How to Get Started with Recruiting on Facebook

Attracting and engaging candidates on the world’s most active social site

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer July 31, 2018
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​Recruiting on Facebook can be a cost-effective alternative to old-school job boards and is a prime place to find passive job seekers where they spend their free time.

Recruiters can use Facebook for sourcing, recruitment marketing and candidate engagement, run highly targeted ads based on locality, education, job title and interests and search through industry-specific groups for qualified talent. More people will come across your recruitment outreach on Facebook than on any other social network site because Facebook claims over 2 billion monthly active users. In comparison, while the number of monthly active users on LinkedIn—where recruiters spend more of their time searching for candidates— is unknown, 25 percent of LinkedIn's 450 million registered users (now over 500 million) used the site each month when the data was last reported in 2016.

With Jobs on Facebook, the company's direct job posting and application service geared toward small businesses and local hiring—now in over 40 countries―employers can post jobs, manage applications and schedule interviews without leaving the site.

"Facebook is a great platform for certain types of recruiting," said Chris Russell, a digital-recruiting consultant and HR technology advisor with RecTech Media in Trumbull, Conn. "Everything from blue collar and entry level to midlevel jobs in retail, health care, sales and marketing. It's becoming the new Craigslist as a free or cheap place to recruit from."

Experts say that Facebook is still an underutilized source of qualified candidates. Too many recruiters believe that the site is off-limits to recruiters because it's a repository of people's personal, nonprofessional lives.

"You must have a Facebook presence, period," said Yair Riemer, chief marketing officer at Los Angeles-based CareerArc, a social recruiting technology firm. "The candidates are there, but it's a matter of figuring out how to reach them and engage with them. Facebook's latest algorithm update prioritizes social media engagement. … To be visible, and stay visible, brands will have to publish engaging, informative, relevant content, and do so consistently."

Content Is King

To start recruiting on Facebook, HR needs a company careers page, Russell said. Smaller companies can get by with a business page only, but "if you're hiring for multiple roles, you want a separate page dedicated to career content, which you own and control," he said.

Facebook makes creating a page simple. Other than job ads, essential components to include are calls to action that take followers to your corporate careers site, applicant tracking system or a special landing page; contact information; and photos and videos that "show off your employees, events, your team in action or your office environment," Russell said.  

"Perhaps the single most impactful thing you can do to a post to maximize the reach and engagement is add an image," Riemer said. "On Facebook, photos account for 93 percent of the most engaging posts and receive 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments and 84 percent more click-throughs on links than text-based posts."

Retail pharmacy and health care company CVS Health diversified its Facebook presence into a corporate page, a pharmacy page, a corporate social-responsibility page, and a careers page.

"We monitor CVS Health Careers closely, following the lead of what resonates with people and what kind of engagement we receive on pieces of content to decide what to continue publishing," said Kerry Noone, director of employment branding and recruitment marketing for the company.

Noone said she plans to be more strategic about how her team uses Facebook in gearing up for this year's high-volume hiring season. "The team is growing, and we now have someone specific to produce creative content, so we're able to do more of a content calendar versus posting on an ad hoc basis. We're going to be more proactive instead of reactive."

Sharen Robinson, talent acquisition manager at Outback Steakhouse, and her team dedicate one or two days each week to selecting and posting content to the company's Facebook careers page. They post content on the company's culture and community involvement activities and showcase employee stories by asking for pictures and encouraging employees to use the hashtags #OutbackerLife and #BloomWithUs so the recruiting team can easily find and share what they've posted on social media.

"Our aim is to make sure that we share a good mix of 'gives' and 'asks,' " Robinson said. "I'm not sure we always strike the perfect balance, but we aim to provide several pieces of content that are valuable for candidates for every ask we make, such as applying to or sharing a job."

Going against the grain, CVS prioritizes job posts and hiring events over showcasing culture. "We get a lot of engagement around advertising events on Facebook," Noone said.

Don't forget to put some work into where you're sending those interested potential candidates who followed your call to action and clicked on the link in your post, Riemer said. Job ads can be hosted on Facebook or lead back to the company's site. "Is the page they land on making that critical first impression that will lead them closer to applying for the role, or sharing the role with a friend or colleague?"

Targeted Ads

Targeting reach is where the power of Facebook is truly realized. "With the right content and a sustainable and consistent posting schedule, you can earn a target audience organically," Riemer said. "However, a little boost can also help expand your audience."

If you're going to spend money on a post, make sure you're targeting the right people, he added. "Facebook allows you to specify an audience for each campaign based on a variety of criteria including location, interests and even current employers and roles."

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are a gold mine for free candidate leads, Russell said. "There are thousands of local job search groups across the site. They're like mini job boards inside of Facebook. Recruiters and job seekers make up the groups, and people tag their friends on a group job listing to alert them of a new opportunity."

Recruiters must ask to join the group as a person, not a company, and must be approved by the group admin. To find relevant groups, search for phrases like "Chicago jobs," "Illinois employment" or "nursing careers."

"If you use these groups regularly, you can drive up to a few hundred clicks per day to your listings," Russell said.

Facebook Live

Recruiters can use Facebook's live video feature to announce new positions, schedule weekly or monthly career chats, or hold Q&As with hiring managers about open positions.

Jobs on Facebook

Jobs on Facebook, active in the U.S. and Canada since 2017, is a simple job-listing platform. Noone said if CVS uses it at all, it's mostly for high-volume roles, like customer care and distribution-center workers or for nurses and dietitians, who happen to be more active on Facebook than on LinkedIn.

"Employers must have a company page account to post jobs and can only post from the company page," Russell said. Applications go to the owner's Facebook Messenger account, but recruiters can also be notified by e-mail.

One problem is that the applicant's data—a basic resume profile based on the user's About information—cannot be exported, Russell said.

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