Facebook Goes Big with Enterprise ATS Integrations

 

By Dave Zielinski May 9, 2019
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​Recruiters for large organizations now have easier and broader access to job candidates on Facebook, thanks to new partnerships forged between the social media giant and providers of applicant tracking systems (ATSs).

A new partnership between SAP SuccessFactors and Jobs on Facebook will let those who use SAP's recruiting platform market job openings to Facebook's more than 2 billion users, the first such partnership with an ATS platform that caters to larger employers.

Experts say the partnership reflects Facebook's desire to extend the reach of its jobs platform beyond small and midsize businesses to large corporate employers looking to fill job openings. In doing so, the social network will keep pace with similar partnerships created between Google for Jobs and ATS vendors.

"While in the past recruiting on Facebook may have been best-suited to particular types of candidates, there's been a shift to a variety of worker types, especially as generations get older and the line between professional and social lives continues to blur," said Jeff Mills, director of solutions marketing for SAP SuccessFactors. "We feel by not embracing that shift, we'd be doing a disservice to our clients. As with any kind of marketing, we want our customers to be where their prospects live."

Chris Russell, managing director of RecTech Media, a recruiting technology consulting and research firm in Trumbull, Conn., said partnerships like these should please larger employers.

Before it partnered with SAP, Facebook partnered with ATS vendors such as Workable, JazzHR and Talentify, which primarily cater to small and midsize businesses.

Without integrations with enterprise-level ATSs, large employers couldn't take advantage of Jobs on Facebook.

"When Facebook first launched its jobs board, a lot of corporate employers were dismayed because they couldn't leverage the platform for the kind of candidate traffic they wanted," Russell said. "On the ATS side, it's a win for providers like SAP because they can send their clients a significant, new, free source of job-seeker traffic." Russell said such partnerships may also improve the quality and breadth of job listings.

Facebook's integration with SAP and future ATS partners will make the social network a more viable—and potentially higher-volume—recruiting source for organizations of all sizes, said George LaRocque, founder and principal analyst of HRWins, an HR technology research and consulting firm in New Providence, N.J.

"Integrations like the one with SAP open up Facebook as a more promising source to anyone hiring at any scale," LaRocque said.

Such ATS integrations can help recruiters better promote their brands on social media, he added. "Facebook can create a natural connection to a group of prospective candidates who, either as consumers or candidates, may have already aligned themselves with your brand or certain topics that you've communicated about," he said.

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Job seekers on Facebook can apply through ATS integrations either on Facebook or off, said Jackie Chang, head of business platform partnerships for Facebook. A candidate applying on the site, or "natively," she explained, can apply directly on Facebook, and his or her application is sent back through an ATS to the employer. With the offsite method, the candidate is redirected from Facebook to the employer's careers site, and the job seeker applies there.

Avoiding 'Post and Pray'

Recruiting experts say partnerships between ATS providers and Facebook or Google for Jobs should have lasting benefits for companies and job seekers alike. But the distribution of more job postings from larger employers to these sites alone won't create greater recruiting success, some experts say.

"A job listing on Facebook still requires marketing know-how to get the right people to visit that post or page," said Elaine Orler, CEO of Talent Function, a talent acquisition consulting firm in San Diego. "You still need to know exactly what kind of audience you're going after, or it can turn into a post-and-pray exercise."

Orler said the application options that Jobs on Facebook offers may bolster applicants' confidence in the process at a time when phishing, online identify theft and other criminal activities are growing threats.

"When a job is published and a candidate hits 'apply,' they have confidence it's legitimate when they're quickly taken back to the employer's platform," Orler said. Replicating application paths or creating alternate paths is harder for those with malicious intent when those routes are traveling directly to employer careers sites, she said.

Dave Zielinski is a freelance business writer and editor in Minneapolis.

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