The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals: 4 Facebook Updates You Can’t Ignore


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Facebook is changing; is your recruitment strategy keeping up? In this whitepaper, explore using Facebook's updates for:

- Engaging talent with content on the Newsfeed

- Optimizing your Facebook Timeline to improve candidate relations

- Intelligently targeting talent and saving money with new Facebook ads

- Sourcing talent more effectively with Graph Search

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The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals: 4 Facebook Updates You Can’t Ignore

  1. 1. May 2013 4 The Future of Facebook for recruiting professionals: 4 Facebook Updates You Can’t Ignore
  2. 2. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 2 INTRODUCTION Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Actually, scratch that. It wasn’t all that long ago, and it happened in a galaxy that looks pretty similar to the one we’re sitting in now: Recruiting used to seem a lot simpler. Or at least a lot more straightforward. People were looking for jobs, and your job was to find those people. Nothing about this has changed fundamentally; the major difference between “then” and “now” is the technology and networks we use to connect people and jobs. Since the explosion of social media (LinkedIn in 2003, Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006,, myriads of networks now keep us connected 24/7 to millions of our closest acquaintances. And while much has been written on the virtues of social media marketing, recruiting with social media is still a vastly unexplored territory--especially when it comes to recruiting on personal networks like Facebook. Sure, there have already been many very successful employers who have connected with candidates using the power of the Force (and a strong Facebook branding strategy), but some recruiters have held back due to concerns about efficiency and efficacy.
  3. 3. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 3 We’re here to bring you the good news: not only is recruiting on Facebook and other personal networks both efficient and effective, but the best time to start is now! With the recent slew of updates to Facebook’s user interface, it has never been easier to find, engage, and hire your next top candidates. So consider us your Obi-Wan and join us, young recruiting Padawan, on this journey to harnessing the power of Facebook for your recruiting strategy. According to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is composed of three pillars: Timeline, Graph Search, and the Newsfeed.1 Each pillar represents a major feature of the user interface--and a tool that you can use to recruit better.
  4. 4. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 4 CONTENTS COPYRIGHT © 2013 Work4 Labs, Inc. All rights reserved. The Future of Facebook for Recruiting professonals: 4 Facebook Updates You can’t Ingore Timeline Graph Search Newsfeed Bonus: Facebook Ads Sources About 5 7 9 11 13 14
  5. 5. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 5 Timeline Remember way, way back to March 2012 when Facebook first rolled out Timeline for brands? (It feels like eons ago to us, too...) Timeline was the first of many major changes that Facebook has made or is making to its user interface, and it’s had a significant effect on the way that users interact with companies and brands on Facebook. That’s all well and good for your marketing team, but what does this mean for talent acquisition and employer branding professionals? Timeline streamlines your employer branding process, and makes it easy for you to own your company’s recruiting message. Your brand is the first thing your candidates see, and it’s the message (both visual and textual) that they associate with your company and your careers. Why does this matter? Employer branding affects how potential candidates feel about your company (and, by extension, your jobs). A good brand--one that is transparent about its company culture, its history, and its engagement with its employees, customers, and fans--can make or break the number of applications you receive. This is especially pertinent in this “social” era, when every company is only a Facebook search away. And as that Facebook search grows ever more important (we’ll get to why it’s so important in the next section), your candidates will search for you. You must put care into how you present yourself, from a well-designed cover and profile photo,
  6. 6. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 6 Timeline to carefully chosen apps, to the material you choose to share with your followers and at what frequency you share it. Even something as simple as completing your Timeline and “About” info by adding company milestones and up-to-date contact information cannot only better engage potential active candidates who seek out your page, but also inspire confidence in those who search for your company, because this shows that you take pride and invest in your company’s image. After all, your employees have a stake in that company image, and candidates want to know that, should they become your employees, they can proudly proclaim that they’re a part of your company culture when they post their new job on their Timelines. And while a good brand may be the final selling point for an active candidate who is researching your careers, it can also be the first impression that converts a Facebook user into a potential candidate. These passive candidates can be attracted by an ad, through a recommendation from a friend, or through interaction with your company as a customer or client. If a Facebook user comes across a branded Timeline that is complete with a prominent “Work for Us” careers app or consistently updated with career information, then he or she will be introduced to your talent community and perhaps even be enticed to stay and learn more. Just like that, your Timeline becomes a fantastic opportunity to start sourcing candidates who may not have even planned on finding a job when they logged onto Facebook. Key Takeaways: Active candidates will use your Timeline to research your company Passive candidates will use your Timeline to discover brand and your careers Branding is key for instilling confidence in your company and fostering a thriving talent community
