Recruiting Outside of LinkedIn: 3 ways Facebook can help you find your next employee

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According to some pretty recent data, LinkedIn is the number one social network choice for recruiters looking to fill corporate positions. In fact, “over 80% of employers who use social media for recruiting use LinkedIn,” and, according to one study, 48% of recruiters use only LinkedIn to find potential job candidates.

You’re probably thinking, “Okay, sure, that makes sense.” After all, LinkedIn is pretty widely regarded as the professional social networking platform. It was built specifically to encourage online business connections and, for many people, LinkedIn acts as an online resume, so it may be no surprise that recruiters focus their social energies there. But here’s what probably will surprise you; according to the same study, the majority of people who successfully found a job through social media did so via Facebook, and not LinkedIn. In fact, according to the survey, 18,400,000 Americans claim Facebook helped them land their new job, and only 10,200,000 give LinkedIn the same credit.

Recruiters are utilizing LinkedIn, but job seekers are almost twice as likely to find a job on Facebook. That’s a heck of a discrepancy.

Admittedly, the data is a little vague, as it doesn’t go into detail about how the job seekers used Facebook to get their jobs. Facebook does not currently have an “in-house” organized job search tool, unlike LinkedIn, which is basically built for job hunting. So although some companies, like Starbucks and McDonald’s, do have Facebook pages dedicated to job openings in the organization, most people who find jobs through Facebook probably aren’t doing so formally. They’re finding work by making connections and asking their Facebook friends if anyone knows of any openings. So “getting a job through Facebook” may not mean the same thing as “getting a job through LinkedIn,” where you actually can search and apply directly to jobs, but the fact that so many people are claiming Facebook as the reason for their career success tells us that formal job search tools or not, the job-hunting masses are looking to Facebook.

To me, the discrepancy between where recruiters look for potential employees and where potential employees look for jobs signifies a missed opportunity for recruiters and Human Resources departments. Obviously, since LinkedIn is the most popular for recruiters, it must be working as a hiring tool. But by focusing their efforts solely on LinkedIn, these recruiters might well be missing out on other great candidates who are primarily drawn to Facebook as a job networking tool. A successful recruitment strategy should utilize both networks (and Twitter, too, but finding job candidates through Twitter is another blog article in itself—stay tuned!).

So, all of you recruiters and H.R. employees out there–how can you leverage the power of Facebook to find the right candidates and fill open positions?

1. Create a Dedicated “Careers” Page on Facebook – A page designed specifically to share information about job openings at your company might seem like more trouble than it’s worth at first glance. After all, your marketing department probably expends an incredible amount of resources trying to boost likes and engagement on your company’s official brand page; do you really have the time to do the same for a careers page? But actually, the careers page doesn’t have to be too time-consuming. Unlike your official brand page, where high levels of interaction are key, the careers page exists simply to share information about job openings. You don’t have to work too hard to promote it—your current employees will surely spread the word when their contacts are looking for work, and a few notices about the careers page on the main brand page will go a long way—and you only need to create content when there’s a position open within your company. Sure, you can always keep the page updated with job statistics, resume hints, interview attire suggestions, and the like, but people won’t be looking for your careers page to be a content machine. They’ll be looking for job openings, and that’s what you’ll give them. So a dedicated page need not take up too much time.

2. Adopt an Open Facebook Employee Referral Policy – The reason so many people find jobs through Facebook is because of their personal connections. When there’s an open position at your company, your employees can quickly and easily spread the details to their own networks—so encourage it! Create a policy whereby you alert your employees of all job openings and invite them to spread the word on their own accounts. (This is a great way to spread awareness of your Facebook careers page, too, with very little extra work from you.)

3. Get to Know Your Facebook Apps – If you’re a big fan of LinkedIn’s formal professional networking structure, look to apps to fill that void in Facebook. BranchOut is one company whose Facebook app is becoming extremely popular with Facebook job hunters. It allows people to show their professional information without revealing their private (and potentially embarrassing) personal Facebook info, which makes the infamous Facebook permission guidelines a non-issue for job hunters and recruiters alike. Get to know these professional networking apps and utilize them through Facebook to get the most of your social hiring strategies.

What are some other ways you’ve seen companies recruit through Facebook? We’d love to hear your stories–just share them in the comments below!

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