Four Ways To Recruit On Facebook

The other night, a friend of mine quipped “Facebook is like your refrigerator. You know nothing’s changed, but you still look inside every 15 minutes”. Millions of people visit the site several times a day, and amidst the usual trivial conversations, the site has become a place where breaking news appears quickly and (usually) accurately. As Facebook has grown, many recruiters have sought ways to harvest employees from the site. We’ve all heard about encouraging our present employees to advertise job openings among their friends, but let’s go beyond that level and concentrate on how to make the best use of this tremendous resource. Fair warning: we’ll offer four ways to use Facebook for recruiting and three of them will cost you money.

One of the easiest ways for a business to use Facebook is to start a fan page. It is a good idea for the HR or recruiting department to have a separate Facebook page from products and services. This allows you to find a focused audience that has a genuine interest in working for your company. You can offer connecting links on each page, so that misdirected readers can find you. Once you have the page set up, it’s important to engage your audience. Consider that readers who “like” your page may do so out of courtesy or reflex, and never visit the page again. However, if you engage your readers with open-ended questions that encourage responses, they become an active part of the conversation. This can get them excited about your site and should encourage them to come back. The number of people engaged in conversation on your Facebook page is the source of those mysterious “people talking about this” numbers that you’ll see on your page. Facebook is moving toward these kinds of active stats, and to keep on top of these numbers and keep the conversations going on your page, you’ll need a social media person on staff. If you haven’t hired that person, it might be time to do so.

Another option is Facebook advertising. This comes in two options, one free and one paid. Marketplace is the free option and it works in the same way as Craigslist. You can post jobs for free and they end up in a long list of positions that readers must filter and scroll through. As you can imagine, it’s not terribly effective, especially when there are other options available. Facebook ads have a greater (and more focused) reach, and you can budget how much you want to spend per day, and fine-tune your projected audience. The ad setup is quite intuitive, but it is important to know your projected demographics in depth, as the sub-categories go into fine detail. Beware of targeting a Facebook job ad to a particular gender, as such practices run counter to the EEOC laws.

In the past year, the company BranchOut has partnered with Facebook for the specific design of employment recruiting. BranchOut’s application, which works only within Facebook, allows users to connect with Facebook friends, and friends of their friends for finding new jobs and careers., BranchOut offers their services to recruiters for about $300 per month per seat, which is about half of LinkedIn’s price. Jobs can be posted for $49 each or a group of 10 for $39 each. The application presently has over 25 million users and about 3 million posted jobs. In comparison, LinkedIn has about 150 million users, but BranchOut’s association with Facebook means that their numbers grow as the social network’s members reply to (rather persistent) invitations to join BranchOut.

Facebook offers many opportunities for recruiters. Whether you advertise, create a fan page, use BranchOut, or do all of the above, the resources of the world’s largest social network can help you find the right people for your open positions. When you have business through Facebook, it makes more sense to check it every 15 minutes.

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