  7. 7. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 7 Graph Search In January of 2013, Facebook announced its exciting new “Graph Search,” which allows users to search for and interact with the people in their networks like never before. Graph Search is an intuitive search feature that helps users to discover everything from music and restaurants that their friends like to people in their networks who went to their university or work for a certain company. (We’ll let you guess which ones we think are most important for recruiters!) Graph Search has the potential to be a hugely important tool for social recruiting, because it allows you to easily search for and target potential candidates who are already in your extended network. While Facebook is not trying to position itself as a direct competitor to the professional networking site LinkedIn, even Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged during the announcement of the new feature that Graph Search has the potential to open up an exciting new avenue for social recruiting. At the time of this writing, Graph Search is slowly being rolled out to all of Facebook’s users. Once it is in your hands (and on your screen), you’ll be able to search for anyone from “IT professionals who live in San Francisco” to “Female members of Phi Beta Kappa who went to Harvard University and like the Economist, Apple, and Angry Birds.” (You may not need to get quite so specific, but if you do, you can consider some of your toughest sourcing challenges solved!)
  8. 8. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 8 Graph Search As Work4’s CEO Stéphane Le Viet wrote in an article for Forbes after the release of Graph Search, “Relevance is the most exciting part... Graph Search is about discovering people...and using that discovery to recruit better.” Relevance is the most exciting part... Graph Search is about discovering people...and using that discovery to recruit better This relevance means that you’re more likely to discover candidates who are not just a “resume fit” but also a culture fit. More than simply filtering a search by location or educational history, you can find candidates who “like” certain companies, products, organizations, or even styles of music. (After all, it’s no use hiring someone who won’t enjoy the office-wide “Reggae Friday!”) With this new feature, your hiring initiatives--from graduates to veterans, gender to diversity--along with your “hard-to-find” candidates for specialized positions--are only one Graph Search away. Graph Search also has implications for growing your talent community. Facebook’s vision for Graph Search is to give users a way to better explore their own networks, operating on the principle that people are more likely to be interested in something that their friends “like.” This means that your branded Timeline may show up in an active candidate’s search (“companies my friends work for near me”) or a passive candidate’s search (“companies my friends like”). Graph Search makes it just as easy for your talent to find you as it does for you to find them. Key Takeaways: Graph Search allows you to hone in on talent in your extended network Graph Search gives you a way to discover candidates with relevant interests, backgrounds, and skill sets Graph Search can be used both as a recruiter’s sourcing tool or a candidate’s research tool
  9. 9. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 9 Newsfeed Although Facebook’s Newsfeed has been around since 2006, it has gone mostly unchanged but for minor tweaks since its inception. Originally used for sharing personal status updates, the Newsfeed has evolved over the years into a place for posting photos, articles, “check ins,” ads, and much more. As the Newsfeed has adapted to handling more content, we’ve begun to notice a curious trend: people are more likely to engage with (like, share, or comment on) content if it’s visual. In other words, people like photos and videos more than text. Facebook took note of this trend and introduced its new, visually streamlined Newsfeed in April of 2013. This Newsfeed should actually be referred to as “Newsfeeds”, because it grants each user the ability to filter into different feeds the content in which he or she is most interested. This means that users can choose to look at content based on friends or companies they follow, types of content they are interested in (like photos or music), or groups and games in which they take part. But what does this mean for you? As a recruiter, you want to make it as simple as possible to have your recruiting message read, seen, or heard by your potential candidates, both passive and active. This Newsfeed gives you several different ways to make sure that your recruiting message is spread: The Newsfeed now prioritizes visual content. Photos and videos will now appear larger and more spectacular than ever before--taking up almost the entire screen. This means that if you have branded photos, career videos, recruiting ads, or even visual job descriptions, you will be more likely to catch the average Facebook On average photos get 180% more engagement and videos 120% more engagement than a text-based Facebook post.2
  10. 10. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 10 *Sponsored Stories are ads that show users the brands and content that their friends have “liked.” Sponsored Posts are posts suggested by Facebook to relevant users based on intelligent ad targeting. Newsfeed user’s eye. And if you use your branded material, you will be doing double duty in spreading and reinforcing brand awareness for your fans and followers. If you don’t want to be “filtered” out, then posting visual updates and recruiting ads (more on that in a second!) will give you the advantage. Not only will users see your company if they check out their “Following” feed, but they will also see you in the “Photos” feed--and, if you’re running ads called “Sponsored Stories” or “Sponsored Posts,”* then you’ll show up in users’ “Friends” feed as well. New filters give you more visibility, because they allow users to narrow down the news to only the most potentially relevant content. Just as with Graph Search, so the Newsfeed is about serving relevant content to the right people. That means that, with some great content and