Is Facebook Just a Sourcing Fad?

As the world’s largest social network platform with over two billion people monthly users, it’s time we talk about Facebook as a sourcing tool. It may not be the first social network you think of when thinking sourcing, but the truth is it’s a massive resource filled with job seekers – and it’s worth tapping into. Sourcing fad or not, there’s a great deal of potential that you are missing out on if you are not using Facebook. Never tried recruiting through Facebook? Here are a few tips to get you started.

There’s Less Competition

Since LinkedIn is the top social network that recruiters go to for their sourcing needs, it can make it a more crowded market. Facebook is the road less traveled when it comes to sourcing, and that can be a significant benefit for you, giving you the opportunity to discover talent different than the smaller selection on LinkedIn.

The Power of Search

Facebook’s “search” is a great sourcing tool. You can get pretty darn specific too because the search is done in natural language query. Looking to source marketing specialists who speak Spanish and live near Phoenix? Just type that into the query. You can get pretty creative with it and view results immediately.

The Data

According to the most recent, 2017 State of Sourcing survey, only two thirds of sourcers and recruiters use Facebook to find candidates, and a discouraging five percent find Facebook to be extremely useful for sourcing. Most sourcers and recruiters that do use Facebook only do so on a monthly basis. The sourcers who have been successful with Facebook have seen under ten hires annually from the social media conglomerate.

Sourcing Tools

One of the most popular Facebook sourcing tools is from Shane McCusker. If you don’t know or use the Facebook Sourcing Tool, stop what you’re doing right now and download it! You don’t even need Chrome to use it, as there is also a free web based version. This useful sourcing tool has appeared in just about everyone’s SourceCon presentation and has been featured on many of our webinars. It’s a mixture of our sourcing favorites: Facebook, tool, free. According to McCusker, even the Facebook recruiting team uses it.

Hiretual also as a free Facebook search competent in its Chrome extension. It’s also very easy to use and is similar to the product that McCusker designed.

Sourcing Parties

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A fun idea is to have a “sourcing party” where different people on your team come together and search the same query. Because everyone’s Facebook Graph is different, your search lists will vary greatly. Make it fun! Order in lunch and have at it. You may even end up finding friends that would make a good fit for a role.

Screen for Cultural Fit

A LinkedIn profile is bound to show a more professional side to anyone, but Facebook can show you a more “real” portrayal of a person. Depending on the privacy level of the individual’s account, some profiles will show more than others. But pictures can speak volumes, and if your potential candidate’s profile is littered with the types of photos that could make for a less than ideal cultural fit for the company you’re hiring for, then you’re better off continuing your search.

Making the Connection

Is sending information about a job opportunity via Facebook message weird? Well, it is unexpected, but not out of the realm of possibility. Since Facebook isn’t the most common place to receive info about a job offer, your message will stand out and maybe even increase the chance of someone responding. Sometimes LinkedIn messages can seem a bit spammy if you’re receiving a lot around the same time.

Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and maybe the sourcing aspect of Facebook is a fad. And if it is, so what? In this digital age of immediacy and trends, it’s about meeting the job seeker where they’re at, and if you can reach them via Facebook and connect them with a job opening, that’s a win. 

Shannon Pritchett is the editor of SourceCon. As a lifelong student in the recruitment industry, Shannon is passionate about improving it. Shannon has a diverse background in training, sourcing, international recruitment, full desk recruiting, coaching, and journalism. Shannon got her start in the recruitment industry at Vanderbilt University and later worked as a Senior Recruiter for Internal Data Resources and Community Health Systems, Social Media Recruitment Ambassador for T-Mobile USA, Director of Recruiting for Moxy, Trainer with AIRS, and last as a Manager of Global Sourcing and Training for ManpowerGroup Solutions RPO.

Will Staney is the founder and principal consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former head of global talent acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio and Glassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAP. 

During his career as a recruiting leader, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". With his consulting firm he is helping clients like GoDaddy, Realtor.com, and others optimize their recruiting strategy and build a content marketing approach to talent attraction.

In his free time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his wife, Mallary, and their two kids, Foster and Felicity.

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