Facebook is moving further into classifieds — testing a “Jobs” feature that could provide small businesses, or even large ones, with a way to post jobs formally on their Facebook pages and accept applications through the site.

The launch — described as “a test for page admins” by a Facebook spokesperson — comes less than one month after Facebook formally entered the “stuff” category of classifieds with its Marketplace service. That one is expected to roll out quickly after Facebook works out the kinks in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

(For more coverage of Facebook Marketplace, see our recent Global Classified Advertising Annual.)

The Facebook jobs tab was first reported by TechCrunch. In an excellent analysis by Josh Constine, TechCrunch speculates the Jobs tab could damage LinkedIn.

“With Microsoft’s $26.2 billion cash acquisition of LinkedIn expected to go through soon, Facebook may be looking to capitalize on the confusion or product stagnation,” Constine wrote. (Click through; his post is definitely worth reading.)

Job postings on Facebook are not new, of course, just as “stuff” sales have been going on through Facebook for years. Several companies offer services to build “jobs” pages on Facebook, but those are primarily used by large employers. This experiment formalizes recruitment opportunity postings for employers directly through Facebook. TechCrunch notes job-seekers will be able to apply directly through a company’s Facebook page in a way they could not until now.

“Many LinkedIn users only visit when they’re updating their profile about a new job, or are actively looking for one. But Facebook could reach people not even thinking about a job, yet could be convinced to apply for the chance,” Constine wrote. “Facebook offers demand generation, drumming up interest people didn’t know they had.”

Every recruitment site talks about the elusive “passive” candidate or job-seekers; Facebook could be a much more powerful tool for truly reaching them.

Just as Marketplace is a way for Facebook to formalize something users have been doing for a while — using Facebook to buy and sell stuff — Facebook told TechCrunch it is exploring options in the jobs field because of organic trials by its users.

“Based on behavior we’ve seen on Facebook, where many small businesses post about their job openings on their page, we’re running a test for page admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates,” Facebook told TechCrunch.

(We’ve emailed Facebook for further comment or an interview; we’ll update this post or update clients in Classified Intelligence Report when we get more information.)

This article was emailed to AIM Group clients as an “ALERT” early Tuesday.

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