Is Facebook the New Future of RecruitingAccording to a 2012 Future Trends Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 90.7% of respondents use Facebook in their job search.  Half of employers in the U.S. use Facebook during the hiring process, with 54% planning on using it more in the future.

But for what types of jobs?

Recruiters generally focus on Facebook when look to fill entry-level and/or hourly positions.  Look at a sample of the companies that claim that Facebook is a powerful recruiting tool.  Ben & Jerry’s…. McDonalds….Starbucks…Hard Rock Café…all are overwhelmingly looking to fill entry-level and hourly positions.  Facebook can be highly effective when recruiting these workers, but it is not the “go-to” platform to leverage for salaried, managerial or professional openings.

However, there is one statistic that is worth noting when talking about the viability of using Facebook to recruit.  That is the enormous size of Facebook’s user base.  When you have a user base as large as Facebook’s, even your smallest demographic slice can be larger than your nearest competitor’s entire client list.  For example, even though only 22% of Facebook users are over the age of 45, that is still 200 million people – bigger than LinkedIn’s entire professional network.

Facebook cannot be your “everything”.

There was a lot of hoopla several months ago when Facebook rolled out their new “job board”, called Social Jobs Partnership.  This job board received a lot of press…mainly because of the perception that they are now using their social network might to help people to connect and find jobs.   Will it be a hit?  The jury is still out.

A job board – even if it is one that is created by Facebook – is still just a job board.  It cannot be your only recruiting resource, and it does not help the majority of employers fill jobs or the majority of job seekers find jobs. Remember, between 60-80% of jobs are found through some type of personal relationship.  Networking works; the overwhelming majority of external new hires (i.e. those workers who are not already working for the company) come from networking.  People hire and get jobs by going places and talking to others.  It is what people who recruit for a living do; they get out and meet people.  They do it because it is a proven way to find quality candidates.

Facebook can be a viable part of your hiring initiative…it just cannot be your entire hiring initiative.   Recruiters do look through Facebook to discover talent, and companies are creating “Now Hiring” pages and integrating “job” apps onto their current Facebook page.  But when HR departments leverage one recruiting mechanism to the exclusion of all others, they are missing out on an entire demographic of potential candidates.  Believe it or not, many people do not want to learn of new job opportunities on the same site that they post pictures of their dog in a Halloween costume made to look like a lobster.

When you are looking to expand your talent pool, you should leverage every single avenue available to you.   Part of that strategy should be to leverage the services of a reputable talent management firm like SnellingOur recruiters are experts ….both in recruiting and best practices for the industries we serve.  We know how to locate talent….both online and offline.  With Snelling, you are leveraging our skillset and our network of qualified candidates.

By David Allen,

NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.