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FACEBOOK RECRUITING BASICS:

A Guide to 21st Century Employment Branding

INTRODUCTION
WHY USE FACEBOOK IN THE FIRST PLACE?
JOHN SUMSER
Principal Consultant
HRxAnalysts

Mashable: Sept, 2011 http://mashable.


com/2011/09/12/23-percent-online/

2
Neilsen: Sept, 2011 http://cn.nielsen.
com/documents/Nielsen-Social-MediaReport_FINAL_090911.pdf
3

Pew Internet: March 2012 http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Why-Americans-Use-Social-Media.aspx


TechCrunch: Nov 19, 2010 http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/19/hitwise-facebook-accounts-for-1-in-4-page-viewsin-the-u-s/
4

Facebook: May 2012 http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.


aspx?NewsAreaId=22
6

ibid

The essence of great recruiting is to fish where the fish are. As times change, the
recruiting waters get overfished. This is what makes the profession so highly
flexible. Over the course of a decade, the success of one technique creates the
demand for the next.
More than any other corporate function, recruiting involves adaptation to rapidly
changing markets. Companies that shift their methods with the times thrive.
Companies that dont, wither.
In 2012, that means learning how to use social media as a part of your recruiting
effort. In a few short years, the center of the Internet moved from static sites to the
more vibrant and interactive universe of online networks. Job Boards give way to
social media as users migrate to the new world.
Here are a few stats that put the story in perspective:
23% of all hours spent online are spent on a social media site1
80% of all Internet users are members of at least one social network2
66% of all Americans use a social network3
25% of all American internet traffic is on Facebook alone4
With nearly 1 billion registered users, Facebook is the largest single social network
by far.5 Its where the fish are. Having a recruiting program that does not address
the Facebook marketplace is like having fishing gear without ever going fishing.
There is no other single marketplace in the world that gives you the ability to
directly reach 526 Million daily users.6 The real question is whether you want to
reach anyone else. Thats a different discussion.

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CONTENTS
SPONSORSHIP
This work was produced under
the sponsorship of Work4

COPYRIGHT
2012 John Sumser
All rights reserved
No portion of this material
may be reproduced without
written permission, except a
short excerpt in a review
Send requests for permission
to john@hrexaminer.com
Copies may be purchased
at hrxanalysts.com
For bulk purchase or licensing
please give HRxAnalysts a call
at 415-683-0775

FACEBOOK RECRUITING BASICS


4

Start with a Clear Picture (Who are you recruiting?)

Facebook is a Closed Ecosystem

Facebook Recruiting has 3 Integrated Components

Building your Facebook Page

Posting your Jobs

Building Traffic

10

Employee Involvement: The Foundation

10

Targeted Traffic

11

Measuring your Effectiveness

12

12 Steps to Start Recruiting on Facebook

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START WITH A
CLEAR PICTURE
(WHO ARE YOU
RECRUITING?)

Using Facebook requires the development of


several key skills and insights. Unlike traditional
recruitment advertising (classified ads or
job boards), recruiting on Facebook gives you
extraordinary control over the kinds of people
you reach.
Effective recruiting always begins with a single
question: Who do you want to recruit? Without
a clear answer, your results will be muddled. In
order to use Facebook as a recruiting tool, you
need to have a good idea about:

This will help you understand which of the daily


Facebook users you want to reach. Historically,
recruiters are accustomed to indiscriminately
broadcasting jobs with no guarantee of
candidate quality, quantity, or cost. Facebooks
rich segmentation and performance-based
distribution tools usher in a new and welcomed
era of pure targeting.

Who youre recruiting and when you need


them (Workforce Plan)
What kind of person who makes a good fit
at your company (Culture)
Who they know/How to find them
(Networks)
What you want them to know about your
company (Messaging)
How available they are as a class (Scarcity)

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FACEBOOK IS
A CLOSED
ECOSYSTEM

Twentieth century employment branding and


job advertising was a lottery style crapshoot. Big
media companies, with large audiences, sold you
the opportunity to possibly be seen by the right
members of their readership. You bought the ad
and took your chances. Some percentage of the
readership responded. They were often not the
ones you wanted.
This dynamic is at the heart of a problem that
most recruiting organizations face: a staggering
percentage of job applicants are unqualified or
ill matched. Without the ability to segment the
audience, advertising was delivered to everyone.
The responses were a representative sample.
And a representative sample of a big media
audience is guaranteed to be a bad fit for any
specific job. Old methods produce low quality
results, a low ratio of quality candidates to the
total number of resumes.

Old methods produce


low quality results,
a low ratio of quality
candidates to the total
number of resumes.
Facebook changes that.

Facebook changes that. Rather than a buckshot


approach to advertising, Facebook makes it
possible to develop an audience built from the
things you already know about your potential
employees (see above). It works because
Facebook is a closed system. In Facebook
recruiting, you do everything inside of Facebook.