a little bit of elbow grease, you can make your talent community go viral. Your recruiting message includes all of the content you post, which is not limited to your open jobs, but includes every piece of content you put out on Facebook, from targeted ads, information about your latest products or services, employee interviews, to simple, funny branded photos and videos. (Even The Most Interesting Man agrees that Facebook is a great way to engage your talent community!) Whether your content is seen by passive or active candidates, it has the potential to be tremendously relevant (or at the very least engaging) when it appears in a user’s new Newsfeed. You want to hire people who are committed to engaging with your company; your candidates want to work with a company that makes them feel wanted. Sharing relevant content gets the candidates who are most interested in and best fit your company culture to commit to becoming a part of your talent community, subscribing to your email list, or applying for your jobs. Talk about a status update! Key Takeaways: The Newsfeed favors visual content--like job ads and visual job descriptions Avoid being “filtered out” by providing relevant, multimedia content to your talent community People who commit to engaging with your recruiting message are more likely to fit your company culture and commit to applying for your jobs
  11. 11. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 11 Bonus: Ads Facebook ads are not technically a “new” feature; however, Facebook has rolled out many new options while improving the ability to target candidates and optimize campaign spend against ROI. Here are a few of Facebook’s recent innovations in advertising that have huge implications for the success of your recruiting strategy: Custom Audiences If you’re just getting started with social recruiting (or if you have been social recruiting but also rely on traditional recruiting methods), chances are you have an email list. Or a candidate database. Or a talent pool collected in your ATS. If you want to target those candidates with ads on Facebook (but don’t want to spend hours Graph Searching and personally messaging each one with a “please-like-our-Facebook-page” plea), then Custom Audiences are for you! These ads target Facebook users based on a preexisting list. Why You Want to Use Custom Audiences Companies have seen over 5X the return on investment of their advertising dollars while marketing to a Custom Audience on Facebook.3 Lookalike Audiences As a recruiter, you know better than anyone the kind of candidates who would best fit your company culture and the open roles for which you’re hiring. Lookalike Audiences let you target user profiles most similar to your ideal candidate profiles. This can bring in many new quality passive and active candidates, because the ads are shown only to the users for whom you are looking. Why You Want to Use Lookalike Audiences Lookalike Audiences have already brought in huge ROI for marketers: one site saw a 74% reduction in cost-per-action while another saw a 94% reduction. Use Lookalike Audiences to increase conversion and lower your rate of applicants-per-hire.4
  12. 12. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 12 Bonus: Ads Partner Categories Although Facebook ads have always been uniquely valuable for their targeting capabilities, the introduction of Partner Categories makes Facebook’s targeting even more intelligent. Now, you can target demographics based on specific purchase and browsing histories.5 With the ability to target by specific demographic, you can even further hone your ad campaign while still scaling your recruiting message to Facebook’s vast network. Why You Want to Use Partner Categories: With even more ways to narrow down your targeted demographic, you will have more control over the types of people who are served your recruiting ads. Your ads will have better potential for being seen by the people you want to hire. oCPM Don’t worry about the details on this one, but rest assured knowing that your Facebook ads have now been optimized. “oCPM” simply means “optimized clicks per thousand impressions,” or, in layman’s terms, “better return on investment for every click per thousand ad views.” All this means is that the bids you made on ads will grant you an even better return than ever before-- which is good news for your campaign spend and for your recruiting budget. Why You Want to Use oCPM Optimized. Advertising. Spend. Enough said!6
  13. 13. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 13 Use the force The three pillars of Facebook (and the network’s intelligent ads platform) are great foundations for a successful recruiting strategy. The next step is finding the right tools. But you don’t need a lightsaber where we’re going: you’ll need strong employer branding, relevant and visually compelling content, the right kind of advertising, and a good guide to bridge the gap between your ATS and the world’s largest social network. Are you ready to answer the call to start recruiting on Facebook? If you properly leverage the opportunities provided by the network’s newest updates, then recruit on Facebook successfully you will! For more information about recruiting on Facebook, check out or contact your own personal social recruiting Yoda today!
  14. 14. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 14 SOURCES links-photos-or-videos/ optimized-cpm/ Images
  15. 15. Share This Whitepaper The Future of Facebook for Recruiting Professionals // 15 FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION +1 (877) 509-0403 CONNECT WITH US ABOUT WORK4™ Work4 develops the #1 Facebook Recruiting Solution, which enables tens of thousands of companies — including VMware, Gap, and L’Oreal — to hire qualified candidates across industries, geographies, and pay-grades. Our award-winning products help recruiters easily launch branded corporate career sites on Facebook and mobile devices, and drive traffic, job applications, and employee referrals from the network’s 1 billion users. Work4 was founded in 2010, and is headquartered in San Francisco with an additional office in Paris. Read: ENJOYED THIS? WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FACEBOOK RECRUITING? Facebook Recruitment and Employer Branding: Best Practices and Ideas from the World’s Top Companies