As a social media recruiter, you’ll need to go where the job seekers are hanging out. While you may assume that the bulk of job seekers primarily use LinkedIn, you’ll be surprised to learn that most of them are actually on Facebook. Facebook is far less saturated with recruiters than LinkedIn. What does this mean? It means you will have even better odds finding employees on Facebook! I know you are saying to yourself, sure, but “how do you find available talent on Facebook”?
The first thing you must do before before jumping into recruiting candidates on Facebook is polish up your own profile. To do this, you must post relevant content, engage with your followers, and promote your work culture. Once you have done this, then and only then can you have an effective recruiting strategy on Facebook.
Step 1: Locate your prospects
Once you are logged into Facebook, what do you do next? Where are all the prospective hires? You must identify what kind of applicants you’re trying to reach. Once you have identified the personal and professional criteria, you need to find out what Facebook groups you may find your target audience. It is important to join groups and become an engaged member. What is an engaged member? You need to offer advice and other useful information which may or may not have anything to do with recruiting. If you have a sufficient friend base to reach out to, you can also ask around to find out if your contacts can recommend someone for a job you are trying to fill. Remember, recruiters are detectives!
Another great way to target prospective employees is through paid advertising. You’ll have some control over the ad’s reach and your intended audiences. The process is simple, it allows you more time to work on other things, and will bring in additional candidates.
Step 2: Reach out
While you can send a message to anyone on Facebook, you run the risk of your message ending up in one of three places:
- Their inbox: This is really the goal. You want your message go into their primary folder because they will be notified that they have a message. That can make all the difference in the world.
- Their “other” folder: The dreaded “other” folder is a place reserved for messages from people outside of your friend list. Facebook will not notify a user if a message lands here. Many users just don’t know the folder exists.
- Facebook’s filter: If your message looks like spam, it may be forever caught in one of Facebook’s filters. When this happens, it won’t be read. This also applies to the relatively unreliable email-to-Facebook method.
So, what are the workarounds? Are there any? Maybe.
- Facebook may present you with an option to pay $1 to ensure your message gets to a user’s primary inbox. Compared to other social media platforms, $1 is actually a decent price. Don’t discount the idea entirely, but do factor it into your hiring budget! If you’ve exhausted your messaging quota, though, this option may be unavailable.
- The default “basic filtering” option can work also because many Facebook users probably haven’t switched to the strict filtering option. This means that your messages could get through to the subfolder “filtered requests” of their primary inbox. This happens as long as there is reason to believe you may actually know the person you’re trying to reach. Such reason can be established by being a member of the same Facebook group.
Step 3: Craft your message
It’s understandable that you may feel a little awkward reaching out to a prospective employee on a network that isn’t primarily branded as a professional platform. But don’t let that deter you! With all of the changes on LinkedIn, this may be the preferred way to recruit very shortly! Most Facebook users will not be upset by your approach. Believe it or not, many Facebook users will feel flattered. When crafting your initial message, keep a few points in mind:
- You can begin with an apologetic tone, recognizing that the method of communication may not be ideal. Then ask what their preferred method to speak to them would be if they wish to continue the conversation.
- Keep your message polite and genuine, just as you would if the introduction were being made in person.
- Make sure your message is free of red flags like spelling errors, unusual syntax, or anything else that may make a person think it is spam.
This method of recruiting will take some time. Building your profile and reputation may take a while, but it WILL PAY OFF. And if you have the capacity, approach your hiring strategy more broadly. Don’t limit yourself to one social media platform, and don’t discount other methods like job boards and email announcements.
David Grover is a Communications Manager at Timeo, a useful tool for businesses in the UK. He’s also a freelance career coach, who’s always eager to share his experience. In his free time he enjoys traveling.