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FACEBOOK
RECRUITING
HAS 3
INTEGRATED
COMPONENTS

In order to gain total control over your recruiting


results, Facebook offers three interrelated
functions:
Facebook Pages (Company Page)
Facebook Content/Interactions (including
Job Listings)
Facebook Targeted Ads (Traffic
Development)
Effective results depend on mastering and
balancing these three elements.

Company
Page

Job
Listings

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Traffic
Development

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BUILDING
YOUR
FACEBOOK
PAGE

On Facebook, employer branding and effective


recruiting both begin with the development
of your company page. Many large firms, from
General Motors to Apple, have active company
pages on Facebook. Smaller companies appear
somewhat less likely to have one.
If the company already has a page, it becomes a
question of finding a balance between marketing
outreach and recruiting. Sometimes, a separate
careers page is the answer (although this is less
desirable). Companies without a page are free to
start with a clean slate.
An even more complex question arises when
the company has multiple divisions, branches
and operating units. Some companies choose to
have a page for each subordinate entity. This is
clearly a matter of brand management and each
company will have a different strategy. In general,
though, the fewer pages the better. Consolidation
of efforts and resources result in a more powerful
presence at a lower cost.
Once the page is designed and launched,
keeping the content lively and interesting
becomes a central concern. Potential employees
are looking for ways to understand what its
like to work for the company. A changing flow
of material featuring employees, videos and
material about the culture will be essential to
ensuring continued engagement.

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The more you can deliver material that lets


employees personify the values of the company,
the more sticky your content will be. The idea
here is to use the page to engage visitors once
they arrive. The ideal is to build a growing group
of qualified potential employees (your audience)
who keep coming back to your page to get the
latest round of insight about the company.
By encouraging visitors to like your page, you
build credibility. The higher the number of likes,
the more that new visitors will see the page as
useful. Making it engaging (fun) is a large part
of the equation. Liking a page is how people
bookmark and come back to visit again. Having
a steady stream of engaging content is what
converts visitors to fans. It makes visitors think
Hey, this Page is interesting. Id like to hear more
from them from time to time in the future
Unlike the static information on your Web Career
Page, a Facebook offering demands constant
updates of entertaining material. You must
maintain a relationship with your audience - and
it needs to be authentic.

HRxAnalysts: Facebook Recruiting Basics //

POSTING
YOUR JOBS

Take a moment to go and read five or six pieces


of content you send out as job ads. Its okay,
well wait.
The odds are high that what you found was a
dreary and dry hunk of text devoted to describing
jobs and the requirements for obtaining them.
There are few stretches of contemporary
literature that are more arduous to cross. It is
safe to say that the only thing that is more boring
to read is the tax code.
In the Facebook ecosystem, every bit of content
is a part of the relationship you are building
with your audience. Making your job postings
friendly and relevant is a critical to successful
recruiting both on and off Facebook. The easier
job information is to consume, the more likely you
are to reach applicants who are actually qualified
for the job.
Boring job postings simply recreate the quality
problems of older recruiting technologies.

Here are some things you can do to improve the


way that your job postings help you build your
audience:
Develop repeated themes as a feature
of the page: hard to find jobs; featured
jobs; specific job categories. Think of your
page as a communications channel (like
a TV Channel) with regularly scheduled
programming
Have hiring managers and employees like
and share the jobs (this is the beginning of
traffic development which we cover in the
next section)
Post on weekends as well as weekdays. Job
hunters (active or passive) spend time in
Facebook throughout the week. Be there
when they are
Place an image (picture) in every job
posting. This makes it more likely to appear
Use video (when possible) to supplement
the job posting
Always include a Call to Action (CTA)
e.g. Like this job if youre interested in
computer science
Job postings are a critical part of developing
your audience. They should be a dynamic form of
content that brings visitors back to your page.

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BUILDING
TRAFFIC

While there are a half billion daily users, none


of them know that you have a company page
with jobs on it. Once you have put the first two
dynamic components (the page and the job
postings) in place, the real work of building an
audience begins.
Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a well
known brand. In that case, your job will be to
improve the targeting effectiveness of the traffic
that is drawn to your brand. If you work for a
lesser known company, you have to build your
brands traffic.

There are six types of Facebook users who will


see the jobs you post:
Employees and friends of employees who
visit the page to help it along by liking and
sharing content
People who come to your site actively
looking for a job
People who receive a referral through the
FB messaging system
People who come to your page looking for
something else but end up seeing the job
People who see the job on their newsfeed
(because someone liked or shared a job)
People who are responding to ads you
placed to target them
Making your Facebook recruiting efforts
successful depends on paying attention to
each category.

