I get asked daily “Where do you find your candidates?”.  I kind of have to giggle every time I hear that question.   The reason I giggle is because most people don’t realize how large their digital footprint really is on the web.  I would venture to say when a candidate thinks of recruiting in 2015, most think about LinkedIn.  While LinkedIn is a vital part of the recruiting process, if we (as recruiters) relied only on LinkedIn we would not be successful at all. Our competition would be kicking our butt.

As a recruiter for sales people in the technology field, I see that most candidates and sales people have a LinkedIn profile.  You know what else most people have?  A Facebook account.  Yes, I have said it before and I will say it again, recruiters are detectives.  We will scour the web to find out as much as we possibly can about a candidate.  We look to see what you are tweeting.  We are reading your blogs.  We are looking at the activity feed on your LinkedIn account.

You are probably asking “What kind of information are you looking for on my Facebook account?”  The answer is simple.  I am trying to get to know who you are.  Sure, a resume tells you what kind of work you do, but I want to asses you as an individual also.  Culture is becoming such an integral part of the puzzle in today’s hiring.  I want to know your interests, what kind of activities you are involved in and who you are as a person.

See, I don’t hide anything from anyone.  My social presence is who I am as an individual.  I share pictures of my family, my love for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Astros, Ole Miss, and blog posts that I have written.  Why in the world would I do that?  The reason is because that is who I am.  That is what makes me different from the next individual.  THAT is what makes me real.

You have probably read the things “not to post” on Facebook.  I agree that there are things you shouldn’t share with the world and on social media.  I also don’t want you to be scared of social media.  Social Media will give you a competitive advantage over other candidates if used correctly.

I know this post will be controversial because many will take it as I am discriminating against individuals.  I am not discriminating, rather uncovering what passions you have for in life.  I believe that we are all created differently and I truly want to know what gets you out of bed every morning.  I may not agree with you, or share the same interests and that is fine. What I want to see is passion and fire.  I want to hire the best of the best.  You can’t always get that from Facebook, but you may get a glimpse.

I also use Facebook increasingly every day to ask colleagues if they know anybody for a particular role. My Facebook friends are people I trust and they may be more willing to help than my thousands of LinkedIn connections.  I have made several key hires from asking my Facebook friends for connections this year.

I also like to “add Facebook friends” with the candidates I feel like I have made deep relationships with during the recruiting process . Why not?  They are the people I have grown to really like and who else would be better to help spread the word.  I am friends with a ton of recruiters on Facebook also.  These recruiting relationships can help spread the word faster than most.  It is strategic and you should consider the same thing.

Did you realize the importance of using Facebook to recruit?  You should now.  Stop putting all your eggs in the LinkedIn basket.  There are other ways to find top talent.  I would like to hear your story!