Why Will Facebook Be The Best Recruiting Tool of 2017?
Facebook is the largest user platform out there. Many, however, doubt its potential as a recruiting tool in terms of both quantity and quality of applicants.
I’m not impartial in this debate. I admit I get really frustrated when I’m around conversations railing against ‘the evil Facebook’ at recruiting conferences, industry get-togethers and the likes… Mostly because they are usually void of facts and reasoned argument.
As LinkedIn gets flooded with recruiters, Facebook has gained value as a sourcing platform
I’ll be as straightforward as can be from the get-go: although I’m the least active Facebook user when it comes to personal use, I believe that:
Facebook is the single most efficient sourcing platform out there - especially for the skilled professions.
This is because, on one hand, the bar is pretty low with the deteriorating quality of most job boards out there. More importantly, however, Facebook has given me concrete and consistent results over a 3-year period.
Before diving into my point of view, let me address the elephant in the room which is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is still the reigning king of recruiting platforms. There are two good reasons why. First, it’s the biggest “professional” network. Second, most people use LinkedIn to update and complete their profiles as their public resumes or their professional portfolio for the world to see.
The status quo is, however, changing because Facebook is slowly gaining in value for recruiters as LinkedIn has de facto become a shark tank of 87 percent of recruiters competing for 40 percent of talent pool, which is the cause for the very low InMail response rates of 10-25 percent.
In addition, LinkedIn is an excellent recruiting resource but primarily for white-collar candidates. It has been trying to go further down market for the past 6 years but has failed miserably. Following Microsoft’s acquisition, I doubt that innovation will speed up towards this direction… From that standpoint, Facebook is slowly gaining in value for recruiters as can be an excellent complement to LinkedIn.
Access EVERYONE…because passive candidates are not so passive anymore
Let me start by saying that with Facebook, your pool of candidates is 1 billion people…
Simply put, EVERYONE is suddenly accessible and at the tip of your fingers. Since Facebook is so popular, you have the opportunity to reach candidates from all over the world, from various professional backgrounds and different educational levels.
The fact that any recruiter can extend their reach through Facebook I think is beyond any doubt. Still, there are other valid questions that arise such as the fact that most Facebook users are passive candidates - meaning they are not actively looking for a job.
Well, the distinction between passive and active is growing more and more blurred these days. With the millennial workforce in play, I would argue that if not all, most employees are open to new opportunities any and every day of the week… albeit at different degrees. As LinkedIn’s 2014 Talent Trends stated:
“It turns out that … a whopping 45% are totally open to considering a new opportunity when approached by a recruiter. In other words, when you add these "approachable" passive candidates to the 25% who say they are actively looking for a new job, 85% of the global workforce should be considered fair game.”
Coaxing, developing relationships, is what recruiters need to be spending their time on anyway…
That’s not to say that passive candidates don’t require more work and effort. Recruiters don’t have to spend much effort to convince active candidates to work for them; passive candidates need coaxing. Job postings don’t work for them on passive candidates. Aggressive sales tactics also fall flat. Recruiting passive candidates is about developing relationships, which takes time, energy, and resources.
Passive candidates typically have higher expectations and demands than active candidates. Since they hold more leverage, they might require a larger salary, more schedule flexibility, or further incentives than the company is willing to offer.
On the other hand, passive candidates are in fact usually, simply put, BETTER. They are better because, since they are happy in their work, and they are valuable assets to their current employers, this is usually a good sign. Also, their lack of urgency for a new job means they are less likely to be interviewing with other companies, which means less competition for you. It is also unlikely that they will lie or stretch the truth about their skills on their resumes; they don’t feel like they need to because you reached out to them first.
The CEB Recruiting Leadership Council Global Labour Market Briefing found that passive candidates’ performance was rated 9 percent higher than active candidates; passive candidates were also 25 percent more likely to stay with the company in the long term.
So yes, with Facebook you can reach ‘anybody and everybody’. Most of ‘anybody and everybody’ is passive when it comes to job seeking (just common sense statistically speaking) and thus require a little more effort. But at the end of the day, the passive candidate is more often than not the candidate you want to be spending your time on. It is time well spent if you are a professional recruiter.
Combine global reach with sophisticated recruitment marketing
Moving on, the second point I want to make about Facebook recruiting comes in reply to the point on reaching ‘anybody and everybody’ made above. It is that, while you CAN reach ‘anybody and everybody’, this is precisely what you DO NOT DO on Facebook. Unlike traditional ‘posting and praying’ on job boards, hoping that great candidates respond with the right qualifications, Facebook recruiting gives you control over the process.
Facebook can give you calculated steps to drive better applicants to your posting. These small fixes optimizations can mean the difference between a rush of unqualified resumes and a steady flow of qualified talent.
Gone are the days when you needed to have the best offer to get the best candidates. Recruitment advertising is following the core principles of marketing. With a vast array of employment advertising options, sophisticated metrics are guiding recruiters’ decisions about how to spend precious ad dollars.
