Among social networks, Facebook is generally regarded as the "personal" network, while LinkedIn is the preferred choice for "professional" networking. But as Facebook continues to add more business-friendly features and LinkedIn adds a more personal touch, the value proposition for maintaining two separate networks is becoming unclear.
In fact, a Forrester study found that, of U.S. adult social media users, 96% were on Facebook and only 28% on LinkedIn. Despite the much larger potential talent pool, many recruiters aren’t utilizing Facebook like they use LinkedIn.
While most people use their LinkedIn profile to promote job postings, ask for referrals and connect with candidates, many haven't considered using Facebook to do the same. But why not? Facebook has evolved quite a bit over the years, and is now evolving into a site that can be used for both personal and professional networking, with the introduction of lists and updated privacy settings.
Set up Facebook Lists and Privacy Settings
Lists and updated privacy settings allow Facebook users to keep personal and professional contacts separate from one another, and decide which information each group can see. For example, you can block job candidates from seeing personal information that isn’t available on LinkedIn, and can post jobs to them that none of your other connections can see.
The first step to setting up your Facebook account for professional networking is to create a list for each group of people you’d like to keep separate.
From your homepage, on the left column, find “Friends” and click “More” to bring up your current lists. Facebook has created lists for friends, family, coworkers, schoolmates, and friends who live near you.
You can add a new list for job candidates by clicking “Create List,” adding a name for your list, and adding any members you’re already friends with on Facebook. You can also add people to this list as you “friend” more candidates. (For a video demonstration of this, check out our How to Recruit on Facebook Webinar, where we'll walk you through the process.)
Once your lists are set up, you should update your privacy settings to block certain parts of your profile from those lists. From your profile, click on the button under your timeline that says “Update Info” (if you still have the old profile, look for the button on the top right that says "Edit Profile").
Go through each section and edit your privacy settings so that your list of job candidates can't see anything personal, like your contact information, your friend list, etc. You do this by selecting the icon to the right of each item, clicking on "Custom," and choosing who can see your information, and who you want to hide it from (you can also see step by step instructions for this on our recorded webinar listed above).
Now you’re ready to start connecting to job candidates on Facebook, and they can’t see any of your personal information. Just make sure you add each job candidate to your specified list as you add them as friends. You can also use your profile to post jobs, just like on LinkedIn.
Post Jobs through your Personal Profile
Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook allows you to post jobs on your profile to specific lists. You can do this from your Facebook homepage, by typing in your message and selecting which list(s) you would like to send this message to. This allows you to make sure that job candidates only receive job-related information, while only friends and family will receive personal updates.
Another big advantage over LinkedIn is the engagement level and virality of Facebook. Job candidates can "like," "comment," or "share" your content, causing your message to be posted to their newsfeeds to potentially reach their entire network, as well as yours. You can also post jobs on your Facebook Company Page, just like LinkedIn.
Utilize Your Facebook Business Page to Post Jobs
LinkedIn has recently added the ability for users to "follow" a company, and have allowed companies to update their status–including the ability to post jobs on their LinkedIn company page for free, in addition to the paid “Careers” tab.
Facebook’s Business Pages also allow employers to post jobs to their profiles for free, as well as through a custom “tab,” both of which show up in their fans’ newsfeeds. Posting jobs on your wall for free works the same on Facebook and LinkedIn–just a status update. However, Facebook allows you to include a picture or video in the post to boost engagement, as well as a link to the job posting.
You can also use a Facebook job posting app to publish jobs to your page. This allows candidates to filter open positions, much like a job board. Candidates can apply for your job without leaving Facebook, or can be redirected to your ATS.
Jobs posted through an app can also be shared on other social networks, job aggregators, and through IM and email to increase your reach.
Each Facebook page comes with a robust analytical tool, Insights, which tells you which of your posts get the most interaction so you can improve your content, and how many people are sharing your content so you can gauge your reach. It also tells you where your likes come from so you know what is helping you build a Talent Community.
An important thing to understand about Facebook is that your content will only show to a portion of your page’s fans, and Facebook determines who will see your posts based on an algorithm called EdgeRank. Your posts will only show to 20-40% of your fan base, unless you advertise.
Advertising on Facebook
If you’ve used LinkedIn’s advertising platform for recruitment, you will find Facebook’s to be similar yet slightly more targeted; they allow you to filter by interests, location, demographics, workplaces, and more. To increase visibility, the ads show in multiple location–in the sidebar, in the newsfeed and on the sign out page. You can use ads to promote job postings, your Facebook Career Page, career events, or your career site.
While both networks have targeted advertising, only Facebook has Sponsored Stories, which allow your posts to get greater visibility. There are several types of stories you can sponsor:
- Page Like Story: When someone likes your page, his or her friends will see a story about it. This encourages them to like your page, as well.
- Check-in Story: When someone checks in to your office, his or her friends see a story about it. This is great if your candidates check in before their interview, because it may encourage their friends to check out your job openings.
- Page Post Like Story: When someone likes your page post, his or her friends see a story about it. This is particularly useful for promoting hard-to-fill job openings or career events.
Sponsored stories look more like content than ads, so they tend to boost engagement. This can be a great tool for referrals. Ask employees to post a story to your Facebook page, sharing why they love working at your company, and turn their post into a sponsored story that shows to all of their friends.
Between ads, referrals and job postings, recruiting tactics on Facebook are nothing new. It’s the same old story on a new medium. With 901 million members and growing, Facebook is the future of recruiting and a tremendous untapped resource for recruiters. So, go fishing where the fish are.
For more information on how Facebook stacks up to LinkedIn for recruitment, watch Facebook versus LinkedIn: A Social Recruitment Showdown.