Previously I detailed the justification for adding Facebook as a sourcing method for passive candidates in local markets. The sheer volume of users and the percentage of time most of them spend using the Facebook provides an abundance of sourcing opportunities. According to Jobvite, 48% of individuals surveyed indicated that they used social media in their most recent search for employment. More specifically, those surveyed mentioned that they primarily used Facebook to browse photos and content to get a feel for the company culture and reputation. So how does one get started in building an online community for a local branch of a larger scale company? There are a variety of methods that can be used to develop your initial audience.
Step 1: Get your hiring managers and their direct reports to buy into the online community
I started by creating a group as a local business page on Facebook and included the company name and the geographical region in the group title. I later sent out communication to the region asking the employees to like and share the page. I emphasized that they had ownership in this page and we needed their help to share their culture and work environment with job seekers. I learned quickly that the success of the page was going to be heavily dependent on how cooperative the locations were in sharing the content I provided. I could share the page all I wanted with my network, but the fact remained that I was in Chicago, and they were in South Texas. The message had to come from users that were on the ground where we needed candidates. Some of my hiring managers were hesitant to try this method, while others were excited by the idea.
I decided to pilot one page for the more receptive managers to start. After building the audience for around three months, I had enough data and analytics to convince the more hesitant managers that maintaining a local Facebook community was a powerful tool. The current employees quickly started to use the job postings for their clinics and events in the group as a vehicle to submit referrals. Rather than having to get a resume and send it to the recruiter they would tag friends in their network on the post. I would then reach out to those users by direct message to ask if they were interested and guided them in the right direction to apply. This has led to countless hires of people that we would never have found on job boards because of the mere fact that they were not actively looking at the time.
Step: 2 Post often and create as much original content as possible.
Sharing articles and job postings are core parts of managing a landing page, but nothing compares to being able to put faces to the names of the members of your organization. Every so often I’ll post my picture from events like job fairs or clinic visits announcing that I’m the dedicated recruiter for the geographical area and to direct all resumes to my email. This is one way to bridge the gap if you’re a remote recruiter sourcing in an area where you do not reside. Also, I look to my managers to give recognition on our page to current employees.
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In the past, we have made congratulatory posts with pictures of staff members that were recently promoted. This enables us to tell a story of what kind of career path is possible. Out of all types of content, the posts highlighting current staff had the highest engagement rates and resulted in a generation of new followers. Most importantly, the original content is a fantastic way for external candidates so get a feel for the culture of the company and more specifically with an individual location.
Step: 3 Use Facebook analytics to your advantage
The most valuable feature that Facebook offers for business pages is the detailed analytics. Every single post, job opening, and event created through within your page is provided with insights and analytics. You can discover if the number of engagements, clicks, and applications to positions was due to having organic or paid reach. You can find out the demographics of all your followers. You can even figure out the peak times that most of your followers go online to maximize the visibility of your content. Aside from optimizing posts, the data can be used to track the success of this sourcing method.
Building a local community to source candidates will take time, and you will inevitably get out of it what you put in. Once you have created a strong and loyal community of followers, the time it takes you to reach fresh candidates will decrease significantly. Every time one of your followers shares a job posting or an event, you never know who will see it, and there is untold potential to reach candidates that wouldn’t otherwise be contacted.