3 Facebook Hacks Every Recruiter Should Know

Facebook now has over 1 billion daily active users and 1.59 billion monthly active users. This is 15 times more monthly active users than LinkedIn, who touts itself as the world’s largest professional network. Looking at these numbers, it’s hard to ignore Facebook’s potential for recruiting and sourcing talent.

Beyond these stats, remember the idea of ‘six degrees of separation’? Well, for Facebook, we’re talking four degrees of separation. What does that mean? It means that the social graph on Facebook is so strongly connected that you are only 3 or 4 connections away from almost any other person on Facebook.

There are no barriers to entry. A friend of your friend likely knows a friend of their friend. For recruiters, this means that your college friend or coworker may be able to make an introduction for you, through their friend, to a highly sought-after candidate who you are wanting to connect with.

Your friends on Facebook are also more likely to help you out in this way. Think about it. Who's more likely to go out of their way for you and give you a warmer intro? That loose connection on Linkedin who is a LION connector that you've never even worked with before, or your cousin, college roommate, or close friend on Facebook?

That’s just one of the biggest benefits Facebook has to offer for recruiters and sourcers. And while Facebook wasn’t specifically developed for recruiting, there are many ways you can take advantage of Facebook to help you find and hire that perfect candidate you’ve been looking for. Here are three Facebook hacks to help you improve your social recruiting strategy and results:

Hack #1: Facebook Friends Lists

I know many recruiters who believe they need to have two Facebook accounts to keep their personal and work lives separate. With their Facebook “work” account, they feel like they can freely add candidates and business colleagues as friends without them seeing their personal posts and info. Also, I've seen recruiters make the case that a separate account is needed so they can share company and career-related content with candidates via Facebook, without bombarding their non-industry friends and family with these updates. Well, not only is this against Facebook's Terms of Service and could result in both of your accounts being shut down, it's completely unnecessary!

Using Facebook friends lists, there’s no need for a separate profile. You can use friends lists to control who sees your content, from individual posts to information in your profile. Simply scroll down to Friends on the left side of your Facebook news feed and click on “More.” Select “Create List” and you can start adding people to the list.

Screenshot 2016-02-16 09.12.19.png

When you want to share employer brand or recruiting content with candidates on Facebook, you can use the audience selector right in the update status section to choose the “candidates” friends list you created, and only those who you added to this friends list will see these posts. No more work spam for your family and friends!

And you can enjoy sharing personal posts or photos with your friends and family like you always do, and not have to worry about job candidates seeing this content by selecting a custom privacy for your posts that shares with friends except (insert your list here). You can even make this your default privacy setting for posts. This works on mobile or desktop and it's super easy to do.

Another great thing about Facebook friends lists is that people will not be notified when you add or remove them from a custom list. Candidates will never know the privacy restrictions you’ve set, if you have any.

Hack #2: Facebook Groups

Linkedin Groups are yesterday’s news. It's all about Facebook groups now! Most candidates may have a LinkedIn profile set up, but they may not necessarily log in or check their InMail messages every day. According to Pew Research Center, only 22% of LinkedIn users use the site on a daily basis. Facebook, on the other hand, has the most engaged users – with 70% users logging on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day.

Facebook’s high user engagement level makes it an incredibly powerful tool for recruiting. There are many job search groups on Facebook that recruiters can join, source, and connect with candidates. These groups are also additional channels you can use to promote your job postings and share with great candidates who may not be aware of these openings.

Some of these Facebook groups are even created based on specific industries or locations, which makes them a great resource for recruiters to connect and hire local or niche talent. The Austin Digital Jobs group is a fantastic example – it has over 17,000 members who are looking to either hire or get hired in Austin, Texas.

Another big benefit of Facebook groups is that, for public groups, you don’t even need to join them to gain access to their members. Simply go to the “Members” tab and you can start searching for relevant candidates.

But Facebook groups aren’t only for sourcing and hiring purposes, they represent huge networking opportunities for recruiters as well. Joining groups like Recruiters Online and Facebook Group for Corporate Recruiters Network is a fantastic way to meet other recruiters and HR leaders in the space, learn and share best practices and tips, and even find your next career opportunity.

Hack #3: Facebook Graph Search

Many recruiters are not aware of how effective Facebook’s built-in search engine, Graph Search, can be for sourcing and recruiting. You can search candidates based on specific (current or past) employers, work experience, education, location, and even languages they speak, based on what’s listed on their profiles.

The greatest thing about Facebook Graph Search is not just how powerful it is, but that it’s free! Just go to the search bar at the top of your Facebook home page, and you can start typing in your search queries. Searches are done in more natural language, however. For example, if you are looking for how you are connected to people who work at Facebook, you would search for "my friends who work at Facebook":

Or look for second degree connections at Google: "My friends of friends who work at Google"

Screenshot 2016-02-16 09.21.16.png

You can also search by keyword for specific groups, events, pages, and even places. Want to find out which bar Salesforce employees like to go to for happy hour? Networking events in your area? Groups about node.js? It's all at your fingertips.

What’s awesome about the people results is that you’ll be able to see any mutual friends you and the candidate may share. Instead of sending InMail messages on LinkedIn (which costs money) that candidates might not even see or respond to, you can ask your mutual connections to make a warm introduction for free. When it’s coming from someone candidates know personally, you can bet the response rate will be much higher than your cold outreach LinkedIn messages.

Beyond Facebook Graph Search, there is a cool free Facebook search tool developed by Balazs Paroczay and Shane McCusker, which allows you to search by current job title or employer, past jobs, current and previous location, education, and even by their name and places they have visited.

Since search results are based on your own Facebook Graph, it’s helpful for the recruiting and sourcing teams to regularly run Facebook search sessions together. As each individual will bring in different results, working together will help you pull together a more exhaustive list of potential candidates.

What do you think? Are you using any of these strategies and how is it working for you? If you have other Facebook recruiting tips, please share them in the comments section below!

Do you need help with getting your recruiters and sourcers up to speed on social recruiting? Contact me here and let’s chat about how we can help.

Will Staney

Will is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former Head of Global Talent Acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio andGlassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAPwhere he lead strategic programs includingemployer brandingsourcing strategy, recruiting operations and systems process design.

During his over 7 years as a recruiting practitioner, after 10 years in sales and marketing, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". He would push innovation from the inside, execute on his vision, and once it was realized he would pass the torch on to those he had mentored and move on to his next challenge. He was destined to start a consultancy so he could help as many companies as possible adopt a more proactive recruiting strategy with community in mind.

In his free time, Will enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his two kids, Foster and Felicity.