Work4 Labs, a San Francisco-based recruiting tool for Facebook with offices in New York City and Paris, announced today that it has raised $11 million in Series A funding from Matrix Partners and several individual investors. The company works with over 17,000 companies that recruit on Facebook, including SAP, Accenture, Groupon and Deloitte, and using its Work For Us app helps employers source candidates on Facebook, get referrals from existing employees, and connect their existing career page with their Facebook page.
The company originally launched in 2010, and today marks their official public launch. Work4 Labs CEO Stephane Le Viet said the funding will go towards developing their technology, namely their job matching algorithm, and they’ll also use it for sales and marketing, both in North America and abroad.
The Work For Us app lets companies create a career site on their Facebook page, where they can post jobs openings, share those postings on social networks including LinkedIn and Twitter, or cross-post on over 100 job boards. Applicants can apply within Facebook, and employers can view analytics to see the reach of their postings. Companies install the app on their Facebook page, and can post jobs manually or automatically pull them in from their existing careers site (only available for enterprise users).
Work4 Labs also has two other products designed to help companies promote those job postings: integration with Facebook’s advertising platform so recruiters can promote their positions with ads, and a referral solution that gives companies the ability to promote jobs through their existing employees who are Facebook users, and allows those employees to recommend friends who might be a fit for the job. “Work For Us is about getting a company’s jobs on the Facebook platform, and the two other products are about distributing or promoting those jobs across the network,” Le Viet said. “The ad product is promoting the product through the ad system, the referral product is promoting the job through your own employees who are also Facebook users.”
In the next few months the company will be launching more mobile recruiting solutions to focus on hiring locally through Facebook. “Facebook usage is heavily mobile, and especially when you talk about blue collar hiring, a lot of that is very tied to recruiting locally,” he said. They’ll be focusing on making it easy for applicants to apply to jobs while they’re on their smartphone, allowing people to pull their Facebook profile info and apply with one click.
Prior to the launch of today’s free accounts, a basic plan cost $9 per month, with pro plans with additional features like employer branding and career site syncing available starting at $44 per month. Today’s free version replaces the basic plan, and is targeted at small businesses, 50 percent of whom Le Viet said don’t have a careers site. “We really want to allow all companies in any country and any industry to be able to hire easily,” he said. While the free account allows companies to post unlimited jobs, and gives them applicant management and social sharing features, they need to upgrade to a pro account in order to add their branding or automatically sync their existing job postings.
While there are several Facebook hiring tools like BranchOut and Identified, Le Viet believes most of the companies in the Facebook recruiting space are candidate or user-driven, rather than focusing on corporate recruiting. “We see ourselves as a corporate recruiting solution on Facebook, so we go after companies,” he said. “It will get competitive though.” He listed JobVite as a competitor since it has a Facebook app, and also some of the major recruiting platforms like CareerBuilder and Monster.
While Work4 Labs is focusing on Facebook recruiting, LinkedIn has usually been the social network of choice for recruiters due to its professional focus. Le Viet believes that recruiters’ dependence on Linkedin is growing, and that the types of jobs recruiters can target with Facebook is more varied. “Eventually we’ll compete in certain areas, but today it’s a great complement,” he said. “LinkedIn is a great tool to hire for white collar. It’s not a great tool for blue collar hiring at all.”
There are several up-and-coming hiring platforms like Path.to, MatchFWD, and TalentBin that are trying to build social aspects into the recruitment and referral process. But Work4 Labs’ customer base proves that sometimes building on a social platform itself, rather than integrating it into a third-party service, is the best way to get employers on board.