that aggregates career resources including job search education, job boards, and services that match a visitor’s skills with opportunities. The goal is to make it easier for those without jobs to discover these resources that were previously scattered across .gov and .org websites. Public service announcements will be run on Facebook and in the 10 states with the highest unemployment to promote the new Page.
With Americans spending so much time on the free social network, Facebook is in a unique position to assist the labor department. The partnership could help Facebook dispel the belief that it is purely a procrastination tool and demonstrate how it can improve peoples lives.
14 million Americans are out of work, yet there are 3 million open jobs. This disconnect is in part due to a lack of awareness of free government career resources (along with systemic factors, like people not having the necessary qualifications for some job openings). Job seekers may be looking at local listings and sending out resume after resume. However, if they haven’t received assistance in determining what opportunities are best suited for them, optimizing their resume, and learning how to navigate the interview process, they may have further difficulty securing employment.
In addition to Facebook and the Labor Department, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), DirectEmployers Association (DE), and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) are participating in the project.
The Social Jobs Partnership Page they’ve created acts as a portal to services that can help, including:
- CareerOneStop – a Department of Labor site that educates users on job seeking, resume writing, interviews, and more
- My Next Move – A tool that provides skills and salary information on hundreds of careers, and personalized career suggestions
- My Skills My Future – A skills-to-job matching tool
- Job Corps – A free job training and education program for young people from low income families
- NACElink – A board of job and internship postings for college students
Users can Like the Page to receive news feed updates about new career resources, answer surveys about their needs, and receive job listings. The Page also features a Share Your Story app that lets users describe how Facebook helped them find a job. Submissions will presumably be featured on the Page or used in promotions for the partnership.
Studies show 55.5% of recruiters are already using Facebook to source hires, meaning Facebook users may have a better chance of finding employment than those that abstain from social networking. Several applications have launched to assist these recruiters, such as BranchOut and Monster’s BeKnown for professional networking and recruiter search, Jobvite for viral job listing distribution, and Work For Us for displaying personalized job opportunities on brand Pages.
In the past, Facebook has worked with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and local government agencies to set up Pages that further their goals. These initiatives have strengthened its relationship with the US government in ways that complement its increasing lobbying effortsto prevent unfavorable privacy laws and other types of regulation from being levied against the site.
The Social Jobs Partnership could also improve the site’s image amongst users, some of who view it as a fun way to waste time rather than a place to learn and grow. Its viral nature will make success stories stemming from the partnership especially visible. It might only take one friend getting a job thanks to the Social Jobs Partnership Page to persuade their network that Facebook can help one connect with employment, not just friends.