SmartRecruiters Hiring Success Journal
Jobs on Facebook

How to Engage a Candidate on Facebook

Facebook is the number 1 most visited site on the Internet and where the average users is spending 393 minutes per month liking, sharing, and connecting with friends, family, and colleagues.  Recruiters and companies who don’t consider Facebook as a potential candidate source in which to fill their positions are fools.  Active and passive candidates are engaging, connecting, and sharing intimate details of their life going beyond the standard LinkedIn Profile or two-page resume.

One of the challenges with Facebook are its sourcing and search features.  Because the network is closed, this makes internet sourcing a challenge unless you invest in tools like BeKnown or BranchOut which serve as a Facebook Recruiter Pro tool much like Linkedn’s Recruiter services.

A primary source of candidates comes from your Careers Page on Facebook. This is how you leverage your fans as a candidate source. Other times you want to proactively reach out to candidates.

Jobs on FacebookBecause Facebook is a more personal network, job seekers are sometimes put off when a recruiter contacts them via the network. How you engage, meaning that 400 character message as well as your own personal profile tells a lot about you and sets the tone for the recruiter/candidate relationship.

Before engaging a candidate on Facebook, they hiring manager / recruiter needs to make sure that their own profile is prepped and ready to engage.  This means including your last 5 years of work history with links to your company careers page.  I recommend sharing and sprinkling industry relevant content as well as information about your own organization within your timeline.  Clean up your profile and consider tweaking your privacy settings keeping your political rants and other taboo topics to yourself and your closest circle of Facebook friends.

Remember that Facebook limits the number of private messages you send over a period of time.  If you plan on spending hours recruiting on the network, Facebook moderates your message sending activity, which can pose a problem.  Consider planning your time out in advance or using other messaging options like your company email or phone calls to engage your target job seeker.  For companies who are also AAP compliant, these interactions with job seekers need to be captured, and if you are doing so on your personal Facebook account, you will need to keep an alternative electronic record and spreadsheet.

1. Be Personal. Use the job seekers actual first name.  Depending on the industry, job seekers receive a number of messages from a recruiter. Make yours as personal as possible to stand out from the rest.

2. Be Specific.  Cut to the chase but first acknowledge that you are contacting them via their personal Facebook page, and consider apologizing for the intrusion.  Let them know you are impressed with their skills, qualifications, or knowledge on a particular subject which fits with a position you are trying to fill.

3. Provide Details.  Don’t be cryptic and take an information-focused approach.  This means sharing salary range and company information for the position you are recruiting for.  Remember that the right candidates have choices and you must work to stand apart from the rest.

4. Include Information.  This means your information like email, phone number, and a time where they can contact you.  Job seekers are equally distrusting of recruiters as they are of them.  Extend an olive branch so they can contact you for further questions, information, or to share a referral.

Engaging job seekers and candidates on Facebook should be a personal experience keeping in mind that social networking for the purposes of recruiting is seen by some as invasive.  Stay positive, provide information, and help them understand how they might be a fit for your open position.  A little careful planning and preparation can go a long way.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author – check out her Blogging4Jobs page on Facebook. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers. Photo Credit Recomy.

To advertise your open jobs on Facebook to the relevant audience without spamming, install the Careers Tab (for Free!) on your Company Facebook Page. And don’t forget about Facebook advertising: post a job with SmartRecruiters, who can make your job opening into a targeted Facebook ad.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.