Category: Sourcing

Recruiting on Facebook

I don’t really use Facebook, as I prefer to keep my social network pretty small.  Since I’m somewhat removed from the action, I often wonder if there are opportunities to recruit on Facebook.

Usually I can locate passive candidates pretty readily via LinkedIn, networking, and traditional headhunting, but I’ve been told Facebook can be a decent place to find candidates.  Perhaps by targeting employees of companies, or fans of certain local businesses (depending on the required qualifications) would work on Facebook.  I’ve done quite a bit of recruitment advertising on Facebook, and the targeting capabilities there are fantastic, but in terms of Facebook as a networking tool for passive candidates, I don’t see a ton of value.  If you think I am missing a huge talent pool, please let me know!

Effective LinkedIn Invitations

To really improve your accept rate when sending LinkedIn invitations, be sure to customize your message.  The default “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is fine if you’re firing off a quick invite to somebody you frequently communicate with.  For other types of invitations, especially those to people you are only vaguely connected with, be sure to customize the message.

This is the message I send when connecting with people via LinkedIn Groups:

“Hi John.  I noticed we’re both in a lot of the same groups.  I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn.”


Your Name:

This shows the person you took the time to learn a little something about them, and let’s them know the value in connecting with you.  This takes about 5 seconds, and it goes a long way.

Avoiding recruiting tactic overload

It seems like 99% of the recruiting tips I read are focused on “how to use Twitter”, “how to find passive candidates on facebook” or “mobile recruiting with foursquare”.  These are all great tactics that I can’t get enough of, but I sense many otherwise great recruiters are getting mired in tool adoption rather than focusing on the basics of recruiting.  Here’s is the overall recruiting strategy I have adopted, and from here I roll in new tactics and tools:

1) Active candidate generation – Active candidates are those that are actively seeking job opportunities.  There are many tools and techniques available for finding them, such as job boards and social networks.  Active candidates can step into roles more quickly than passive candidates, but they are often being pursued by multiple recruiters.  Any successful recruiting function will have a solid method of attracting, engaging, and capturing active candidates.

2) Passive candidate generation – I consider this to be the most important recruiting strategy.  When I talk about passive candidate generation, I refer to engaging and networking with any and all candidates in your niche or industry, with the goal of recruiting them for a role sometime within the next 6-60 months (or more).  This isn’t an option for every recruiter, since some of us deal with multiple industries and there isn’t enough time in the day to connect with every single candidate.  I usually recruit in the online marketing/advertising space, so I make it a point to reach out to every person I encounter that may potentially be a fit for one of my roles, someday.  People are usually pretty receptive when I say “Hey, let’s keep in touch, I would love to consider you for a role some day.”  Capturing these contacts and keeping in touch with them can be daunting, but with LinkedIn it is less so.

3) Best practices sharing within the organization – If you work independently, this is pretty simple.  If you work as part of a recruiting or HR team, it is important to share best practices with your colleagues.  When everybody is on the same page in the org, you can cast a wider net more efficiently without duplicating efforts.  With the referral and networking nature of recruiting, the more candidates your org captures as a whole leads to more candidates for everyone to engage.  This aspect of my strategy is where tools and tactics are discussed and evaluated.

I’m all about adopting and mastering new techniques, especially as I ramp after my extended paternity leave, but my goal is to stick to this three-pronged approach while I incorporate new tools/techniques into my efforts.

Top 5 steps for optimizing your careers website

With so much focus on social recruiting, SEO, search engine marketing, etc., it is easy to overlook a very important part of the online recruiting process.  Your careers website is where all of those marketing efforts ultimately drive candidates, so follow these tips to maximize it:

1) Integrate it with your applicant tracking system
This is an important measure from both a data integrity and candidate experience standpoint.  Candidates don’t want to email you their resume, or apply via a job board (or both, ugh), then “formally” apply via your ATS.  To reduce steps and ensure information capture, point all applicants directly to the “apply” URL.  If your ATS doesn’t provide you with an easy way to do this, or if it doesn’t effectively capture candidates and tie them to a job order, get a new one. 

2) Integrate social media and automation for referrals
Your careers website needs to use automation and social media to keep your brand in front of your candidates.  You need to have RSS feeds and/or email job alerts that send new job orders out to subscribers.  Prompt all applicants to sign up for these, and tie it into your referral program.  With an RSS feed, you can stay in front of candidates by automatically post your jobs to twitter, facebook, MyYahoo, and more.  Set this up once and walk away, it will take care of a large piece of your referral marketing.

3) Use it as a candidate attraction tool
Using proper search engine optimization techniques, you’ll be able to put your careers website in front of a large audience of both active and PASSIVE job seekers.  If your company is in the renewable energy space, you can include renewable energy keywords in your SEO efforts which may result in your careers page showing up on related searches.  So people who are interested in your core business may come across your careers page by chance, realize a career with your organization fits with their interests, and view your job listings and apply. 

4) Link it to your social media profile
By creating a company profile page on LinkedIn, you can engage potential candidates on LinkedIn while putting a face on your staffing team.  Candidates can connect with you while learning more about your company and its people.  If you are a small business, you can add a link to your personal LinkedIn profile which is valuable from a referral perspective.  This may not be preferred by the organization, however, as if the individual leaves their LinkedIn contacts leave with them.

5) Make it into an employment branding machine
For every careers website that is visually appealing, engaging, and strategically developed, there are 20 that are static HTML pages automatically churned out by the ATS or CRM powering the back end.  This is fine from an information capture standpoint, but keep in mind your careers page is usually the first contact potential employees have with your company.  If your site is appealing, easy to navigate, and better yet, incorporates your company’s employment brand, you will more effectively define the candidates expectations of the organization and the interview/hiring experience.

Contact me to learn more about how I can help you optimize your careers website.