By Lisa Jones
Do you use Facebook for recruitment? The majority of recruiters I meet negatively (and physically) react when I ask the question:
“Are you using Facebook to recruit?”
They cringe, frown, look at me like I am totally mad… Why?
They tell me that they don’t want people to see their private space online (oh the irony of that statement).
I am stumped. I have written recruiter privacy online before - Do Recruiters Have the Right to Privacy Online. I just don’t get how people can spill their private lives online and still expect to have a split-personality and be professional online too (plus it seems like a lot of effort!)
So, in my experience the average recruiter is scared of using Facebook to recruit because they are worried about how this will impact upon their privacy, but does this mean that Facebook is no good for recruitment – I say a BIG NO to that!
Let’s get jiggy with some fact-stats for a moment:
- 1.1 billion people on Facebook – we can claim that they are all dog-grooming-cat-loving-not-looking-for-job-14-year-olds, but 1.1 billion is still almost 5 times the size of LinkedIn and double Twitter. (Most recruiters I know think that size matters!)
- Mark Z has been rumoured to say something like “recruitment excites him” and if you twin that with his other rumoured maniacal laugh, something exciting could be coming to a Facebook page near you (perhaps it already has, enter Graph Search stage right!)
- 29% of US people get on to Facebook whilst at work (Statista) – I am not convinced that 29% of the US population are community managers, so let’s assume that Facebook is just “something they do at work” as well as eat, drink, talk, breathe… (I hope this is not too subtle a point…)
- Recruiters have this misguided belief that LinkedIn is where the candidate is “at” – funny that only 8.8% of people in the same poll are on LinkedIn while the other 29% are on Facebook…
- 1 in 5 updates on Facebook last year were job-related, plus 1 in 5 Facebook contacts are work contacts (AllFacebook).
- Only 22% of recruiters use Facebook for recruiting (Bullhorn Reach) – but those that did placed more candidates through it that through Twitter. 16.7% is a pretty good figure and should not be sniffed at!
- Have you tried the Home app – it’s probably the single most disruptive app I have ever used – it totally takes over your phone (and thus your life!) – but think, some people love this and they are candidates too! How can this be used by recruiters to get on radar and capitalise on Facebook?
- Deloitte said at a conference I was at recently that their Facebook page was one of the largest traffic drivers to their careers page (and they don’t put jobs on it – put that in your pipe and…)
- Have you even tried searching for talent using the new (ish) Graph Search feature – good lord – give it a go, it’s the sort of thing that makes me rub my knees with awe!
Carry on Dressing up as an Alien, Criticising your Job, but Use it to Source too!
Even at the end of this blog (and the countless others that you may have written off about Facebook in recruitment), consider using getting down with Facebook and “blending.”
So what if you are crazy enough to assume that you have privacy online and thus your own Facebook profile is your space that you can do what you will. Yes carry on publishing pictures of yourself that you wouldn’t have in your living room, criticising your boss, spouting views which may lose clients – carry on doing that – your call!
But still consider using Facebook to find people, find out their loves and hates, find out stuff that helps you talk to them. Then get off of Facebook and take the conversation somewhere where they won’t see you in your bikini or dressed as a bee – in other words, blend your approach – use what works to get you through the process.
This is how I think
- Using a blended approach to sourcing and marketing is just common sense. Stop looking for the silver bullet which will find that purple squirrel. It doesn’t exist – it never did before social media, and no one has built it yet.
- Not using Facebook as you are worried about how you look online is stupid – take care of your online persona, it’ll bite you if you’re not careful – social proof is becoming a really dominant force.
- Check out Facebook and continue to check it out – it’s massive, here to stay and pretty damn powerful.
- Get to grips with the fact that there is more tech than ever before. It is now being built to disrupt your day and that of your candidates and clients. Capitalise on that!
- Candidates and clients are REALLY savvy and keyboards/mobile devices have created a heightened sense of speed and confidence. Recruiters need to be faster, cleverer, and better communicators. (Note to the cynics: communicating online effectively is REALLY hard so give people who can do it some credit!)
And as a final point… did you even know Facebook can this…?
What do you think? Do you use Facebook to recruit? If not, why not? If so, what works for you?
About the Author:
Lisa Jones is a Director at Barclay Jones, a Consultancy working with recruiters advising them on the most effective use of recruitment technology and social media to improve their business processes, recruitment and bottom line.