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EMPLOYEE
INVOLVEMENT
THE
FOUNDATION

Getting a companys Facebook recruiting efforts


off the ground always begins with its employees.
Their involvement can come from creating
content, participating in conversations, or by
liking and sharing jobs and content with their
networks. Whats most important in the early
days is that employees show up and participate.
Facebook pages earn credibility based on the
number of likes they receive. About 300 likes
are required to have a baseline of credibility. The
best way to get there is with your employees
help. Recruiting is becoming a matter to which
every employee makes a contribution. Facebook
is where that begins.

TARGETED
TRAFFIC

Whatever traffic you generate with great


content and involvement of the employee team
will need to be supplemented with visitors
purchased through advertising. Facebook offers
extraordinary tools for reaching very specific
types of individuals by age, gender, profession,
geography, related interests, hobbies, and
education (both type and school). Learning how
to control and predict the quality of your traffic is
part of the long term process.

For each type of employee you are trying to


recruit, you will be learning how to tighten and
loosen the constraints you place on the ads
you send through the Facebook network. Its a
process of testing and retesting in search of what
works.

Recruiting is becoming
a matter to which
every employee
makes a contribution.
Facebook is where
that begins.

In the end, recruiting on Facebook is a dynamic


balancing act in which you meet recruiting
requirements by integrating the design and
content of your page with engaging job postings
while building an audience rooted in your
employees networks and supplemented with
targeted traffic.

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10

MEASURING
YOUR
EFFECTIVENESS

The key to the continuous improvement of


your Facebook recruiting endeavor is an
analytic toolset. Success requires routine
experimentation and improvement. By trying out
different approaches and then examining the
results stream, you get the feedback necessary
to make your next move.

The very best way to get started on this journey is


to find a partner, like Work4 Labs, who know how
to help you up the learning curve.

Facebook provides analytics on:


Impressions: the number of times a piece of
content was displayed
Views: the number of times a piece of
content was seen
Applicants: the number of viewers who
clicked on the apply button
Click Through Rate: views divided by
impressions
Conversion Rate: applicants divided by
views
Cost per Click: advertising spend divided by
clicks
Cost per Applicant: advertising spend
divided by applicants

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11

12 STEPS
TO START
RECRUITING
ON FACEBOOK

1.

Identify your recruiting requirements

2. Decide on your approach to having a


Facebook Page (one integrated company
page, a separate careers page or multiple
pages and approaches for multiple
operating units)
3. Build and launch the page(s) with
appropriate PR attention
4. Have employees visit the page,
like it and share it with their friends
5. Deploy employees as brand advocates by
enabling them to post about working at the
company on the timeline
6. Create a package of standard
recruiting material about your operation

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7.

Design a schedule for the deployment of


interactive features on the page

8. Review your job posting and description


process. Rewrite them as engaging pieces
of content.
9. Post your jobs to the page
10. Have employees visit individual jobs from
their departments, like them and share
them with their friends
11. Purchase targeted advertising to make
sure that you are getting the right traffic
to the page
12. Identify the measures that describe your
success. Monitor them weekly and help your
leadership understand what youre doing

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ABOUT
HRxANALYSTS
FOR ADDITIONAL
INFORMATION
www.hrxanalysts.com
415-683-0775

HRxAnalysts is a consulting firm based in Bodega Bay, CA. Led by industry


provocateur John Sumser, the company focuses on discovering what works at the
edges of innovation in HR and recruiting. Closely allied with the HRExaminer, the
firm maintains deep connections with a network of about 30 seminal thinkers in
the industry through its Editorial Advisory Board.
HRxAnalysts works on a variety of projects for both vendors and their customers in
the HR and recruiting industry. For HR Departments, HRxAnalysts help define and
articulate talent strategy with an emphasis on the transformative power of great
questions.
For vendors, the company helps develop market strategy and product
management.
At the core of the value we create is unbridled curiosity coupled with an inability to
think inside the box.
Our offerings range from training programs and webinars to extensive research.

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ABOUT
WORK4
FOR ADDITIONAL
INFORMATION
contact@work4labs.com
+1 (877) 509-0403

CONNECT WITH US
www.work4labs.com
www.facebook.com/work4labs
www.twitter.com/work4labs
blog.work4labs.com

Work4 helps companies leverage social media to find, engage,


and hire top candidates.
Work4 was founded on a simple idea: recruitment is an inherently social activity,
and recruiters require new tools to take advantage of powerful networks.
Our flagship product, Work for Us, allows companies of all sizes to create a
customizable, social career site on Facebook. Other award-winning products
include the first statistically-optimized Facebook job ads platform and a social
referral system.
Work4 was founded in 2010 by a team thats passionate about making recruiters
lives easier. Our team has over 75 years combined experience in building
businesses and technologies in the online recruiting space.
We serve thousands of happy clients in over 50 countries and of all sizes, from
small business to Fortune 100 firms like Intel and UPS.

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