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Sackets Harbor businesses utilizing Facebook Jobs — new tool helps to connect employers with …

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SACKETS HARBOR — As the COVID-19 pandemic dragged on, the number of “help wanted” signs adorning windows of businesses seemed to ever increase. And don’t forget the notes asking for patience at restaurants due to staff shortages.

Despite this, some businesses found success turning to social media to fill open positions.

One such business is The Paisley Lily, located on the village’s West Main Street.

Owner Kendra L. Hamilton started the business in February of last year, but didn’t get to open until a few months later in May due to the pandemic. The business didn’t start hiring outside employees until a couple months ago, having been all family-run up to that point.

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The boutique offers items like funny greeting cards, alcohol infused and flavored treats, and irreverent gifts. The first, and only, platform Ms. Hamilton used to search for hires at the time was Facebook Jobs after receiving a message advertising the tool.

“It’s been going really well,” she said. “I see all of these companies that are having a really hard time finding employees, but we’re not having that problem — we have well over probably sixty to seventy applicants.”

She noted that in an effort to stand out, many applicants didn’t send their resumes online, instead opting to bring in paper copies of their resumes. People have called as well about the posting.

“It’s actually been kind of overwhelming,” Ms. Hamilton said. “I didn’t expect such a reaction to the job listing.”

Robert L. Traynham, head of Public Affairs for Facebook, said the company was very pleased to launch Facebook Jobs, a free tool that people can use to find jobs that are the best fit for them. The tool launched in June and has seen millions of people making use of it since. Job seekers can filter their searchers by things like location, desired job title and whether they would like to be full-time, part-time or a contract worker.

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“What we wanted to do was to connect people with jobs and connect employers with future employees, free of charge,” Mr. Traynham said.

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The unemployment rate in New York is roughly about 7.7%, according to Mr. Traynham, adding, “which is down, but it’s still relatively high.”

He said that according to Facebook’s State of the Small Business Survey, about 38% of New York small businesses “actually reduced employment as a result of the pandemic. What we’re trying to do is make sure that employers have access to employees, and that employees see that they have access to high paying jobs.”

The goal of launching the Facebook Jobs tool was to meet users where they are, which is on their smart devices like tablets and phones. Another useful aspect of the tool is the convenience for those who may be concerned about going out into an interview place, Mr. Traynham said. Job seekers can upload resumes, search for jobs and communicate with potential employers via the free, secure messaging bot. This can be done in the privacy of a home or anywhere users feel comfortable.

According to the state Department of Labor, on a net basis, the total number of non-farm jobs in the state increased by 17,800 in June, while private sector jobs rose by 9,800. At the same time, the total number of non-farm jobs in the nation increased by 850,000, while private sector jobs increased by 662,000.

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Nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings shot up to 10.1 million in June, the highest since it started tracking job openings in December 2000. The number of hires rose by 697,000 to 6.7 million, while the number of total separations increased by 254,000 to 5.6 million.

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Vacancies increased in all four regions with the job openings rate rising to 6.5% and the largest increases in vacancies in June for professional and business services, retail trade and accommodation and food services.

Since her first posting, Ms. Hamilton has renewed it once so far and said she believes they last for about a month before needing to be renewed. As the open positions are seasonal, running from April to Christmas time, and the boutique is small and family-run, the store has hired a few new employees and hopes to welcome them back next year once the season ends.

Facebook, for the most part, especially during the pandemic before the store could even open, was its main line of communication, helping to relay information about curbside pick-ups and deliveries. Even over a year later, it still is the store’s main form of communication with its customers. If the store needs to be closed early for any reason, Facebook is where Ms. Hamilton posts the information.

The boutique has an Instagram page as well, but Ms. Hamilton said she feels like she can’t relay as much information through the platform as she can through Facebook.

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Now that doors are open and things have relaxed, Ms. Hamilton said she mostly uses Facebook to relay information and share new products, noting that sometimes she’ll share new products and instantly have an order on the website for pickup.

“I would say, honestly, in the very beginning it saved our business,” Ms. Hamilton said. “When we could open, we wouldn’t have really had any sales if it wasn’t for Facebook and the information that we could put out there. I think before we even opened our doors, we probably had at least five to seven hundred likes on Facebook already.”

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Based on her experience using the Facebook Jobs tool, Ms. Hamilton said she thinks more people should utilize it. An obstacle she thinks might be holding people back from using Facebook Jobs is the fact that many don’t know it exists because it is still so new, it’s not familiar like Indeed or Craigslist. Even so, other local businesses are following suit and posting openings on the platform.

Other village businesses looking for help on Facebook include The Sandwich Bar, Agbotic, Inc., Tin Pan Galley, Robbins Family Grain and North Harbor Dairy, and The Whiskey Coop.

“I never put a help wanted sign in my window or anything like that, I only utilized Facebook,” she said. “For anyone that’s not doing that that’s looking for employees, I think they’re really missing out on an opportunity.”

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Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

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Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

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However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

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Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

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In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

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Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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