What’s so wrong with recruiting on Facebook? by @WinningImpress

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Sep 8, 2015
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Did you know that recently Facebook had 1 billion users log in on the one day? That’s a staggering 1/3rd of all Internet users and 2/3rds of their own users all in the one place at the one time.

So why aren’t you fishing in this pond?

As a seasoned social recruiting trainer the excuses I usually hear are along the lines of it’s personal, it’s creepy, people won’t like it, we’re not allowed access (staggering in 2015!), my CEO is scared of it, and so on.

Sure, you’re not going to be spoon fed like you are on LinkedIn, but you could be recruiting from an incredibly active pool of people that is 1.1 billion larger.

Now before you go thinking, “Oh but there aren’t any professionals on there!” You are, right?

And what about your network of friends? Mine, which is only 400 strong, contains a leading surgeon and many other well trained health professionals, many developers and IT professionals, engineers, educators, therapists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, a theatre director and, of course, many recruitment industry professionals.

…and who do they know?

My non-recruitment friends are adept at using the network for referrals too and because they usually don’t spray ‘n’ pray, this works well for them.

Let me knock a few of the misconceptions on their head.

  • You don’t need to add anyone as a friend to source people on Facebook,
  • Graph search is alive and well
  • Job seekers are looking at you on Facebook, so give it an audit!
  • It’s no longer purely a personal space, work related conversations happen on there all the time!

Fellow social recruiting trainer & recruitment marketing consultant, Chris South, and I will be presenting a fundamentals session at SourceCon on the 17th, which will leave you buzzing with ideas to add Facebook to your repertoire.

But if you can’t be there, here are 3 things to do to get started.

  1. Turn on & use Graph search

To turn it on Graph search you’ll need to change your language setting to ‘English US’ (don’t worry my British readers, it won’t change your spelling!) and you’ll most likely need to logout and log back in again.

Facebook’s Graph search wasn’t designed for recruiting but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. You just need to be creative in your thinking and try different things. You can use a maximum of 3 terms.

Boolean doesn’t work but you can use speech marks to return an exact word. For example, when searching for members of a group (see below), you need inverted commas.

Try these searches to get you started:

  • People who work at [company] and live in [location]
  • [job title] who work at [company] and live in [location]
  • [job title] who live in [location] are members of groups named “group name”
  • Members of groups named “group name” who live in [location]
  • [job title] who like [company or skill]
  • People who study [course] at [university] / People who studied [course] at [university]
  • People who checked in at [café, restaurant, pub near your competition?]

You’ll find you need to swap ‘who’ and ‘and’ around too, just try different things.

  1. Check out Discoverly

Discoverly is one of my favourite Chrome extensions for connecting the dots between Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more.

It needn’t be creepy; by using Discoverly, you could find a snippet of information that helps you open a conversation or gain a candidate’s attention.

For example, you may see someone has recently had a child so you could emphasize that you have crèche facilities, flexible working or great healthcare, or perhaps they’re a dog lover and you could mention that you have a bring dog to work policy. You don’t need to say, “I saw on Facebook…”

Discoverly also reveals your mutual Facebook friends, which is a great way to increase referrals`.

  1. Investigate the groups

Facebook groups remind me of LinkedIn’s groups 5 years ago when the majority were a valuable source of information and engagement.

To find groups, type a term in the search box, (ignore the prompts) and hit enter. Then change the dropdown to ‘groups’

As you would on LinkedIn, follow the group rules and be respectful. The majority of groups are designed for conversation and exchange of ideas, not for your job post. They’re an opportunity to network your way to hidden talent and become known, liked and trusted.

Hope you can join us at SourceCon, if not follow the chat on the #sourcecon hashtag as I am sure more Facebook recruiting secrets will be tweeted. J

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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