Three Tips on Using Facebook to Recruit Passive Candidates

More than one billion people actively use Facebook each month and as the second most visited website in the world, where better to start sourcing passive candidates?
Sourcing through Facebook enhances your company profile, provides you with international reach, increases your brand-currency, and can be extremely cost effective.
It’s an amazing site to source hard-to-find candidates, but so few recruiters use it we thought it about time Broadbean offered a little guidance on how to use Facebook to recruit passive candidates.
Graph Searching
One of the most effective methods to source candidates on Facebook is graph searching. It’s not difficult for savvy recruiters to
become an expert and the results can be amazing. Let’s get started!
If you’re based in Australia or New Zealand you probably have your Facebook language set to English (UK); change it to English (US) – this will allow you to start using graph search to interrogate Facebook. Next, think about who and what you want.
This is not a recruitment website so Boolean strings won’t work, but searching for exact phrases within speech marks will. You can search up to a maximum of three terms, for example: job title, location, company. Some examples for you to cut and paste:

  • People who work at [company] and live in [location]
  • [job title] who work at [company] and live in [location]
  • [job title] who live in [location] are members of groups named “group name”
  • Members of groups named “group name” who live in [location]
  • [job title] who like [company or skill]

Graph searching is not an exact science so expect some trial and error efforts before you start finding exactly what you want, just don’t quit if your search doesn’t find the perfect candidate right away. Graph searching will yield different results depending on who’s searching (every person’s graph is different). If you are struggling to get good results, speak to a colleague and see if they can find more relevant results in their search.
If you’re not a big fan of graph searching and are struggling to get the best results, there is a tool to help. Intelligent Search (a small but clever software company) have created Intelligence Search, the perfect Chrome addon for Facebook sourcing.
Essentially graph searching, this addon works when you’re logged in and allows you to search Facebook by job title, company, location, language, education… the list goes on and is comprehensive. You will be astonished by the results and wander why you haven’t tried to before.
If you would like to test it (this is not an endorsement, just a link), you can find the addon here.
If you have a company profile then you should be quite aware that Facebook has been a pay-to-use model for several years. Whether you have five followers or 5,000,000, if you don’t pay to boost posts, less than five percent of your audience will see what you share (this is how Facebook makes money).
If you’re recruiting for a Ruby developer in Sydney, why not pay a little extra for Facebook to place your job advert in front of Ruby developers in Sydney – yes, you can target people that specifically. If desired, you can also target adverts by age and gender, but as you are a recruiter, we strongly suggest you don’t enable these options for fear of discriminatory recruitment practices. You can choose what goals you hope your advertising to reach and monitor them. Do you want people clicking through to a job advert? Simple, set the goal and watch the response rate.
Lastly, and most importantly, all your Facebook efforts will be to firstly engage with passive candidates and, secondly, drive
them to where your content is (this is a reciprocal relationship, they will check your company out too) i.e. your Facebook business page and your recruitment website. Without a fresh, easy-to-navigate page and a website packed with your latest vacancies, your efforts may amount to naught.
Further, Facebook sourcing isn’t about finding someone that could be a reasonable fit and then messaging them with a pitch. It’s about being a genuine human that has conversations, can show insight in your particular field, and someone that people are happy to refer, recommend, and generally connect with. Don’t be spammy and don’t look like a recruiter only wanting to make a placement (that’s for LinkedIn!)
Images: Shutterstock

This article is sponsored by Broadbean.

If figuring out how to engage and hire diverse talent is important to you, check out our upcoming Sourcing Social Talent conference:

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