Saying over the weekend that he can't bring himself to look at resumes on LinkedIn because "the cringe level is so high," Elon Musk rolled out a beta version of X Hiring, which will charge verified organizations a fee to post jobs.
The ambition to turn the platform formerly known as Twitter into an "everything app" in the mode of China's WeChat might still seem pie-in-the-sky. But Elon Musk's X could, conceivably, be well used to advertise and apply for jobs — especially the sort of tech jobs that Musk fanboys want to advertise and apply for. And now we know this is something the company has been working on.
A post went up Friday calling on Verified Organizations on X — all those companies that are currently paying for that status — to sign up for X Hiring Beta, saying that companies can "Feature your most critical roles and organically reach millions of relevant candidates."
Unlock early access to the X Hiring Beta — exclusively for Verified Organizations.— Hiring (@XHiring) August 25, 2023
Feature your most critical roles and organically reach millions of relevant candidates.
Apply for the Beta today 🚀: https://t.co/viOQ9BUM3Y pic.twitter.com/AYzdBIDjds
The service will cost $1,000 per month, and some companies have already been using the beta version for a month already.
As India Times notes, X Hiring is likely using backend technology developed by the job-matching startup Laskie, which X acquired back in May. It was the first acquisition since Musk took over Twitter last fall, and this is the first new feature the company has announced that doesn't relate to the core social-posting product.
Musk wasted no time in dissing LinkedIn in a reply tweet on Saturday, saying, "People send me LinkedIn links sometimes, but the cringe level is so high that I just can’t bring myself to use it, so I ask for the resume or bio to be emailed. We will make sure that the X competitor to LinkedIn is cool."
People send me LinkedIn links sometimes, but the cringe level is so high that I just can’t bring myself to use it, so I ask for the resume or bio to be emailed.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 27, 2023
We will make sure that the X competitor to LinkedIn is cool.
Companies looking to try out the beta version of X Hiring can sign up here.
It's probably not coincidental that the announcement about X Hiring came on Friday. Two days earlier, Bloomberg published a report on how LinkedIn was increasingly being used for social purposes by some users — and it "might even be cool" now.
Take this as you will — it's not like LinkedIn is going to become a go-to photo-sharing app or a venue for political arguments, like Instagram or X. But for certain kinds of influencers who are peddling certain types of self-help content linked to careers, it's apparently becoming a bit more popular and giving creators some surprising traction.
Per Bloomberg, "trying to become a so-called thinkfluencer [on LinkedIn now] seems strategic and at least marginally socially acceptable."
There has certainly been some cringe factor to a lot of those types of content posts in the past, to Musk's point. But you don't really have to see that stuff if you're just looking at resumes, right?
Beyond the jobs thing, Musk has hinted that launching a dating app within X is not off the table, and we know he's likely to launch some sort of payments thing at some point. All of this seems fairly contingent on the core business — which remains advertising-based — surviving and showing some growth again, following a tumultuous year.
Musk admitted last month that advertisers have not returned after they left Twitter during the first months of his tenure, saying that ad revenue was down 50%.
The rollout of X Hiring runs counter to Musk's July statement that "We're still negative cash flow, due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load. Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else."