Jobvite Blog: Today’s Recruiting Trends

4 Ideas That’ll Boost Your Recruiting Effectiveness on Facebook

Facebook RecruitingWelcome to the third post in our three part series on excelling at social recruiting through more effective use of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. In the first post we looked at 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn to attract, source, and approach your ideal target candidates. Then we talked about 5 Ways to Recruit More Effectively on Twitter. Today we’ll look at four approaches to increase your recruiting effectiveness on Facebook. How many are you doing already?

1. Using Facebook to Build an Audience of Active and Passive Candidates

If you’ve been reading my previous posts here on Jobvite, then you’ll know that you can build a sizeable audience of candidates – and advocates for your recruiting team – on social media. You have to devise the right strategy to appeal to that audience and you have to provide them with insights, value, or entertainment (rather than purely pumping out endless recruiting messages). This is something that any recruiting team can do though. The most successful recruiters on social media have realized they can make their social profiles a must-read within their niche markets and that’s what you want to replicate. Doing this well results in your social media presence becoming a magnet for the exact types of candidates and clients your business would like to attract.

Certainly the same principles hold true on Facebook – and the potential reach of your brand is far greater here than on LinkedIn. That’s for the simple reason that Facebook users tend to be active on the site daily, whereas the average LinkedIn user will only return to the site once or twice a month. Plus factor in that Facebook’s userbase is more than three times bigger than LinkedIn’s and the potential to reach your candidate audience is clear.

There’s one fly in the ointment though when it comes to Facebook. The platform is essentially now a pay-to-play model. A while back Facebook changed the algorithm that determines which updates are shown to users – and in the process massively reduced the likelihood of a company’s updates ever appearing in a user’s Facebook stream. I could write a whole article on why Facebook did this and the steps you can try to take to overcome this. But the bottom line is that only ~5% of your fans on Facebook are likely to see your updates if you haven’t paid to boost them.

Which brings us nicely to the point that you really ought to have a budget set aside for your social recruiting presence on Facebook. Why go to all that effort of winning fans on Facebook if you’re not then also going to pay the money needed to have them actually see your updates? Depending on the size of your fan base, you may only need to boost your posts with a $5 or $10 spend to have them seen by all your fans. So we’re not talking big budgets here. What’s more, Facebook also lets you pay to have posts seen by audiences outside of your existing fan base. So your recruiting team can be visible even before it’s built up any meaningful fan base. This ability to target updates to be seen by your chosen audience can be a tremendous way of increasing the reach of your recruiting brand on social media (and for a tiny fraction of the cost of sponsoring updates on LinkedIn).

2. Using Facebook to Run Highly Targeted Advertising Campaigns

I continue to be shocked by how few recruiters know they can run paid advertising campaigns on Facebook, targeted at the exact demographics your recruiting team would like to reach. If you don’t have a Facebook advertising account already, I highly recommend you go and create one and experiment with setting up a draft advert. Go into the Power Editor and you’ll be amazed by the targeting options at your disposal. Want to reach people in a certain geographic area? Tick! With particular job titles? Tick! With certain interests or in particular remuneration bands? Tick!


You’re able to run adverts with a variety of end-goals in mind, from downloading your app to watching your video to visiting your careers pages. Set your campaigns up with conversion tracking and you can then monitor how much you’re paying for each result being generated (i.e. paying $Y for each candidate who visits your careers page and takes the step of registering their resume with you).

The keys to success are:

  1. Getting your audience targeting right.
  2. Using great visuals in your adverts (Facebook offers a library of images you can select from if you don’t have your own materials available).
  3. Writing copy that excites the reader and makes them intrigued to want to click through on your advert.
  4. Running multiple variants of your ads with different images for each (so that Facebook can then run whichever is performing most strongly).
  5. Tracking your results and refining accordingly.

3. Using Facebook to Retarget Candidate (or Client) Prospects

An extension of this approach is to use Facebook to proactively retarget candidates (or clients) who’ve shown an interest in your business. In retail this is a proven tactic for boosting results. If you’ve ever shopped for something online and then in the days thereafter seen that retailer’s adverts appear on web pages you’ve visited or in your social media streams – well then you’ve been retargeted by that retailer.

The premise here is simple. Only a small portion of people take the desired action the first time they are presented with the opportunity to do so. By enticing them again and again you significantly increase the number of people who ultimately do what you’d wanted them to do (be that buying a car or registering a resume). In recruitment it’s easy to see how this would have a big impact.

Let’s say that a candidate visits your careers page while commuting home from work. They’re on their smartphone with a patchy connection. Maybe they don’t have their resume available to register with you. Or they just don’t want to go to the effort when the internet connection isn’t reliable enough. If you’re not retargeting that candidate, then the only way you’ll ever see their resume is if later on they decide to return to your site to upload it. A small portion will do that without any further prompting to do so, but a considerably larger portion will do so if they’re reminded with advertising in the days that follow.

This is where Facebook is powerful! You can set up advertising campaigns to be seen only by candidates on your existing database (by uploading an email list to target) or only by people who have visited certain pages of your website (i.e. your careers page). Better still, this is often some of the lowest cost advertising you might run, because people who already know your business are more likely to respond to adverts than a cold audience – and so Facebook rewards you with a lower cost-per-click on such advertising campaigns.

4. Using Facebook for Candidate Sourcing

While LinkedIn has become the default place to hunt for that perfect candidate, many recruiters are waking up to the fact that Facebook has several times as many users as LinkedIn – and that its user base is far more active and engaged. Although people’s profiles aren’t as complete as on LinkedIn, you’ll be surprised by just how many people do list their job title and/or current employer. Combine this with location data, info about pages people like, and a whole host of other demographics and you’ll find Facebook is a far richer source for candidate sourcing than you may have realized.

A number of tools and plugins have emerged to help recruiters leverage Facebook in this way. My particular favorite is this Chrome extension by Shane McCusker. You can see from the screenshot below just how powerful this could be for a recruiter wanting to generate results beyond those that LinkedIn is already providing. Try it out and I think you’ll be surprised by the results you get!


Which Social Recruiting Channel Works Best for Your Business?

The nature of your business and the recruiting challenges you’re facing will determine which of the above are relevant approaches for you to adopt. You’ll need to devote some time and some budget to fully exploit the opportunities, but the spend here is a fraction of what you’re likely already spending on the likes of LinkedIn or Google PPC. I hope this series has helped open your eyes to the potential of social media in strengthening the results your recruiting team are able to generate. Good luck!


About the Author

Tony Restell is the Founder of Social Media agency and helps candidates and recruiters leverage social media. You can find Tony on Twitter; or join him on one of his forthcoming webinars where he’ll walk you step by step through the processes he uses to get results for recruiting teams on social media.