Recruiters use a myriad of methods to renew and replenish their talent pipeline. And, as the way people interact has evolved, so has the business of recruiting. It should come as no surprise, then, that social networks, and in particular, Facebook, are one of those means by which talent-seeking recruiters connect with the right candidate.
1. Using Company Pages to Recruit
"We advertise positions on our company page," says Sandra B. McCartt, President-Executive Recruiter, Professional Search, Inc., International. "Then, we boost our post visibility to geographical areas where our posts would not normally appear as well as to people in our area who would not normally see our post in their newsfeed because they have not 'liked' our page or are not following us. The investment is minimal and has yielded many candidates who then [follow] our page and become potential candidates for the future, even if they do not fit the (original) position advertised."
The value-add extends beyond candidate relationships to building relationships with client companies. McCartt explains, "Interestingly, reaching out this way has yielded clients calling us. One company asked one of our candidates if they knew a recruiter in our area because they needed a manager at a branch in our area. Because of our interaction, she gave her boss our name. We got a new client. It doesn't get any better than that."
2. Reaching Out to Candidates on Messenger
It might not be the traditional way to pitch a candidate on an opportunity, but Facebook Messenger can offer recruiters another pragmatic path to potential candidates.
Darryl Dioso, Managing Partner, Resource Management Solutions Group, explains that he's used Messenger "to reach out to candidates I am headhunting [when] I cannot find their email or phone for one reason or another. As long as you are honest in why you are approaching them on Messenger, the majority of candidates I have contacted have been receptive and opened my message."
3. Posting to Their Personal Timeline
Both McCartt and Dioso agree that their personal Facebook timelines extend the recruiting conversation.
"We use our personal profiles to post a note about an open job with a link to both our company page and our website," explains McCartt. "Our personal friends share out posts with their friends, which works much like a personal referral from someone a potential candidate may know."
Continues McCartt, "Somewhat like ripples in a pond, not only do our jobs spread, so does our name recognition. A referral from a friend is always better than a cold call or an email to someone who [has] never heard of us and probably doesn't want to, if my email is any indication."
In a similar vein, Dioso leverages his personal timeline to encourage his connections to dip into their network to refer talent his way. "I have had great success when simply posting on my timeline something like, 'Does anyone know a sales engineer with a background in robotics based near Greater Atlanta that is looking for a new career?' Friends and friends of friends have always stepped up with great introductions and referrals."
Dioso also advises that publishing information about particular opportunities be done with a certain marketing flair. He explains, "Your job postings should be engaging and shareable. I always add an interesting picture or fun video when I post a job on our company page that grabs people's attention. They are more likely to click on it and share."
4. Sourcing Candidates With Search Functions & Groups
Performing candidate searches through Facebook is another strategy by which recruiters tap into the platform.
McCartt's company does "Facebook searches for people who may list their occupation or groups dedicated to a certain discipline. Finding a person, we send a friend request; once added to our friend list on our corporate page they have the option to follow us or not. We only message that person directly if a specific need comes up in their area," explains McCartt.
It's worth noting though, that Facebook's search options aren't as robust as other sourcing methods. "You can still do some decent searches on Facebook as long as you keep it simple," Dioso advises.
Moreover, diplomatically leveraging Facebook groups extends opportunities to connect with target candidates.
"If we find a trade group or a private group, we request to join," says McCartt. "We do NOT start posting jobs without asking the admin of that group if that is acceptable... Most often, we check the active posters in an industry group and reach out to them privately on Facebook or by phone for interest or referrals."
Bottom Line: Facebook Can Be a Powerful Tool for Recruiters
McCartt offers these parting words about Facebook and recruiting: "Facebook recruiting is starting to be a solid tool in our different and varied tools used for recruiting. The result is several successes to-date and long-lasting connections who have referred both candidates and clients to us. Recruiting is all about people and making connections. Facebook is all about people and making connections, so how could we not use the platform to expand our reach and develop our connections?"