The search for talent is becoming more targeted, with messages that are more authentic and, at times, personal. And small employers—not just the big companies—are able to take advantage of the trends. Nowadays, you don’t always need to offer big company benefits to get the best candidates; the better the recruiter the better the results.
Facebook is truly turning the job board industry on its head. You can now serve ads only to relevant and eager candidates using filters such as educational background, work experience, geographical location, and interests. The targeting is so precise that you could actually create ads that only target the employees of your competitors. (Not that anyone would do that.)
Facebook gives you the most detailed targeting options out there:
- Interests: Facebook has more interest-based data than anyone else in the world – and it is about things that actually matter to us as marketers. Thanks to that good ole “Like” button, Facebook knows what you’re interested in: the restaurants you like, the TV shows you watch, the music you listen to, the causes you believe in, the people who inspire you. On and on…
- Demographics: Reach people based on age, gender, language, education, employment, household and lifestyle details.
- Behaviors: Reach people based on purchase behaviors or intent, device usage and more.
- Location: one or more countries, regions, states, cities, postal codes, addresses
The days of the helpless recruiter are over…
This targeting not only allows you to focus on recruiting the most qualified candidates but also allows you to significantly decrease your marketing dollars spent on advertising open positions. It’s amazing how accurately Facebook’s conversion tracking works.
It tells you how many people clicked on your ad, visited your page and actually applied to your vacancy. Tracking your results is one of the best things about using Facebook ads for recruiting because you know exactly the impact of each and every dollar spent.
With Facebook advertising, you'll be able to measure and prove your cost-per-hire better than ever. Some of the basic KPIs you can easily keep track of are (Facebook Advertising has its own set of terms and language, some of which may seem familiar to you but could carry another meaning):
- Average CPC (cost per click): The average amount of money you spend every time someone clicks your Facebook Ad. This is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total amount spent on that ad so far.
- Average CPM (cost per thousand): The average amount of money you spend for every 1,000 impressions of your Facebook Ad. This is calculated by dividing the total multiple of thousands of impressions by the total amount spent on that ad so far.
- Conversion: A state in which the viewer accepts the call to action within the ad, whether it was Liking a Page, send in their application or joining a mailing list.
- CTR (click–through rate): An important ratio calculated by the total number of clicks ad received divided by the number of impressions an ad receives. Facebook places a greater importance on ads with a higher CTR.
How’s that compared to passively ‘posting and praying’? Each and everyone, of these, can be controlled to deliver you better results!
The days of the fatalist, helpless recruiter are over…
Our candidate acquisition cost plummeted over 70% due to employer branding on Facebook
The third and final point to emphasize about Facebook recruiting is that, while you’re off doing your job sourcing candidates, you’re also building a sustainable advantage for yourself through employer branding. You are telling your story, building on your distinctive qualities as an employer, creating a unique name and image in the applicants’ mind. The great thing about Facebook is that even with candidates that have passed on your vacancies you don’t sever the relationship.
On one hand, if the candidate has engaged with the ad in some way (liked, clicked, commented on) you can keep the conversation going. You can re-market to them with any kind of ad, content or listing you want in the future to persuade them to convert.
On the other hand, for candidates that haven’t engaged with your ad, you are slowly but steadily stamping your brand into their consciousness.
Do not underestimate what employer branding can do for you in the long term. I’m making a point here on this because I was a non-believer; I used to think all this talk about branding was nonsense. But at Movinhand, I’ve seen our candidate acquisition cost plummet over 70% as a result of both brand awareness and trust. So trust me when I say, overtime branding’s impact snowballs!
In summary, I believe that Facebook recruiting is certainly worth a try for every recruiter.
What’s stopping you?
If you don’t source on Facebook, here is what you are missing out on:
- Over 67 percent of job seekers across all income levels use Facebook in some way related to their job search.
- 21 percent of job seekers rate Facebook as best for browsing photos and content to get a sense of company culture.
- 20 percent of Facebook mobile users update their professional information.
- 18 percent of Facebook mobile users are actively searching for jobs from anywhere.
- 14 percent use it to understand a company’s brand reputation.
So what’s stopping you?
I think mostly time and know-how… I really believe that most recruiters don’t give it a try due to a lack of time to master its use.
I can think of 3 solutions:
- Hire a digital marketing associate
Pros: develop skills in-house
Cons: fixed payroll cost, time to build expertise
- Start working with a freelance marketing expert
Pros: flexible cost, expertise on demand
Cons: loss of in-house expertise, narrow expertise (most freelancers are professionals at a very targeted discipline)
- Reach out to experts in digital recruiting such as Work4labs, Movinhand, Jobvite
Pros: flexible cost, expertise on demand, end to end support (full stack expertise)
Cons: loss of in-house expertise
Best of luck!