Facebook vs. LinkedIn: Which is better for business?

We test two top social networking sites with six business problems

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3. Find a contract worker for a three-month Web project

It's just really bad timing. One of your best Web designers decided to have a baby, and her due date is two days before the team has to start working on a new look for the site. She's already given you some good ideas to work on, but she's taking the next three months off and you're going to need a temporary replacement. You don't have the time or the inclination to start dealing with HR, since they wouldn't know a good Web designer if it bit them in the ankle, so you're going to try to find one through your network.

Facebook

First, follow the same advice as for looking for a job, and head to the same places — except when you go there, follow the steps for those who have jobs to offer, rather than someone looking for a job.

Application Developer Services lists possibilities.

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After that, there's another Facebook app that should help. Try the Application Developer Services application. It lists developers, their expertise, what kind of work they're looking for and sometimes the rates they charge as well. You can also do targeted searches by expertise — everything from AJAX through XML. — Preston Gralla

LinkedIn

If this hiring is totally aboveboard — in other words, your HR department has approved it and you're going to properly handle all the paperwork — you can certainly post it on LinkedIn. The form for posting a job opening contains no surprises: it's got the boxes for company name, job title and job description, plus pop-up menus for specifying industry sector, experience level, job function and job type (contract, temporary and so on).

It's $195 to post a job on LinkedIn for 30 days.

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If someone then applies to you through the LinkedIn posting, the application will include a list of people in your network who have worked in the same place(s) as your applicant. You can then request references from your connections, the same way you would pursue introductions in the other direction.

Mind you, it costs $195 to post a job on LinkedIn for 30 days; posting a job on Craigslist, by contrast, costs $75 in the San Francisco Bay Area and $25 elsewhere. You'll have to decide if the ability to get references is worth that much to you. (In the Bay Area, you can shout "Web designer wanted" out your window and have 50 resumes by lunchtime.) — Jake Widman

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